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How to stage a house to sell

8 home staging tips to sell your next home faster

open concept home
Photo (c) hikesterson - Getty Images

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you know there’s a lot to do to get your house ready to list. Staging your home is an important step that can add real value to your property for prospective buyers. Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your home in the best light. Check out our eight staging tips below.

What is staging?

Staging a home is the act of readying a home for the real estate process to make a property more appealing to buyers. Professional home stagers are experienced in placing items in a way that highlights a home's best features and helps prospective homebuyers picture themselves there. According to the National Association of Realtors, home staging has been shown to have a positive effect on homes' time on the market and the final sale price.

Home staging may include decluttering, cleaning, making home repairs and touch-ups and thoughtfully placing furniture and art throughout a home.

According to realtor.com, the average home staging cost is between $300 and $600 for an initial consultation and an additional $500-plus per month per staged room for service.

Home staging tips

1. Declutter

All the scattered papers, towering laundry hampers and unopened mail need to go. Maybe you like to stock up on paper towels and laundry detergent from Costco, but your kitchen is no longer the place to store these extras. Part of staging is about creating a serene, idealized version of your home so prospective buyers can see all the possibilities your property offers. They can fill in their own clutter later.

2. Depersonalize

You want buyers to be able to see themselves living in your home. That means taking down family photos, overly personal tchotchkes or anything else that could impede the imagination process of your potential buyers. Depersonalizing also prevents strangers circulating your home during open houses from knowing too much about you and your family.

3. Make affordable repairs

Don’t wait to make needed repairs until you’re in the negotiation phase of selling your house. If paint needs to be updated, cracks repaired or fixtures updated, consider making these repairs before you start showing your home. Anything that helps get your home in a near-perfect condition is only going to help.

4. Edit, edit, edit

Consider putting some items, like bulkier furniture pieces, in storage. The fewer items in a home, the more room buyers will have to move around and get a sense of the space. Doing this can also help improve the flow of your home and help spaces appear larger and more appealing.

5. Prioritize areas

The kitchen and master bedroom are key areas to invest in to help increase your property value. For staging, these two spaces, along with the main living room, are the most important rooms to focus on. Be sure these spaces are decluttered, depersonalized and edited down to make them as appealing as possible to a buyer.

7. Make the best use of the spaces you have

Have a spare room you’re using for storage? Consider staging it as a home office instead. When staging your home it’s important not only to consider what you use the space for but also what will appeal to the most buyers. A real estate agent can help you identify and make the most of these spaces.

8. Don't forget about the outside

Curb appeal is a major selling point when it comes to real estate. You can lose a sale before a prospective buyer even steps foot into your entryway if the outside of the home looks run-down and in need of some major TLC. Make sure the exterior paint and roof are in good shape. Do some cleanup, and plant what you can — or hire a landscaper if it’s in your budget.

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