Home Staging To Sell Your House Fast
If you’re doing some home staging to sell your house fast, you’re in the right place. I’m going to share my favorite home staging tips for a quick sale! We just listed our house for sale. It’s been a long journey to this point, but when all is said and done, we have a beautiful house as an end product. And staging the house was just the cherry on top. We sold our last house in 36 hours and this house already has 3 offers on it!
This is the general overview of how to stage a home. Check out this post if you’re looking for a detailed step-by-step list of how to stage your house to sell.
Steps to Stage A House To Sell Fast
Get a vision of what it should be.
Think of a vacation rental or your favorite homes in magazines. When you are listing your home for sale, it should look like a vacation rental. It is clean, it’s organized, and it’s decorated. It’s simple but not bland. It’s equipped but not cluttered.
The Most Important thing: Prepacking!!
The absolute most important element of home staging is decluttering. If you don’t need it every single day, it shouldn’t be out. Would you pack it to take on vacation? Nope? Then you don’t need it while your house is on the market.
And the things that you will need the next few weeks (like a toothbrush) need to be tucked away in a proper place (like a drawer). If you absolutely must keep something out that is not solely decorative, put it in a basket. Every surface in your home should be for decorative purposes only (except maybe your cable box under your tv). Even your soap dispensers should be simple but decorative. These soap dispensers are inexpensive and will appeal to almost anyone.
If you aren’t committed to pre-packing and decluttering, then why list your house for sale at all? Commitment to a show-worthy house will make is sell-able. So, either, you’re in, or you’re not. So decide now because if you can’t pre-pack, then you aren’t ready for the next step of staging a house….
Take everything away. AKA Declutter again.
This part hurts a little so get ready. You’ll need to pack away everything that you either don’t use every day or doesn’t make your house beautiful. Get a stack of boxes and moving supplies (this kit makes it easy to get started). Make a pile in the center of each room with all the things that did not fit in their proper place (like extra towels, knick knacks, and appliances (fans, humidifiers, toasters, etc)). You are going to put each of these things in a box. Clear off your entire kitchen counter top and upper cabinets, too. No, it doesn’t really look that nice. It needs to go.
After you have your pile of extras, start boxing it away. I like to keep my boxes per room (bathroom extras), not per category (small appliances). If you mix rooms, it will take longer to unbox the mixed up boxes later. I prepacked and decluttered about 20 boxes worth in both homes I staged recently. This is hard work but selling your house for full price is worth it, right?
Decluttering is the absolute most important part of home staging.
Put a few things back.
Before you tape up your boxes, look at your pile of items and begin to replace the necessities. In our first home, I emptied a drawer of extra dish towels to hold all of my large kitchen utensils like wooden spoons that I used every day because my spoons just didn’t look very nice. But this time around I had a cute little crock and kept them on the counter because they fit in with the decor and made me feel like cooking.
Decorate in scenes.
After you put the necessities back out on the counter, you can start the fun part: decorating. I didn’t spend a lot on our decor for home staging. Instead, I got all of my decor items out and put them where I could see them. Then, I went around the house creating vignettes in each room. A vignette is like a little picture-perfect scene that’s part of a bigger picture.
To create a home staging vignette, you want to look at each large piece of furniture or decor in the room as an anchor. You also want to make sure you have enough similar pieces to fill that particular room.
Example: Even though I’m trying to phase teal out of my home decor (the hubs isn’t a fan :/), I have a lot of teal decor items left that I just can’t part with. It was an easy decision to use teal as an accent color throughout the house since it tied each room together, making the house feel more cohesive. I also moved the furniture around the house so that no room had only one type of furniture material (e.g. the black dresser in the foyer came out of my son’s all-wood bedroom so it wouldn’t stand out).
After you have your furniture and accent colors ready, you just build up some height and soften it with some greenery. Pairs are romantic (good for the master bedroom) and 3s or 5s are easy on the eyes. I also tried to have at least one (albeit fake) plant or flower in each room. Each piece of furniture should be a complete, but simple, ensemble.
Don’t forget about your walls. Leaving empty walls can leave a house feeling cold and unloved. And, I’m not going to lie, there were some strategic placements of art that said “Home Sweet Home” and art about embracing possibilities, only one chance, & making life beautiful. Did it make a difference? Probably not, but the wall art definitely softened each room.
Are you feeling like your home decor just doesn’t measure up or you need something extra to freshen up the space? I totally get that, too. We purchased a comforter set (similar to this one) that said “I’m luxurious” to our home shoppers.
If you know you need something but aren’t sure what, check out my post on my favorite home staging necessities.
Hide the ugly.
Let’s be honest. Life isn’t always magazine-worthy, but deep down in there, don’t we all dream of living a mess-free clutter-less life with zero maintenance issues? That ideal is part of what you are selling to potential buyers. “Living here is a breeze. Look, I don’t even have trash.” Yep, you read that right. I even hide the trash can. I also use decor items as an opportunity to hide the imperfections in our home that give it it’s…uhum…character.
Take my steps, for example. (Pardon the hazy photo.)
You think these plants are merely decorative? Think again. The bottom step needs replacing soon. The watering can takes the attention away from where a sliver of a step came off. And that stately boxwood at the top is cleverly (sort-of) concealing a hole we patched in the wall. Tread carefully here, though. You don’t want to draw attention to the flaws. Just pull some of the attention away from the mundane and make the potential buyers’ senses come alive.
Skip the extras.
You want to work in groups of 3’s and keep things simple. You want potential buyers to see the floor and see themselves in the space. You’re selling square footage and the hope of a nice home. If you wouldn’t see a vignette like that in a magazine, skip it. NOTHING is better than something wrong.
