Having been a Realtor for over 10 years I KNOW what truly works. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say staging your home properly does make a difference. I have seen it time and time again! It will bring you top dollar AND help your home sell much faster.

When you are selling your home it’s very important to keep in mind that you need to attract as many buyers as possible. All potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. This means that they can’t be distracted by all your stuff or even worse…lack of maintenance. From the moment they pull into your driveway a buyer is making mental notes and typically adding up how much they will have to spend after they move in. The more they become concerned about the farther they run.

Home staging does not mean that you have to spend thousands of $$$. It can be some very simple things that will make a huge difference.

The most basic things that all sellers should do are:

  • Depersonalize your home: Remove all personal photos, collections, themed rooms and your children’s artwork. Yes, I know this sounds harsh BUT you aren’t selling your personal life. You are selling your home and the buyers MUST focus on your home while they are viewing it.
  • Declutter: Start packing everything that isn’t necessary to live with on a short term basis. Everything needs to be at a bare minimum. If you have to rent a storage unit then please do so.
  • Clean, clean, clean! Everywhere…windows, blinds, baseboards, carpets and so on. When I say everywhere…I mean everywhere. Not only does this make the house look nice but it will smell nice too.
  • Remove large furniture pieces that make a room seem to small
  • Repair any known issues.
  • Pressure wash the exterior including patios, driveway, sidewalk, patio furniture and the front entrance.
  • Install fresh mulch and either trim or install new plants. Add pops of color with flowers. Important note: If you add flower pots then they need to be maintained while your home is on the market. There is nothing worse than walking up to the front door and there are dead flowers staring at you.
  • New welcome mat at the front door.

You can stop here or take it one step further.

The next level of home staging that I highly suggest is:

  • Paint the front door. A brighter color always shows up well in photos. Install new hardware if yours is old or faded.
  • Paint any room that needs new paint OR that is not a neutral color. This includes base molding and interior doors. A nice, bright white coat of paint on base molding and doors can make all the difference in the world.
  • If the exterior needs to be painted in the near future then it is worth every penny to go ahead and have it completed.
  • Steam clean the tile floors and grout.

Yes, I know this sounds like a lot of work. But the truth of the matter is that the longer your home sits on the market the more work it becomes for you. That’s why it is important to do things properly from the beginning and it will pay off!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.