4 staging tips to prepare your home for sale

4 staging tips to prepare your home for sale

Staging is a smart way to present your home before selling and can ensure that a higher percentage of buyers will be able to see themselves living there. Staging is not decorating – it highlights the features of a home while focusing attention away from less desirable areas. 

Below are four staging tips to get you started as you prepare to put your home on the market.

1. Don’t cramp the hallways.

If you hang pictures in a dark, narrow hallway, buyers (who are naturally curious) will stop in the hallway to look at the pictures. This will leave them with a cramped feeling. If the hallway is empty, buyers will continue to the next open room where they will experience more space and light. 

2. Color matters.

If you are thinking of repainting rooms in your house, I recommend letting the stager pick the color to match what will stay in the room. Neutral is usually best. We're now seeing tan colors transition over to grays, but not every house will look good in a particular color. 

3. Get photos online.

Online pictures are critical in getting buyers in the door, and staging beforehand helps entice buyers to see for themselves how good your house really is. It also entices buyers who are ready, willing and able to write an offer and get to closing. Part of the goal is to make the house more desirable, and in this competitive seller’s market, it will help attract multiple offers.

4. Use what you already have.

Staging does not have to be expensive. Many homes are staged with the furniture that the sellers already own. Often, furniture in one room can be moved to a different room to help focus a buyer’s eye or give purpose to the room. 

Afterwards, we receive a report from the stager with a list of tasks for each room to help us prepare the house for sale. It is up to the seller to decide how much or little to do. 

One important feature of the staging session is that we all have the same focus so we can work together as a team. With the help of the staging report, we can prioritize what is most important to do first and what can wait if there are time and funds available later.

Would you sell your car without washing or vacuuming it? Probably not, as that is not the best way to get a top dollar return. While you are certainly not required to stage your house before selling, I would highly recommend it.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Dianne Hansen is a realtor in Fairfax, Va. For more than 10 years, Hansen has specialized in real estate expertise for buyers and sellers, offering comparative market analysis and FSBO advice. She is a recipient of the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

As of December 16, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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