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Sell Your Home Quickly - Staging

Updated on July 19, 2013

Staging a Home

Realtors will give you many dos and don’ts when they are listing your home for a quick sale, but planning ahead and staging your home for a quick house sale is very beneficial. Selling a home as is will probably not net you the amount you think your home is worth. It is a good idea to go look at some model homes in your price range, as that will give you some good ideas about decorating.

I have a friend that recently listed her home after having it staged, and it sold the second day on the market. The market here in Jacksonville is still behind many areas of the country and selling your home on the second day is very rare. There are professional stagers which are reasonably priced, and they can be a great source of suggestions, often using items you already own but rearranging them.

Successful House Sale

Flicker Patti Parker
Flicker Patti Parker

Kitchen Upgraded with New Backsplash

My Photo
My Photo

Kitchen and Bathroom

You can choose to do major upgrades in your kitchen or bathroom if necessary and will probably recoup that money in a sale. Kitchens are quite often a major selling point in a home sale, however, first things first. Here are some basic tips to get your home ready for the upcoming sale. If remodeling a kitchen is not possible, you may be able to re-surface the counter tops or do some refinishing work on your cabinets. Even replacing old knobs and handles on the cabinets and drawers often sparks up the look in your kitchen. Arranging items in your cabinet to make them look more spacious is advisable.

The bathroom counter tops should not have electric toothbrushes, cosmetics or other personal items. Use your cabinets for these items. Things that look attractive in a bathroom are guest towels tied with ribbons, small scented soaps or a small colorful plant

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Bathtub Refinishing Kit

Countertops, Overlay or Resurfacing, Do It Yourself

First Impressions

The first impression of your home is obviously the front yard and the home entrance. The lawn should be in good shape, cut and edged with some attractive foliage and fresh mulch, if possible.

Your home entrance should have a light and airy feel. Use neutral colors and make the first view into your home one that is pleasing to the eye. Get rid of throw rugs. You want your home to look spacious as well.

Cleaning Service

A dirty home is a major turnoff to any buyer. Buyers will come into your home and see all the work they will have to do in order to get the house ready to move in. Cleaning your home includes steam cleaning tile and grout, shampooing carpets, cleaning windows, and closets to name just a few things. Sometimes hiring a cleaning service is the best choice.

Odors Offend

Odors are also a major turnoff, especially in the kitchen. Moreover, if you are a smoker, remove all ashtrays from the house before buyers come inside. Living rooms sometimes smell the worst due to smoke. Clean curtains, carpet and furniture will help get the cigarette smoke out of the house. I would suggest that you smoke on the back porch or in the garage until the house is sold. It is a good idea to bake cookies before a buyer comes, as that is a smell almost everyone likes.


It is very important to de-personalize and de-clutter your home. Some people temporarily rent a storage shed to house numerous things that should be removed from the house. If there is too much furniture in a room, put some in storage so the buyer can appreciate the square footage of the house

Selling a House Means De-cluttering

Remove personal pictures from the walls. Remove excess knick knacks. Use art pictures instead and the rule of three is always good, for example 1 larger and 2 smaller pictures grouped together at eye level.

Simplify for an Open Airy Look

Flicker Patti Parker
Flicker Patti Parker

Broom Closet

Flicker 2tberrys
Flicker 2tberrys

Update Home and Tips for Success

  • Clear off all the items that are on your refrigerator being held with magnets and the top also.
  • Clear off the counter tops, leaving just a couple of small appliances like a toaster.
  • If your appliances are very outdated, they should also be replaced.
  • Use attractive house plants and fresh flowers if possible. Get rid of unattractive plants. Silk flowers are a better choice in that case.
  • Leave all your lights on, just like they do in model homes.
  • If you have pets, particularly dogs, it is important to make sure they are not in the house when realtors bring clients. Pick their feeding dishes up off the floor for that time period.
  • A strategically placed mirror is a good idea so the buyers see themselves in the home, rather than pictures of your family, which sometimes distracts the buyers from looking at your home.

Closet Organizers

John Louis Home Standard Closet Shelving System, Red Mahogany
John Louis Home Standard Closet Shelving System, Red Mahogany

Solid wood closet shelving system with 12-inch depth and red mahogany finish--great for bedroom, pantry, linen, laundry room or foyer closets

Wall mounted; sized for reach-in and small walk-in closets--fits up to a 10-foot closet

Provides up to 24 feet of shelf space and 18 feet of hanging space; ventilated for air circulation



Flicker rhapsady
Flicker rhapsady

Closets and Bookshelves

Closets should look half full and the closet floor should be empty. That sounds like a difficult task for many of us, but that is where the storage rental might come in handy for things like luggage, etc.

