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Cheap and Easy Staging Tips to Improve Your Home's Selling Features

By Guest Author | February 2, 2013

Selling your home quickly often depends on how you stage it.  Emphasizing the good features and downplaying your home’s weaknesses, convinces people that it’s the home they’ve been looking for.  You’re not trying to trick or fool your potential buyers, instead it’s about helping them see that the good qualities of your home outweigh the lessor ones.

home improvement

A few easy touches, and your home is ready to sell (Photo © auremar -

We all know that curb appeal is important and many people go to the effort of cleaning up the outside, but making the inside match the outside is just as important.  You only get one chance to make a first impression and you want that impression to be a good one.  Here are a few tips for improving how your home shows.

  • Get rid of the clutter.  This might seem like a no-brainer but the fact is we generally keep more stuff than we need and our homes can appear cluttered.  Give your home a good cleaning and decide what things you can live without.  If you want to keep the items, rent a storage unit.  If not, host a yard sale and make a little extra cash or donate to charity.  Don’t be afraid to throw things away.  Less is more when showing your home, although making it too sparse can be a drawback as well, so moderation is the key.
  • Update the kitchens and the baths.  Along with storage space, kitchens and baths are often the highest thing on a buyer’s list.  Stainless appliances are worth the investment, as well as fresh cabinet doors and modern hardware.  If you can’t afford new cabinet doors, paint the existing ones.  In the bath, new tile or professionally cleaning the existing tile to look like new, fresh paint and a new vanity can all be worth your time and efforts.
  • Storage space is a make or break for many potential buyers.  Clean out your closets, pantries, attics, basements, or other storage locations to make them look bigger.  The more storage it appears you have the better because people need places to store their things.  If it looks like you home doesn’t have enough, it can send buyers looking elsewhere.
  • Finding extra space.  Often we have those little corners or odd nooks in a home that are unused spaces.  Transform those spaces with a chair and small table or a bookshelf or desk into usable space.  Showing your potential buyers the advantages to those locations not only creates more space but also inserts cozy relaxation areas into your home.  If you have a basement that is not being used, place inexpensive rubber mats or carpets remnants on the floors and turn the space into a yoga studio or workout area.
  • Lack of lighting.  Great lighting shows off the beauty of you home and you want people to see it.  Many homes don’t have adequate lighting, so try for 100 watts per 50 square foot, while paying attention to install the right type of lighting in the locations.  Ambient, task and accent lighting are all important.
  • Paint, the cheap makeover.  Fresh paint in neutral colors such as warm tans, honey, soft blues and greens are all great colors to paint your home.  Many people are no longer looking for white rooms and find color more relaxing.  Do stay away from bold colors because they seem to cause buyers to shy away.  If you want darker colors, paint an accent wall to draw attention to a feature you don’t want your buyers to miss out on such as a fireplace or the outside view.
  • Fix visible issues.  Missing floorboards, cracks in the ceiling, walls or flooring are all usually inexpensive to fix and are points for buyers to walk away or ask for reductions in your selling price because they are afraid they might be potential problems with the home.  Get rid of that worry by getting rid of cosmetic or other issues before showing your home.

All or most of these fixes can be completed in DIY projects by you, without having to spend a lot of money.  Do these things before attempting to sell your home and you are well on the way to making a good first impression with your potential buyers.

Our guest author, Kiersten Gurry, is a freelance writer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She writes on a wide variety of topics in the home improvement industry specializing in ornamental artwork. In her spare time she writes for First Impression Security Doors.

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