One of the most common questions I get from clients who are planning to sell their home is how much work they should put into making the home look perfect. As a general rule of thumb, aside from renovating a severely outdated kitchen or bathroom, any home improvement that doesn’t add square footage isn’t worth it.
That said, I do recommend staging a home so that it makes a positive first impression when prospective buyers tour it. Here are 12 tried-and-true home staging tips that won’t cost a lot but will make a big difference!
Rent storage to help de-clutter. Remove enough stuff so that closets and storage spaces are half empty.
2. Make sure your rooms are well lit.
Open the shades, blinds, or curtains to fill each room with natural light.
3. Get other opinions.
Ask a friend to critique your home.
4. Don’t hide any of your home’s assets.
Remove rugs to highlight nice flooring. Clear off counters to display any stone, granite, etc.
5. Create traffic flow through the rooms.
Place seating into conversational groups and use pieces to help navigate visitors through your home.
6. Freshen up your home.
Air out rooms by opening windows before showings. Display fresh flowers or a bowl of brightly colored fresh fruit.
7. Update your main locks.
If you have various keys for each door, re-key the house so everything is on one key (knob, deadbolt, garage, etc).
8. Remove all pets.
Keep pets in the backyard or garage, take them for a walk, send them to a friend or board them for uninterrupted showings.
9. Make minor repairs.
Fix issues that can distract buyers such as leaky faucets, burnt out bulbs, loose knobs, broken tiles, squeaky hinges, and even worn toilet seats. If your kitchen is very outdated or there’s a major structural issue with your home, like a roof that needs to be repaired, be sure to discuss that with your agent to see if making those improvements will pay off.
10. Clean and make your bed everyday.
You never know when a showing might occur.
11. Don’t forget yard maintenance.
This is your home’s first impression. Weed, mow, paint the trim, clean the windows, etc. Remove your car from the driveway.
12. Remove all personal items.
Put away or hide all photos, refrigerator art, calendars, valuables, prescription drugs, all bathroom toiletries, grooming products, etc.
For more tips to sell your home, check out the Redfin home selling guide, or get in touch with a Redfin agent in your area. If you’re planning to buy a home soon after you sell your current one, check out Redfin’s guide to buying and selling a home at the same time.
About Ruby Manuel
Ruby is a Redfin real estate agent in Seattle. She has been working as an agent since 2005, and previously spent time in the trenches of mortgage financing and escrow. She is obsessed with details, highly organized and tough when needed but thoughtful about how to best guide clients through the experience of buying or selling a home. You can get in touch with Ruby and read reviews from her past clients on Redfin.com.