If you’re ready to sell your home but don’t want to use a realtor, you’re not alone. Realtor fees can spike up to tens of thousands of dollars. While they can certainly make things easier on you as the home seller, is their contribution really worth all that money?
If you’re on the fence about hiring a realtor and would rather do a for-sale-by-owner house sale, there are a few home staging tips you’ll need to know to get it done fast. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got your back.
Keep reading for a comprehensive list of our top home staging tips to improve your odds of selling your home fast and for more money.
Home Staging Tips
Studies show that staging your home will help it sell as much as 73% faster. Additionally, staged homes also help potential buyers see more value in the home, which can lead to a higher negotiated sales price.
If want to give your house the most appeal to potential buyers, follow along for step-by-step home staging tips.
1. Move Out and Hire a Home Stager
First and foremost, this whole home staging and selling process will be much easier if you can move out of the house beforehand. This may be a minor inconvenience temporarily, but it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
First, a for-sale-by-owner house sale means you’re operating without a realtor. That means you will be fielding all of the calls from potential buyers and their realtors to see your house. It also means you’ll have to make yourself scarce when it comes time for them to walk through it if you still live there.
Additionally, living in a home you’re trying to sell means you’re constantly cleaning up after yourself. No buyer wants to see wet bathroom floor mats from your morning shower, smell the previous night’s fish dinner, or stumble across your dirty clothes hamper.
2. …Or, Get Rid of 2/3 of Your Stuff
If you can’t move out entirely, at least removing the majority of your possessions. This will automatically make your home feel much cleaner, less cluttered, and therefore, more open.
A good rule is to remove roughly 2/3 of your stuff. Start by removing anything that is too personal, including pictures of you and your family and friends, certifications, niche art, and decor, etc. You want the home to feel as neutral and inviting as possible.
You also need to remove any old, ratter furniture. Your chair from college may be the most comfortable chair on the face of the planet, but its appearance may be off-putting to potential buyers.
3. Thoroughly Clean
Once you have everything (or almost everything) out of your home, it’s time to start the cleaning saga. If you’ve got the time you can save a lot of money by doing the cleaning yourself. Granted, you may need to hire a carpet cleaning service if necessary.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional cleaning service to do all of your dirty work. Regardless, you need to make sure the entire home is spotless, even if you still live there. Many potential buyers will judge your home based on how well it’s cleaned.
Pay special attention to your bathrooms and kitchen. These areas can be major turn-offs if they’re not sanitized and sparkling.
Along with the cleanliness of your home, one of the most important home staging tips is removing all undesirable smells from your home.
A clean home is awesome, but if there are odd smells present for a walkthrough, it gets potential buyers wondering what lurks beneath the surface. You especially want to remove any pet odors, as people typically associate pet smells with an unclean home.
For that matter, it’s best to remove all signs of pets, including hair and cat litter boxes, etc.
5. Let the Light Shine In
Although we surround ourselves with walls and put ceilings over our head, people are obsessed with having good lighting. When you’re staging your home, make sure you open up the curtains and blinds. Lots of natural sunlight is a huge selling point for most buyers.
If any rooms lack natural lighting, fake it until you make it. Add lamps or string up LED lights. Just make sure your rooms are brightly lit to feel warm and inviting.
6. Keep Rooms Open
People want homes with a lot of room. We don’t need or use all the space we desire, we just like to know it’s there.
The more spacious you can make your home feel, the more appealing it will be. One of the best home staging tips is learning how to make your house feel completely furnished while maintaining plenty of open space.
7. Repaint Using Neutral Colors and Accent Walls
We always recommend repainting, especially if your home currently has extreme colors. While a bright pink or purple room for a 5-year-old girl is fun, it doesn’t speak to potential buyers.
Repaint all your rooms to neutral colors. However, feel free to add tasteful accent walls of different colors or patterns. Be careful not to make the patterns too busy, however.
8. Learn How to Accessorize
Next, with your home mostly empty, now’s a good time to accessorize. This is where Tip 6 comes into play, you can’t afford to overdo it.
However, using the right coffee table and couch combination can add a lot of character and charm to a room. Similarly, the right bedframe sheet set can really liven up a bedroom.
Avoid sliding furniture right up to the wall, using drab or boring colors and designs, etc.
9. Perfect Your Curb Appeal
When you’re showing your home, one of the first things people will see is the exterior of your home – your property. This is often a strong first impression for most buyers.
Make sure your grass is cut and all vegetation is neatly trimmed. There should be no tree branches, weeds, or shrubbery up against the house. Additionally, the yard, sidewalk, and driveway should be free of trash, debris, and clutter.
10. Use Color-Pops, but Not Too Many
As we spoke of furnishing your home before, we said that less is more. The same is true when it comes to placing color-pops throughout the house.
Color-popping is a great way to make your house come alive and keep it from being too boring. However, too much and your house will look like a busy circus. Instead, limit yourself to a few color-pops per room.
You can keep the same color throughout the house or vary it from room to room. Use decorative pillows, wall art, window treatments, rugs, a small piece of furniture, etc.
11. Make Necessary Repairs to Improve Move-In Readiness
If you’re trying to get the most money for your house, one of the home staging tips you can’t ignore is making minor repairs and updates. Sure, it’s tedious, time-consuming, and will cost you some money. However, your work here will pay off in the long run.
Homebuyers won’t get excited about a house where they’re cataloging all the work that needs to be done once they move in. Take care of all the minor including but not limited to:
- Leaking pipes, plumbing, appliances
- Damaged trim, drywall, flooring
- Broken appliances
- Cracked or broken windows
- Broken fixtures
- Burnt-out lightbulbs
- Damaged seals around doors, windows, bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks
12. Have a Theme or Purpose for Each Room
Another home staging tip that helps buyers see the potential of your home is creating a theme or purpose for each room. Some rooms can be ambiguous or seemingly out of place. Designating a purpose for each room while you stage your home can help clear things up and improve a buyers reception of the house.
Be careful, however, not to make any bedrooms or areas gender-specific, as you don’t know who will be buying your house.
13. Decorate with Plants
In the same way that people love natural sunlight, we also like plants. Despite taking ourselves out of nature by living in a city and dwelling in a home, we still appreciate touches of it in our everyday lives.
Decorating your home with plants is a great way to appeal to buyers’ innate underlying desire to be surrounded by nature. Additionally, having plants in your home or workplace have proven benefits. These can affect our moods, productivity and more.
14. Take Pictures with and Without Staging
Finally, one of the most valuable home staging tips we can offer is taking pictures of your house before and after staging. There are two major purposes of this piece of advice.
First, while staging a home helps people see the potential of each room, it can also limit someone’s imagination. Being able to see the home empty may help them see the room from a different perspective that appeals to their lifestyle more.
Secondly, people love Cinderella stories, seeing before and after pictures of your once-bare home beautifully staged could be a powerful selling point.
We Can Help
As the seller, a for-sale-by-owner sale can be a little intimidating, even with all the best home staging tips. But relax – you can do this and best of all, you don’t need to do it alone.
We can help you list your home and won’t charge you exorbitant realtor fees most people are subjected to. We believe in home selling simplified.