11 DIY home-staging tips pros don't want you to know

November 6, 2014

You don't need the expensive services of a professional stager, nor thousands of dollars of remodelling bills to effectively stage your home for a quicker and higher-priced sale. Here are 11 DIY home-staging tips that pros don't want you to know.

11 DIY home-staging tips pros don't want you to know

To enhance curb appeal

Potential buyers may only step inside your home if they like what they see outside, so make sure the exterior of the home looks as good as the interior.

  • Start by cleaning the grounds. Remove any debris and trash, mow the lawns and prune bushes and trees. If fixing your foliage seems a bit overwhelming, hire a professional gardener to do it once and then continue maintaining your plants until the house is sold.
  • Plant colourful annuals near your entry or in containers that you can set out on your porch.
  • Remove any childrens' toys and pet equipment. Not only will your garden look bigger but these accessories won't appeal to buyers who have neither children nor pets.
  • Clean the exterior walls by using a pressure washer. You can usually rent them at your local home improvement store. Touch up any worn areas with paint.
  • Repair any exterior problems, such as torn screens, non-working garden lights or broken hinges.

Make it all about the buyer

You want buyers to imagine themselves in your space. They can't do that if they feel someone else lives there. So remove every trace of you and your family:

  • Eliminate all personal or family photos. If you must display pictures, use generic travel photos, landscapes or the portraits of models that come with any frame you buy.
  • Hide any collections, such as of Elvis memorabilia, Royal Family plates or shot glasses from around the world.
  • Replace unusual, incomprehensible or controversial wall decor (such as stuffed animal heads) with pieces that are harmless and generic. Paintings of landscapes are more appropriate and universally appealing.

Maximize the space

Buyers want to think they're getting a bargain for the price, so make your square footage look bigger than what they could normally afford.

  • Clean every nook and cranny. Clean surfaces look bigger because they reflect more light and eliminate dirt that can attract the eye.
  • Get rid of clutter by hiding toys, knick-knacks and accessories. To make your storage areas look spacious, eliminate about half of the clothes in your closets and remove many of the cans, boxes and packages in your pantries.
  • Replace bulky furniture, such as antique armouries, overstuffed floral print couches and well-worn easy chairs with small-scale modern pieces. Borrow pieces from friends and relatives or rent from furniture stores. Fewer pieces of furniture make rooms look bigger.

If a buyer sees your home as the home of his family's dreams, he or she won't hesitate to buy and may even offer higher than your asking price.

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