How To Stage Your Home for a Quick Sale

Interior design of living room at nice scandinavian apartment with stylish furnitures and elegant accessories.
FollowTheFlow / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s a perfect home seller’s market right now. The March national median listing price was up 15.6% compared to last year, and large metro areas saw a price increase of 12.1%, according to data from Realtor.com. And home sellers aren’t having to wait too long to sell. Across the nation, typical homes stayed on the market just 54 days in March — six days less than the same month last year. And, depending on where your home is located, it could sell even faster.

Know: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

But just because the seller’s market is hot  — and should hold through this summer — doesn’t mean that you should just slap a “For Sale” on your home and hope for the best. A poor presentation could mean that your home will linger on the market longer than you would like. To avoid getting stuck in real estate limbo, here are some quick tips to stage your home for a quick sale.

Declutter and Depersonalize

  • Cost: $34.99 for boxes, $60 and up for a small storage unit

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“This needs to be done first before you do anything else,” said Kasia McDaniel, founder of Blue Diamond Staging & Design.

“Donate anything that you don’t want, pack up small items, such as collections of dolls, toys, etc. and put away anything that doesn’t belong in a room. Pack up family photos, diplomas (and) trophies to help depersonalize so that buyers can imagine themselves living in the space. You can store boxes neatly in your garage or rent out a storage unit.”

Check Out: Renovations To Make — and Skip — Before Selling Your Home

Remove Small Rugs, but Add a Welcome Mat

  • Cost: $18.99

“Small rugs should be removed from areas throughout the home like bathroom mats and rugs in the kitchen, said Heather Unger, broker and owner at LemonTree Realty. “Alternatively, adding a bright mat outside the front door is welcoming and makes a good first impression.”

Check Out: 25 Tricks To Sell Your House for a Bigger Profit

Freshen Up the Walls

  • Cost: $100-$300 per room for supplies and paint

“Paint is inexpensive, but the returns can be great!” said Mark J. Schmidt, broker associate at RE/MAX Country in Milltown, New Jersey. “I just had a client who had a very dark family room with wood paneling. I advised them to paint over it, or take it down and paint. They took my advice, and the room not only looked amazing, (but) it helped them get 12 offers on their home!”

Find Out Where: Houses Are Selling the Fastest in These 10 Real Estate Markets

Add Flowers

  • Cost: $10.99 each, plus the pot or vase

“One of the easiest ways to stage a home is to add fresh aromatic flowers,” said Marina Vaamonde, a commercial real estate investor and the founder of PropertyCashin. “Aromatic compounds have a direct impact on people’s moods. The scent of flowers can quickly put people in a positive mental state, making it easier for them to say “YES!” to a prospective home.”

“I recommend adding several pots in critical locations like the foyer, living room, dining room, bedrooms and comfort rooms,” Vaamonde said. “Putting them in aesthetic jars also add to their appeal, so make sure to put extra effort into finding a nice vase or pot that complements the home’s style and palette. Here are some (flower) suggestions: citrus, Arabian jasmine, oncidium orchid and passionflower.”

Be Aware: 28 House-Flipping Rules You Should Never Break

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Increase the Light

  • Cost: $9.29 for each bulb, $14.99 for a set of curtains

“The easiest (and cheapest) thing you can do to maximize your results is simply switching out all of the bulbs to high-wattage ones,” said Chloe Tucker at SERHANT. “This makes the space feel extra bright and welcoming.”

“Another great trick, especially if you are trying to spruce up space with a bad view is to add a sheer curtain,” she said. “This helps to give the illusion of lots of sun coming in and also draws the eye away from a possibly not-so-great
view.”

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 12 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, Aol, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and The Network Journal. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
How To Stage Your Home for a Quick Sale
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