Book shelves should also follow the rule of thirds, with 1/3rd being books, 1/3rd vases and pictures and 1/3rd empty.

More Tips to Selling a Home

  • A home office should also look generic; it will help a buyer to picture their own office in that room.
  • Arrange your furniture in an attractive grouping and avoid overcrowding.
  • Simple lines for draperies or window coverings are always more appealing.
  • Remove worn pillow on your sofa and use a couple of designer pillows. The accessories are where you can use your colors since most of the house should be neutral.
  • Bedrooms also need to look neat with beds made, dressers cleared of excess items, clothes and shoes put away.

Back Yard and Garage

Don’t forget about the backyard as you want it to be a place where people might enjoy sitting out and also attractive plants in colorful pots are very attractive. The back yard is also of interest to families that are looking for a nice play area for their children.

Last, but not least, clean up your garage. If you have so much junk in your garage that you can no longer park your car inside it is time to get rid of some things or put them in storage. Seeing a car parked in the garage along with tools and lawn equipment put away neatly is all it takes.

Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar

Do Your Homework to Find the Right Realtor

In conclusion, find a realtor that sells frequently in your area, and it helps to talk to neighbors as they might know the sale prices of recent homes purchased. Do not misrepresent your home on the listing because if buyer arrive and does not see what has been advertised, they will not buy your home. Stage the home before the realtor takes pictures and you will probably enjoy a quick sale if your house is priced correctly.

Article(C) April, 2012 by Pamela Oglesby. All rights reserved.

Staging a Home

Would you consider hiring someone to stage your home before selling?

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Submit a Comment

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 2 years ago from United States

    Victoria, It is always a lot of work to pack up and move. Good luck with your move, and thanks for your comments.

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    Great advice. I'm looking at selling in the next year. Right now, I'm working on decluttering. I've let things pile up, so I have a long way to go!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    RTalloni, I have a friend who went to what I considered great lengths to stage her home before it went on the market and in this economy it sold within the first 24 hours. Thanks for your comments.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    This is an excellent look at what to do to help get a home sold and it should be helpful to anyone wanting to put their house on the market. Super tips full of common sense!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    msshandiaball, Thank you so much for your comments.

    erorogers, My sister is a realtor and she says the same thing as she has seen the result. I appreciate your comments.

  • erogers profile image

    erogers 5 years ago from Aurora, Illinois

    Very nice suggestions. It's hard to sell in this market - advice like this is spot on and can really make the difference between moving or going nowhere. I especially like the comments about de-personalizing - I always just shake my head when walking into a home filled with family pictures.

  • msshandriaball profile image

    Shandria yanay Ball 5 years ago from Anniston

    very informative hub with great tips and suggestions.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Stephanie, It makes sense to me also. We love our pictures but we want a fast sale. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Talullah, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

    Excellent suggestions! I never thought about putting away family pictures and having mirrors around the house so that buyers could picture themselves in the home. I like that tip!

  • Talullah profile image

    Talullah 5 years ago from SW France

    A great hub jam-packed with advice. This is the sort of article that everyone who is trying to sell their house should read! Voted up!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Dusty, It sounds like you were very smart in handling your aunts house and it paid off. It would have been a pleasure to meet you in person. Thank you or sharing your experience. Blessing to you.

    Lady E, It is quite a job to make most homes look like a model home but it pays off. Thanks for your comments.

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

    Very important Hub. First impressions are so powerful. The house practically has to look like a show room. (Model Homes)

    I've picked up some extra tips from you. Thanks.

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona


    even though I've not got a common place home, to say the least, like my ride in motorcycle shower/wash, lol

    You have provided good information that I applied to my aunts house in the Pensacola area, I had good will come in and take out much along with boxing personal photos and stuff. I used a wand steamer with citrous to blend the areas pictures hung on painted walls and in general on the carpets and curtains. Priced it 10% under market and sold it sans a realtor to a church member and got cash as is funding/ title insurance and search in 7 days, the whole thing lasted about 30 days, I was expecting California 90 day closing and was happy it was not the case. My biggest hurdle was getting the cash and have it machine counted wrapped and verified by hand. They wanted to just wire it but I declined and caused a problem as to legality of traveling with that much cash.

    I'm like an old mule stubborn and finally packed a fire safe in my jeep and headed for home.

    If I knew you were that close could have had lunch or dinner.

