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How to Stage Your Home to Sell it Fast

Updated on January 9, 2013

Make the House You are Selling a Model Home

Make your house desirable to potential buyers
Make your house desirable to potential buyers | Source

Our house is on the market and our Realtor did a walk through to help determine our asking price. We reviewed comparable listings and discussed upgrades made since we purchased the house. The next and possibly most important topic of discussion was how to stage our house to sell. We wanted top dollar for our home. How do you make it look most attractive and encourage sellers to buy quickly and at our desired asking price?

Top Five Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell

  • Depersonalize
  • Declutter
  • Clean your entire house
  • Repair any damages
  • Maintain yard and landscaping

Depersonalize the Decorations in your Home

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Show your mantle, not your family picturesKeep your decorations non-personalWe removed our family pictures when we put our house on the market
Show your mantle, not your family pictures
Show your mantle, not your family pictures | Source
Keep your decorations non-personal
Keep your decorations non-personal | Source
We removed our family pictures when we put our house on the market
We removed our family pictures when we put our house on the market | Source

Depersonalize In Order to Sell Your House

Depersonalizing our house was something I was aware of and least happy about. We have five super cute kids and you can tell how much we adore them by how many pictures of them are hanging in our house.

The pictures had to go.

Buyers want to see themselves in your house, not you. We needed to erase the fact that a happy family currently lives there and stage it such that a new family can see where they might put their pictures and decorations.

Our Realtor made another interesting comment about depersonalizing that I had not considered. If your mantle is full of decorations and family pictures, interested buyers could be drawn to the cute faces in the frames and fail to notice the intricate detail in the mantle wood or how much they love the fire place.

Therefore, the moment the realtor walked out the door, our depersonalization began.

Declutter your Home When Preparing to Sell

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Kitchens sell homes. Make your counters appear as large as possibleRemove clutter from your house to sellRemove any clutter when your house is for saleA simple centerpiece can be a nice dresser decoration
Kitchens sell homes. Make your counters appear as large as possible
Kitchens sell homes. Make your counters appear as large as possible | Source
Remove clutter from your house to sell
Remove clutter from your house to sell | Source
Remove any clutter when your house is for sale
Remove any clutter when your house is for sale | Source
A simple centerpiece can be a nice dresser decoration
A simple centerpiece can be a nice dresser decoration | Source

Declutter Your Home to Encourage Buyers

With five young children, clutter had run amuck. My husband was thrilled that our house would be decluttered. We first needed to get everything off the counters. You would be amazed how much space will reappear when magazines and books are not stacked.

The kids needed to get their rooms free of clutter as well. We let them each keep their favorite stuffed animals in their rooms, but other toys needed to be boxed up and moved out of the room. We assured our kids they we weren’t selling their toys, but we were setting them aside for the move.

We removed extra furniture. Our oversized chair in our great room has an ottoman and we decided that the ottoman needed to be removed. A room really opens up when a few furniture items are put in storage.

Clean your House when Preparing for Showings

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Have your children make their beds each day in case you have a showingPut the toilet seat down when preparing for showingsClean and organize bathrooms daily
Have your children make their beds each day in case you have a showing
Have your children make their beds each day in case you have a showing | Source
Put the toilet seat down when preparing for showings
Put the toilet seat down when preparing for showings | Source
Clean and organize bathrooms daily
Clean and organize bathrooms daily | Source

Cleaning Checklist

  • Wipe down all counters
  • Clean all windows
  • Vacuum carpets/clean floors
  • Make beds
  • Put away all laundry
  • Put down toilet seats
  • Remove kitchen and bathroom towels

Clean Your House!

We should always have a clean house, but there are times that a busy lifestyle can result in a house that looks lived in. Potential buyers want to see the house they can live in, not the one that you currently do.

Clean your house.

Move in condition attracts buyers. A clean house shows that you care for your property. Buyers want to buy a home that was cared for and maintained.

Repair any Damages to House

Depending on how long you have lived in your house, repair might be necessary. We had an issue where our roof had a leak and created dry wall damage. The roof was repaired and this was disclosed to our realtor. While the dry wall was replaced, it needs to be repainted. We will be addressing this issue immediately. Acknowledging a repair issue is one thing, but failing to finalize the repair is quite another.

Additionally, do you have any nicks or other drywall damage? Consider a container of spackle and a small paint brush for touch ups.

An hour or so of touch up and repair can help translate into a quick sale of your home.

Curb Appeal Draws Buyers to your Home

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Repaint your trim and maintain your landscapingAlways keep your grass watered and mowed when you are trying to sell
Repaint your trim and maintain your landscaping
Repaint your trim and maintain your landscaping | Source
Always keep your grass watered and mowed when you are trying to sell
Always keep your grass watered and mowed when you are trying to sell | Source

Maintain your Yard When it is for Sale

Your first impression of a home is when you drive by or pull up in the driveway. The day our house went on the market, we cut our grass and worked in our gardens. We cut back plants and removed a few that became victims to the summer drought. We wanted our landscaping to look maintained and add to the house’s curb appeal.

How you maintain the outside of your home is a good indicator of how you maintain the inside.

A Market For Buyers

Interest rates are low and the market is starting to recover. We will see if we can sell our home and purchase a new place to personalize and clutter. In the meantime, we will do our best to maintain a home that someone else will fall in love with.

We built our house before our children were born and all of our children will know this as their first home. We will remember their first steps; first throw up on the carpet and five rounds of potty training. We have been tracking their heights for years behind the pantry door in the kitchen. I will also remember daily walks around the block saying hello to our amazing neighbors.

We have found ourselves at a cross roads. We love our house, but are considering a new place to call home. We will be packing memories along with our belongings.

New memories and adventure could be just on the horizon.

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    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, appsthatpayyou, for stopping by and commenting. We were able to sell our house in a timely manner and I think that staging made a big difference!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Denise. There are a few more of my own tips that I need to implement, but hopefully it will all work out quickly. I am sure you have tons of advice on this topic if you have moved a lot!

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Good advice. We recently relocated and many homes we looked at could have benefited from your tips. Well done!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Do you live in a library? :)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I was afraid of that, Jelly & Twins. If you include the kids' books, we've got something like 2000 books in our house, and the shelves are overflowing. If we want to sell in five years or so, I'd better start pruning now!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Brainy, I knew Jelly could help you!

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      Brainy, shelves are often a nice feature in a home, but ideally, I would have asked my sellers to leave just a few items to accentuate the shelves, but otherwise empty them so that buyers can imagine their own belongings there.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      I honestly forgot you were a realtor! We have a few more repairs and things to do but hopefully we are well on our way to selling. Thanks for reading!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      We were told to have our bookcases organized, but our largest set of bookcases is built in in the den. I think you would need to assess how much the bookcases detract from the house. Thanks for reading, Brainy.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, raggededge. We do love our house, but are hoping it will sell quickly. We are excited at the prospect of a new house!

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      Good information. As a Realtor, I *always* encouraged my buyers to stage their homes. It makes a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to sell a house and the size of offer you'll get.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      These are great tips for preparing your home for sale! Thankfully, we don't have to worry about that right now, but it's always in the back of our minds: how will we declutter and repair stuff if we ever want to sell?

      Did your realtor give you any advice about bookshelves? We have tons of bookcases that we can't live without, but they do give a lived-in look to our home. Do you think we'll have to pack away all our books when we put our house on the market (a few years down the line, hopefully)?

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 5 years ago from Wales

      Good solid advice. Thank you. Your house is beautiful and I wish you well on your new home adventure.