Selling a home is stressful, mostly if you have never done it before. You want the property to sell quickly and at the highest possible price. To do that, you have to present the property so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. This is where home staging comes in.

Hiring a professional stager will cost you about $300 – $600 for the initial consultation and then $500 or so a month per room, or you can choose to do the job yourself. The following are eight simple and cost-effective home staging tips and things to know when staging a home to sell.

  • You can only make one first impression. Stand on the curb and take an honest look at your home. This is the first impression prospective purchasers will have. Your lawn has to be immaculate, and trimming the shrubs is a must.  Your front door should look freshly painted. Home staging tip: According to Zillow, black and charcoal gray front doors can add as much as $6,000 to the value of your home. Add freshly potted flowers beside the front door. Bikes and trash cans must be out of sight.
  • Clean, clean, and clean again. Hiring a professional cleaning crew for a super cleaning is one of the best home staging ideas. Don’t forget to clean all the windows, inside and out; clean bathroom grout and behind the toilet. This is the time to move your furniture so you can vacuum behind and under it.
  • Home staging ideas include observing the ¼ to ½ rule. The majority of homes have way too much furniture and way too many accessories. You have to do more than straighten the clutter. You have to remove it. A quarter of the furniture probably needs to go into storage. At least a third of your books should be boxed, and half of your accessories put away.  Don’t forget to apply the same rule to closets, cabinets, and counters. Stuffing closets and cabinets full makes them look small to potential buyers. Counters overflowing with appliances and knickknacks look messy and are distracting.
  • If it’s broken, fix it. You might be used to the door that sticks or the railing that wobbles, but prospective buyers aren’t, and they will be looking for potential problems. Even if there’s no structural issue associated with a crack in your ceiling, buyers will look at it and wonder. If you’ve been putting off hiring a handyperson to fix little problems, now is the time to do it.
  • Stage rooms for their intended purpose. If you’ve been using your dining room for a home office, now is the time to put away your computer and filing cabinets, polish the table, and set it for formal dining, or at least add a vase of fresh flowers. Take the exercise equipment out of the spare bedroom and set up a bed and dresser. If you have an eat-in kitchen, make sure it has a table and chairs.
  • Frame the views. Home staging tips include not hiding the architectural elements of your home. Arrange the furniture to highlight the fireplace, for instance. You should place tall furnishings and accessories against tall walls. Highlight traffic flow instead of blocking it. Arrange the furniture away from the walls instead of lining it up against them.
  • Eliminate your personality. One of the most important things to know when staging a home to sell is that prospective buyers want to see themselves living in the house. Anything that distracts buyers from that has to go. You want your home to look like a showroom, not an ode to your eclectic taste. One of the best home staging tips you will get is to pack away personal photos and vacation mementos. Wall art is fine as long as it doesn’t call attention to itself. Put away personal items like toothbrushes, blow dryers, and makeup.
  • Light it up. If your home has excellent natural light, make sure prospective buyers notice it. Heavy drapes and blinds that obscure a beautiful view are self-defeating. If the view is not so great, consider attractive window treatments that still take advantage of the available natural light. Add lamps to dark rooms. Before an open house or private showing, be sure to turn on all the lights, including any lighting you have under kitchen cabinets. Light gives the illusion of space, even in a small room. Consider replacing lightbulbs for brighter ones.

If you are unsure whether staging is worth the effort or just a current fad, consider the fact that staged homes sell 88% faster than unstaged homes and for an average of 20% more. In other words, staging works.

To learn more about staging a home or finding a recommended professional in the area, contact Sheridan Solomon & Associates today. We’ll be happy to fill you in on the latest news, local pros, and exciting trends and styles that sell. Contact us directly or leave us a quick note to let us know what we can do for you.