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  • Writer's pictureDave Dail

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Sometimes the thought makes people panic because they realize they will have to get their home ready for staging. What is staging? Staging is simply the way your house is presented when it is listed for sale. A lived-in home looks very different from a staged home.

In everyday living, we have some clutter here and there. There’s probably that pile of laundry that is not quite dirty to wash but not clean enough to put away (we all have one of those right?).

Or maybe you have half done projects around the house? Did you start painting and life happened so you didn’t finish? While these are not bad things, (and by no means do you need to fix them all) they do give a first impression.

Oftentimes it is beneficial to take some time and spend a bit of money to get your home ready to stage.

Here are 5 staging tips to help you make that first impression that sells your home quickly.

1. Declutter- Surfaces and Furniture

Some people like a lot of knick-knacks and pictures. Other people are just naturally more messy individuals. Both are not bad. But when you are trying to sell your home the more clutter there is, the more it detracts from the features of your home.

You are trying to sell your house and not your belongings. If you wanted to sell your belongings, you would put them on display. You are not going to leave your belongings behind with the sale of the home, so you want to minimize the amount on display. This can also be said about furniture. We often need more seating in a room than the room can naturally handle. Too many end tables or sofas galore do not add to the appeal of your home. The more crowded a room is, the more difficult it is for the buyer to envision their own furniture in the same space.

Ideally, you want to do what you can to highlight the features of your home and minimize as much clutter as possible. You want as much of a blank slate as possible so that your buyer can envision their own belongings and furniture in the space.

2. Remove Personalized Items

Your home is a place where you can be yourself. You can decorate how you want to show off your own style and personality. However, when you go to sell your home, just understand that your style may not appeal to everyone.

To make your home a bit more appealing to buyers, remove a good portion of your personalized items. Tasteful family photos here and there are perfectly fine. Tasteful signs and other decor are fine as well.

It is other types of personal items that can turn someone off. It’s wise to remove anything with a vulgar or profane connotation, or that someone may find offensive.

If you’re a big collector of porcelain clowns or skulls, you may want to consider packing those away early. Not that there is anything against clowns or skulls. But some people may be turned off and not be able to see past certain personal items.

Try to keep personal items as neutral as possible.

3. Deep Clean

While we all have dirt and to some extent live in it. Noticeable dirtiness in a house is not appealing

Make sure you clean your home before you show it. It is a huge task that nobody likes to do. Either pay for a cleaning service or do it yourself.

Dust all wooden surfaces, vacuum, scrub counters, tubs, toilets and sinks. Wipe down cabinets, doors, window sills and light switches. If you have an amazing view or want to highlight your yard, clean your windows inside and out.

Some people can look past the mess and see its potential. But some will not.

4. Yard Work

Curb appeal is crucial to your buyer’s perception of your home. Even if buyers have seen photos of the inside of your house before seeing it in person, their first impression will greatly depend on the state of the yard. Nobody pulls up to a home that has an overgrown yard and is full of weeds that makes them think “Oh, look at that yard. I love it!”

You do not need a perfectly manicured yard. But it would be wise to make sure your yard has been mowed and weeded to some extent.

Trim your trees and your shrubs. Add some fresh mulch or bark to the flower beds. Weed and feed your yard. Add a pot with flowers to your porch.

It may cost a bit of money to get a yard ready for selling. But when you’re selling a home, curb appeal is extremely important.

5. Paint

Adding a fresh coat of paint can help your home look updated and new. Granted, it is a huge task to paint an entire house, and that’s not necessary. But if you have a room that needs to be refreshed, or is dirty, paint is a great way to fix that.

Even if you only paint a few areas whether it's a door or some trim, it will make an impact.

Prioritize painting some high traffic areas like the entryway or hallway. While it is a hassle to do, freshly painted trim makes areas feel less lived in. A new coat of paint will cover up all the scuff marks and nicks that frequently impact trim. Do you see chipped paint around the exterior of your home? Consider doing some touch up where you find peeling and chipped paint. Chipped and peeling paint makes your home look run down. Grab a small can of paint and see what areas you can quickly touch up. All of a sudden your old porch posts don’t look as old as they really are with a new coat of paint.


It is important to take time to stage your home correctly to sell it. The buyer’s first impression is when they pull up to your house. Make sure you have put some time, effort and energy into getting it ready. It will never hurt your home sale to spruce up the yard, add some new paint, declutter and clean. It will only help a buyer fall in love with your home quicker. And that is what we all want.


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