I really wanted to make this little entrance more inviting, but I just couldn’t find the right wreath or element to go here (everything at the stores was covered in Easter eggs this time of year), so I just left it alone. It eventually did get a pail of white flowers to hold it open, though.
After you get your whole house decluttered and vignetted up, it should be crazy easy to clean. (Want to know why you’ll never buy Mr. Clean Magic Erasers ever again?) There’s always a few more details that need to be taken care of (like those left-over decor items). After you box those up, it’s time to call your Realtor!
If you’re ready for even more step by step help, check out this post for a list of steps to stage your house to sell.
Ask a pro (or at least a friend).
If you’ve already given staging your house a try, but you still aren’t sure if you’re doing the right things and just need a second opinion, I totally get it. Sometimes it helps a ton to have an outside perspective, especially in a house. You have a tendency to see the day-to-day messes, while an outsider will have an overall perspective.
By the second house I staged in a year, I had the listing process down to a science. Similar to the rules of home decor, there are rules to home staging. I understand the rules and can help you sell your house in no time.
For this month only, I am opening a few free mini home staging consultations! I am offering a free mini-consultation (worth $149) to give you custom advice on what to do with your home.
You can send me up to 5 pictures of what your house looks like now, and I will respond back with a list of items you can do in each room to get it listing-ready. Think action items like “Declutter desk” “Hide/remove toilet bowl brush” and “Move sofa to “x” location.” You’ll get steps you can actually take to get your home show-ready in no time with no guesswork involved.
To reserve a free mini-consultation, you just need to hit this box and drop in your email address to claim your spot. You’ll hear back from me soon with our next steps so that we can get you the feedback you’ve been needing.
So, if your house is currently on the market (or you wish it was), this time next week you could be preparing for appraisals, inspections, and closings. Or you could be wishing that you knew what to do to get your house show-ready before it hit the market three weeks ago.
Which one do you want to be?
I think I know the answer.
I’ve been there. Let me help you.
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15 thoughts on “How to stage a house to sell in a day”
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Thank you for your “very helpful” staging steps and organizing steps !!
My pleasure, Judy! I hope it helps a ton!!
You’ve been very helpfull we are planning to start building in 2 months while living in our current home im not sure where to store all the packed boxes? We have 4 garages , basement ?? Thank you
Congratulations on building!
When we moved the first time, our home was on a slab, so my only place was the garage. My garage was almost full of boxes, but it’s just a garage so it’s not like it was the feature of our home. Plus, that just showed that we were ready to close quickly and that’s appealing to buyers when it comes time to sell.
If your basement is unfinished, I would recommend storing them in the basement so long as it is orderly and organized. It will be better for your packed things (climate controlled and less humidity than a garage) and can showcase additional storage space in your home. But, if your basement is finished, I would definitely recommend keeping them in the garage or a storage unit so you can showcase you additional living space in the basement.
Or, if you’re blessed to have family nearby with an unfinished basement, you could stow them away in there. This is what we did on our last move, and while I wouldn’t recommend it (too much moving things back and forth), it might also be an option if you have limited storage or you really want to show off your 4 garages (I would love 4 garages!).
Our basement is unfished but very clean and painted thanks to my husband lol i would love to send you pics when im ready !! I have a booklet givn to us when we purchased the home should i.leave it out to show the before and present ??
Yay for handy husbands! Then, I would definitely store those boxes in the basement. We stored our belongings for an extended period of time (about 3 or 4 months) in a storage unit and walked away with mounds of mold. I’m all for climate control now!!!
I would love to see pictures! You can just come back to this post and click the sign-up button to grab your free mini-consultation (I’m actually working on one at this very minute).
I think it would be fun to put that booklet out on your kitchen counter or something. It shows that you cared enough about the place to keep some of that early paperwork, and it also highlights how much you have invested into your home. ?
Thank you as soon as im ready i will send pics !! Have a great day
Sounds great! I’ll be looking for them!
Thank you for the tips! We are looking at putting our home on the market in the next month and I am overwhelmed even thinking about the process. We have very little attic or storage space, so I’m thinking our garage will be the best place to put boxed up items, thanks to the question above. BUT Do you think storing everything in the garage will deter buyers in any way? Perhaps they won’t know how much garage space we have… We also have a dog and I wondered if you had any tips regarding that?
I don’t think storing things in the garage will deter buyers. I actually think it will show buyers you are motivated. Nothing makes me want to leave a home more than walking into a house full of stuff and trinkets. Those people are obviously NOT ready to move out. Plus, most people know about how big a garage is. When we moved, I put all the boxes as close to the garage door as I could to make the space look bigger from the walk-in door leading into the garage (does that make sense?). Just like the other areas of your home, you want to show off as much floor space as you can.
Also, if you’re staging with a pet in the house is to completely make it look like you don’t have a pet. Our buyer had no idea we had 3 pets. I removed the crate, pet bed, food/water bowls, and the pet before showings or inspections. You also want a friend to shoot you straight. A lot of people’s homes smell like their pet and they don’t know because our brains just don’t tell us. If your house does have a hint of pet odor, baking soda is a good place to start. Sprinkle it on the carpet or rugs and vacuum.
Next, I would move to febreze on other textiles in the home.
Hope these tips help!
Could I just add a tip for pet owners? We have LOTS of dogs and cats and have small, decorative bowls with vinegar in them placed strategically around the house. You don’t smell the vinegar but it does absorb odours. Also bran is by far and away the best cat litter for an odour free cat tray! Buy it at the feed store.
I have a dear friend that is always very quick to tell me if anything isn’t up to her exacting standards (bless her!) and an OH that is always ‘smelling something’ and these two things have helped me pass their tests!!!!
Great tips, Karen!
I love that you reinforce getting an additional set of eyes to take a look!
Thanks, Ginger! It really does help!