Make a good first impression for potential buyers with these top DIY home staging ideas.
Selling your home can provide all sorts of challenges in a tough market. As we are getting ready to sell our home I have been doing a lot of research. It's important to know how you can achieve the biggest bang for your buck. Staging a house to sell can be somewhat time consuming, but it ultimately pays off if you do it correctly.
25 Tips for DIY Home Staging
Affordable home improvements sometimes feel out of reach. But there is so much you can do without competing a big remodel. And why hire a professional home stager when you can make improvements yourself?Here are easy solutions for what you can do to make prospective buyers fall in love with your home when they walk inside.
Interior DIY Home Staging
The most important thing you can do to sell your own home is to clean it. And not just surface clean. A deep cleaning that includes:
- Wiping moldings
- Hard water build-up
- Cleaning inside appliances that will remain (fridge, oven, etc)
- Vacuum out air vents
- Wiping fan blades
- Ceiling cobwebs
- Fingerprints on doors and windows
Clean anywhere that dirt collects. A clean home can be ancient and still sell because the living space is clean and orderly. Try out a few of my favorite gadgets for staying on top of the fans and cobwebs that build up.
Touch Up Paint
Touch up walls or baseboards with a fresh coat of paint. You can easily use a touch up paint pen for filling in those small nicks and scratches in your wood trim. Paint is a great way to give a surface a clean palette for low cost.
A good way to make a home look more appealing is by changing out old hardware for something more modern. This is a simple fix that can update your bathroom and kitchen cabinets without the big expense of remodeling. Handles and drawer pulls fade and get dirty over time, so this is an easy option for a nice and sleek look.
No one likes walking into a living room that has a pile of tv and cable cords on the floor. A well-staged home will not have any cords in sight. There are a few different ways to eliminate cord visibility for DIY home staging. A good start would be to invest in command strips and cord bundlers.
Command strips are helpful for attaching something heavier like a power strip, to another piece of furniture. Cord bundlers are a good choice for gathering cords into smaller bundles. I then attach my cord bundlers to cable clips that I can hide and attach underneath other pieces of furniture.
See how I use my cord storage in action!
Light it Up
One easy fix for DIY home staging is to make sure your home is light and visible inside. Open curtains, turn on lights. Whether through natural light or light fixtures, you want your home to be nice and bright. A light space is cozy and relaxing.
If needed, you can swap out an existing light fixture for something that gives off more light. Consider this option for a room that doesn't get as much natural light, even with windows open.
Replace Outlets and Switch Covers
If you can't get your outlets and switch covers clean, it's a good idea to replace them. This is a cheap option to install a more modern look.
Leave it with a Clean Scent
Scent is a huge factor when entering the interior of the home. This can also be a deterrent if you own a pet. No one wants to walk into a home that smells like animals. Leave your home smelling clean, but nothing overly potent before showing it. A mild candle scent is nice too.
Organize Cabinets and Closets
Without a doubt, be prepared for potential home buyers to open your cabinets and closets. It's best to have all of these personal items as organized as possible to maximize on space. If your cabinets are tidy and clean, it will always look like there is more room for storage which is very appealing to buyers.
Polish and Fill in Wood Surfaces
It's the little things that make the biggest difference. Unfortunately, cabinets, cupboards and railing tends to get scuffed up pretty good when you have a family. Natural wear and tear on a house.
The best way to overlook those natural scuffs for home staging is by using wood polish and wood markers to fill in the scratches. Polish will make your woodwork look shiny and new. Some types of polish and markers are able to fill in areas where the color is gone. This makes it look better taken care of.
When your cabinetry is in good shape, a buyer is more willing to invest knowing that they don't have to replace everything.
Don't Use Cheap Storage for DIY Home Staging
Even if you are on a tight budget, do not use plastic containers for display because it looks cheap. You want to have your space feel like it deserves a higher price. A woven basket or wooden tray will look much more elegant on your coffee table or on your dining room table than a plastic tray. Baskets and hard surface items are best.
If you must use a plastic storage unit, at least store it out of sight (for the most part) in a closet. If you can't afford to invest in some other containers, borrow some from a friend or family member.
Clear Off Counters
Ideally, you want as much space clear on your kitchen counters and bathroom countertops as possible. And yes, even your dining table. Clear counters gives the appearance of cleanliness and more space. And one of the most requested items for home buyers is more counter space.
A few decorations are fine. You can see how I style my table centerpiece here. But overall you want to eliminate most of the counter space clutter.
And speaking of clutter, a professional stager would tell your to pack away most of your personal belongings. Make your home feel open and spacious by minimizing "things" that are taking up space. You don't want every wall and surface jammed with furniture, pictures or decor. Less is more!
