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Home Staging - Prepping Your Home for Sale

Updated on June 28, 2008

Stage Your Home To Sell

It usually only takes a few seconds for a buyer to determine if he or she is not interested in a house. Sometimes it only takes driving by a poorly maintained home to discourage a potential buyer. Now obviously, your house needs to be seen before it can sell, right? In today’s competitive market, your house needs to be priced right, and it needs to look better than the competition in order to start to draw reasonable offers.

You may have heard the term “home staging” on TV, in a magazine, or around your local real estate office. For a few years, folks trying to sell their home didn’t worry much about this because houses were flying off the market…sometimes selling for more than asking price! In today’s market, however, this is just not the case. Don’t fret though! Here are some tips to help you prep your house and have it show ready in no time.

Steer the potential buyers eye to the best features the home has to offer, and make sure those features are in tip top shape. Bring in as much natural light as possible. Always have drapes and shutters open to eliminate the feel of gloominess.

Balance the furniture and accessories to room sizes. If you have dramatic vaulted ceilings make sure you have some tall plants or furniture that fit the room. Make sure pictures are also scaled to room sizes and nearby furniture sizes.

Depersonalize and de-clutter the home. Move items off of the kitchen counter, remove all knickknacks, remove family pictures and memorabilia, and minimize the amount of clothing in closets. You don’t want potential buyers to feel like they are invading someone’s home, you want them to picture their family calling this place home.

Accessorize! Dress empty rooms, purchase new throw pillows for the sofa, hang new shower curtains, and fluffy new towels. You can use tall plants to relieve dead space syndrome.

Oh, and by all means, tend to your landscaping! Trim trees and bushes, add new mulch or rock, edge your lawn and plant beds, and add some nice flowering pots to porches.

Curb appeal after all is the determining factor of whether or not most would be buyers even enter your home, so you want it to look as inviting and manicured as possible. Clean the windows, gutters, soffits and roof if necessary. Paint too! Some homes can get away with slapping a fresh coat of paint on the front door to help make it seem more inviting, but if the whole house really is due, see if it fits your budget. This applies to the interior as well. If certain areas are in visible need of touch-ups make sure you do them.

Lastly, keep in mind that this house you are selling is now an investment that you are trying to get top dollar for. Take a step back and get rid of all of those personal feelings you have for your house or memories of why things look the way they do. It is no longer your “home” once it goes on the market for sale, so you want it to be neutrally appealing to as many people as possible, even if you typically have eccentric taste. Listen to your real estate agent when s/he gives you staging tips or advice, he or she does this for a living, wants to sell your home just as much as you do, and has your best interests in mind when making suggestions like these.

balance furniture with room size

This room is balanced, and decorated neutrally.
This room is balanced, and decorated neutrally.

Manicured lawn & landscaping

Keep a manicured, edged lawn looking nice throughout the showing process.
Keep a manicured, edged lawn looking nice throughout the showing process.

Minimize Clutter

Home Makeover via Home Staging


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    • profile image

      Staged Homes NC 9 years ago

      Love all your pics. Encouraging home sellers to put aside their personal feelings is essential (albeit hard to do)

    • profile image

      Staged Homes NC 9 years ago

      Love all your pics. Encouraging home sellers to put aside their personal feelings is essential (albeit hard to do)

    • profile image

      JudyO 10 years ago

      Staging Your Home To Sell is basically builders do to their model homes. Staging offers a comfortable, neutral feel, that allows the buyer to envision himself living in that home. A properly staged home definately has a competitive edge over an unstaged home.

    • Tommy B profile image

      Tommy B 10 years ago

      Staging your home is the only way I think, you are correct if one wishes to sell in this buyers market one has to Stage their Home To Sell.

      Tommy B


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