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10 Smart Tips for Successful Home Staging

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10 Smart Tips for Successful Home Staging


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You know that your house needs to be clean and tidy when you’re trying to sell, but scrubbing the floors and fixing damage isn’t all that goes into staging a home. Since a good first impression is essential for finding a buyer, homeowners need to think about every detail of their home, not just the big things. Vim+Vigor Candle Co. shares 10 staging musts you might have overlooked:


  1. Remove family photos. You want people viewing your home to envision their family living in it, not yours. Erase personal touches like wedding photos and school portraits from the walls, and clear the fridge of grocery lists and kids’ report cards. If taking down pictures reveals nail holes in the wall, patch and paint them before your first showing.
  2. Mask evidence of pets. Not everyone likes pets, and even people who do might not want a house with obvious signs of animal inhabitants. Store pets’ food dishes, beds, and toys out of sight when not in use, keep the backyard and litter box clean of pet waste, and spring for a professional cleaning to eliminate lingering pet odors from your home. 
  3. Minimize smells. When preparing for a tour or open house, not only do you want to eliminate pet odors, but you also want to mask or remove smells. This means avoiding any cooking that includes fish, onions, garlic, and heavy spices. Consider also opening windows to let in fresh air. To add pleasing, aromatic scents, light a few candles. Vim+Vigor Candle Co. offers a range of fragrances to choose from made of natural soy wax. Not only do candles minimize odors, but they also add an air of ambience. 
  4. Clear countertops and furniture. No matter how clean your house is, clutter can make it look small and dingy. Remove unnecessary items from kitchen and bathroom countertops to increase visual space. Bathroom items like toothbrush chargers and hair brushes should be stored in a cabinet when not in use. In the kitchen, countertop appliances, drying racks, and cutting boards should be put away to create a clean and open feel. Beyond these areas, use The Spruce’s tips for room-by-room decluttering.
  5. Make your master bedroom gender-neutral. You want potential buyers to visualize themselves in your house. If your master bedroom is frilly and feminine or looks like a bachelor’s den, you could inadvertently turn people away. Repaint the walls in a gender-neutral color and replace bedding and accessories with something understated.
  6. Accessorize in threes: Grouping items in odd numbers creates visual appeal in your home’s interior. As you carefully place throw pillows and paintings, use the rule of three to create balance and interest.
  7. Clear the closets. Closets and cabinets that are stuffed to the brim suggest to buyers that a house lacks adequate storage. While you don’t need to empty your wardrobe completely, putting off-season and unused items into the attic creates the appearance of ample space.
  8. Upgrade landscaping: Your home’s exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and if the front yard is worse for wear, it could turn people away before they ever step inside. While professional landscaping can cost a couple thousand dollars, it makes such a big difference to your home’s curb appeal that it’s worth it. If you don’t have the money for professionals, it’s vital that you at least maintain the lawn, trim any bushes or hedges and plant flowers. If your backyard is visible from the street, it’s wise to upgrade landscaping in the rear as well.
  9. Pressure wash the exterior: Dirty siding can make your house appear older. While renting or buying a 1,300-1,600 psi pressure washer comes with an expense, pressure washing your home is a fast and easy way to get your home looking fresh. In addition to siding, pressure washers can effectively remove grime from driveways, patios, and decks.
  10. Install outdoor lighting: Open houses are usually scheduled during the day, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers won’t be checking out your home at night. Especially during the short days of winter, people might drive by after the sun is down. Add lighting along the driveway and front walk, ensure front porch lights are bright and functional, and keep some indoor lights on to create a warm and welcoming appearance. This guide from This Old House will help you choose the right lighting option for your home.

It’s hard to see your own home through a buyer’s eyes, but missing even a small detail could mean the difference between a sale and another month on the market. As you get ready to sell, ask your realtor, neighbors, and friends to take a fresh look at your house and offer suggestions for how you can improve its appeal.