Your home feels much smaller when it is filled with stuff. For maximum impact, pick a few select decorations to place around specific rooms and put the rest into a storage space.
Clean or Replace Rugs
Gross floor rugs can ruin the effect of whatever you are trying to stage. Either clean your rugs or replace dingy rugs with something new that ties into your room theme.
This awesome tool is my new favorite for removing pet hair from my rugs and couches.
Size Rugs Correctly for Your Space
Make sure that all of the rugs in your home are the right size for the room they are in. For example, a rug should be big enough that you can see it, even with furniture on top. Likewise, don't purchase a rug that is too small for your space.
Use Plants as Decor
Another fabulous tip for staging is to include plants in your decor. If you decide to use faux greenery, don't use ones that look cheap and obviously fake. I also love to use faux branches styled in a vase for accents on a side table.
Plants and greenery are great for styling on tables, bookshelves or open shelving. You can also use floor to ceiling small trees or plants and set them in a corner as an accent.
Choose Neutral Walls
Pick neutral colors for your walls instead of a bold paint color. Neutral style choices will be more appealing to the general public. If you love bold colors, choose to accent with bold decor instead.
Clean all Glass
Clean everything that is glass, including glass furniture and windows. Glass shows all fingerprints which makes windows look really dirty. Clean windows as well as any glass front doors. Try to avoid glass top furniture in your house.
Use Soft Lighting
Don't use fluorescent lighting in your home. Instead, choose soft lighting that is still bright. Soft light will create a warm and inviting environment, rather than a cold and harsh welcome.
Too many patterns in one room can be very overwhelming, just like using too many colors in one space. Select just a few patterns to mix in with solids as the majority. An easy way to achieve this is by choosing neutral patterns for your walls or accenting with patterned decor.
Use Throws and Throw Pillows
Avoid All White Everything
Avoid all white in every room. White walls are great for giving a clean and tidy appearance, but can also be harsh and bland when rooms have no additional color. If you insist on white walls, try tying in white woodwork or paneling like wainscoting or box molding for additional style.
You can also bring in additional colors through decoration like pillows, throws, vases and rugs. Neutral wall colors like taupes and grays are a good option too.
Exterior DIY Home Staging
Exterior staging is just as important as interior. Curb appeal is the very first indicator that will attract buyers to your home, so don't neglect this step.
Clean Front Entrance
Don't leave the front entrance to your home in a mess. Sweep your front entrance and porch. Also use a broom to sweep out any cobwebs so everything looks tidy.
Make Your Front Porch Appear Usable
Incorporate furniture and tables to make your porch appear usable and inviting. Pick pieces that are conducive to having a conversation on a patio. Throw in a few plants on your tabletop. What could be better than sitting on your front porch on summer nights? Buyers want a home that is lived in with user-friendly space.
Tidy Up Yard
If selling your home in the spring, summer or fall, it's important to make sure your exterior space is cleaned up. Tidy up your yard and flower beds. Pulls weeds, mow grass, plant flowers if you are able. A new layer of fresh mulch will do wonders on your flower beds. Take a look here to get the most out of your flower beds.
Get Rid of Vermin
The last thing you want to deal with are vermin or bugs. Make sure you don't have any rodent or bug infestations in your house or near it. For example, you do not want any bee or wasp nests hovering by your front door as potential buyers are trying to come in.
Updates in Your Own Home
It helps to speak to an expert before selling your home, whether that is a professional home stager or real estate agents. My aunt owns an appraisal company and I asked her about what helps to sell a house, especially in a tricky real estate market. Here are some suggestions for those big ticket items:
Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms
I'm sure you have heard that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Our home has been one project after another, but I agreed to do all the work because I loved the layout of my kitchen.
Since these projects are the biggest cost expenses to remodel, people like to have it already done. However, an older kitchen or bathroom that are clean, staged and well-kept can be just as appealing.
I also inquired about new windows, adding solar panels and other small improvements. Replacing windows or adding solar panels are great for a long term investment. If you are going to be staying in your home for a long time then you can definitely recoup that cost in utility savings. But as far as home values and getting money out of your home when you are selling, that isn't always likely.
Our neighbors added solar to their home and then sold it. Unfortunately, they didn't get the money back out of their solar and they actually took a loss on it. So keep long term versus short term in mind for larger home investments.
This is really specific to flooring and countertops. Most homes sell better when there is tile or wood floor in kitchens, bathrooms and even the living areas. Carpet in bathrooms? Yuck. People will look for hard surfaces in the most heavily trafficked spaces. Having a nice, stone countertop in your kitchen is also a plus.
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Looking to sell your home in the near future? Try out any of these 25 best DIY home staging ideas to reach maximum selling potential!
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