    Great hub,



  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Eddy, Thank you so much for your comments. I hope you enjoy your day also.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    Some great tips here which I am sure will benefit many;take care and enjoy your day.


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Wayne, It seems like realtors and many people have begun to understand that clutter, odors, etc. are a detriment to a quick sale. Thanks for your comments.

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

    Well done, Pam...lots of good advice here. Many years ago my wife and I were looking to buy a pre-owned home. The things you pointed out were huge distractions and really hid any true qualities the homes might have had. Clutter was the most common of all. Odors can be especially annoying as most people who live in a home become accustomed to the smell and do not notice it. I always heard that you should bake fresh cookies just before the lookieloos show up for their tour. Thanks for sharing. WB

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Nell, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    This is great, I wish I could have read this when my brother was selling his home. I love the idea of the mirror, and cookies! yes! make it that good old family home smell, wonderful ideas! voted all the way! nell

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    BPOP, It sounds like you are staging your home to suit your needs, which is fun. Thanks for your comments.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 5 years ago

    I can't even contemplate trying to sell my home because I'm doing quite the opposite right now. I'm changing almost everything and loving every minute of it. However your advice is spot on and staging has become quite a new and interesting profession. Up, interesting, useful and awesome.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    anginwu, Thank you for sharing your personal experience.

    Rosemary, It is amazing how important the little things are and you chose a good way to make life easier when your house was on the market. Thanks for your comments.

    Ruby, I appreciate your comments and I imagine you are glad to have that move behind you.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    I just went through this last year, selling my home, then buying again. This is a very informative article, lots of good ideas..Thank you for sharing..

  • Rosemay50 profile image

    Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

    A very useful hub Pamela, lots of good ideas. It is amazing just how much bigger a room look once the clutter is gone and furniture rearranged. The mirrors is a great idea.

    When I had my house on the market I bought bed covers, the type that fold over and under the pillows, and only put them on when the raltors were due, that way the beds always looked neat and freash, and I didn't have to race around changing bed linen and have piles of washing waiting to be done.

    A great useful hub and voting up

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    I remember all the things we had to do when we sold our house at the beginning of the housing slum. We had to give our yard a new look, they call it curb appeal. We almost had to have someone can and stage our house--looks is everything but thank goodness, it sold just before we hit the last straw. Good tips and I agree staging the house can make a huge difference. Rated up.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    moonlake, I hate selling a house also and I may never move again! It is a lot of work and inconvenience. Thank you for your comments.

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 5 years ago from America

    I did all the things you mentioned in your hub. It is so much work but that is what you have to do. The pets got tired of me packing them up and putting them in the back of the station wagon. Only had to drive the car next door and would wait in my friend's house until the realtor left. Selling a house is on my list of worse experiences.

    Great hub good information voted up.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    drbj, I think soft music is a great idea. Thanks for your comments.

    Cardisa, Yes, the shows you watched were exactly what I was talking about in this hub. I appreciate your comments.

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

    I other words, the buyers should be able to picture them self in the house! I use to watch programs like this. There were a couple of programs that help people to sell their houses and they would bring in a "stager" and the house would be sold in a short time. Using neutral tones on the walls also helps to make the rooms look larger. Thanks for sharing Pamela.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

    Great ideas, Pamela, for selling one's home more quickly. Thank you for sharing them. I knew about having plants displayed and the power of the aroma of cookies or bread baking in the oven. I would add one more: pleasant but not distracting music playing softly somewhere in the background. Seems more 'homey' somehow.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    teaches, Thank you for pointing out my mistake which I immediately corrected. I appreciate your comments.

    prasetio, I appreciate your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Blessings to you also.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very inspiring hub. Sometimes I heard that selling house is not easy. My friend, you came up with solutions. I really appreciate your work and you have done a great job here by sharing this hub with us. Rated up and useful!


  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    Great suggestions, especially the mirror effect. It is better to put those lovely family pics away for the showing. I noticed that some of your suggestions were posted twice, didn't know if you meant to do that. It is a good reinforcer. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Wendy, Somehow that doesn't surprise me as it is very attractive. Thanks for your comment.

  • profile image

    Wendy 5 years ago

    I think that kitchen backsplash is awesome.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Sunnie Day, I am so glad this hub was helpful to you. I knew you were going to sell soon as I read your hub this morning but I had been planning to write this hub for a couple of days. Thanks so much for your comments and good luck with your sale.

  • profile image

    Sunnie Day 5 years ago

    Great hub! Being that our house is going on the market this gave me great ideas! Thank you so much!