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Tips and tricks on staging a home for a quick sale

By: Jessica Meszaros

Keeping rooms clutter free is the first step in successful home staging. [shutterstock.com]

In the same way a picture can say 1,000 words, the right aesthetic and curb appeal can say many things about a home. Whether those things are good or bad might make the difference between a great offer or a lukewarm pass for potential home buyers.

The idea of staging a home for sale is nothing new. But about  77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as a future home,according to a 2017 home staging report authored by the National Association of REALTORS®. In addition, about 38 percent of sellers’ agents reported staging sellers’ homes prior to listing.

To staging a home without trial-and-error or breaking the bank, here are a few key tricks to follow:

Organize and declutter

While homeowners might not notice the spare set of shoes by the door or the old receipt on the counter, prospective buyers will.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 93 percent of agents recommend sellers declutter their home prior to putting it on the market. Specifically, declutter the spaces most frequently viewed by prospective buyers on walkthroughs: the living room, kitchen, master bedroom and dining room. Clear countertops and pick items up off the floor.

According to ProfessionalStaging.com, decluttering can also make a space look larger to potential buyers.

Neutralize your designs

Even if a house is sparkling clean, too many personal touches still can distract potential buyers from envisioning themselves in the space. Personal items can be easily packed up in boxes and stored away temporarily until a house is sold. Neutral colors, traditional and impersonal assets are safer options that appeal to potential homeowners of any taste.

According to TheSpruce.com, a monochromatic color scheme is the most soothing to potential buyers, and sticking to one color palette can help all the rooms in the house look cohesive.


While stashing away personal items and clutter is a common practice, homeowners with small children or pets might want to invest in a professional cleaning service to eliminate any noticeable stains or odors.

Like personal objects, odors or stains can prevent prospective buyers from imagining themselves in the space. Windows, garages, basements, ceiling fans and even the tracks on sliding doors can all reflect a home’s cleanliness. Having freshly baked cookies, right from the home’s oven, is a common trick used by professional agents. So is using air fresheners between showings.

Don’t Neglect the Outdoors

A home’s outdoor appearance is the first thing prospective buyers see. Lawns should be mowed, surfaces should be power-washed and paved surfaces should be clear of debris.

For an easy alternative to expensive landscaping, Bankrate.com recommends using mulch to make flower beds look trim and neat without purchasing extra foliage that will regularly maintenance while the home is on the market.

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