MoneyWisdom Blog

Stage Your House to Sell!

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Apr 15, 2015 9:30:00 AM

The_Property_BrothersDo you watch HGTV? Ever heard of The Property Brothers? They have a show called Buying and Selling where they make a house look gorgeous so that it sells in a matter of days.

Wish I’d had them around when I tried to sell my old house!

Gone are the days when you could just do a little cleaning and stick a FOR SALE sign in front of your house. Maybe it’s because of all the home decorating shows on TV that today’s buyers often expect a model-perfect home, so you need to step up your game if you want to make your home sell quickly.

If you don’t have access to the brothers or your own staging professional (typically costing $50 - $150/hour!), don’t worry! There are all kinds of things you can do yourself to make your house look beautiful and inviting for potential buyers.

Here are some great ways to help buyers imagine living in your home without having to spend a lot of money:

•   De-personalize your home. Pack away personal items such as family photos, trophies, awards and mementos. Buyers want to imagine it as their new home, not your old one.


   Get rid of clutter. Bookshelves, closets, attic, basement, kitchen countertops, toys, etc… It might pay to rent a storage unit for all your extra stuff.

   Make sure each room has a distinct purpose. No dining/den/playroom combinations! Potential buyers probably won’t want to lead the same kind of life that you do.

   Deep clean and deodorize. From the ceiling fans to the baseboards, carpet and flooring everything should be spotless. Banish the litter box and get rid of the dog hair.

   Paint every room a neutral color. Boring, yes, but your daughter’s hot pink bedroom probably won’t appeal to the family with two teenage boys.

   Let there be light. You should have 100 watts for every 50 square feet of space. Shoot for a mix of overhead, table, accent and floor lamps and install dimmer switches so you can create subtler moods. Don’t forget to open the blinds and curtains to let in natural light, too.

   Move the furniture. Get rid of extra pieces that crowd a room, and consider floating the furniture instead of pushing it all up against the walls. This will make the room look bigger.

   Change up your artwork. Don’t hang it all around a room at the same height. Stack pictures, hang them diagonally or create small groupings. This will add drama to the room and create interest.

   Create a fantasy room. Clear out the ironing board, boxes and old clothes and create a game room, media room or exercise room, to name a few. This adds value and enjoyment to your home something buyers will be looking for.

   Spruce up the curb appeal. You know what they say about first impressions. Paint your front door a bright color. Add potted plants, a new light fixture and fix the dented garage door. Pressure wash, mulch and weed the gardens and keep your lawn mowed.

Sure this sounds like a lot of work, but won’t it be worth it when your home sells quickly?

For more ideas, check out local model homes. They’ll get you inspired and thinking just like a staging professional.

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Topics: Home

Lisa_Taylor_PhelpsContributed by Lisa Phelps

Lisa Taylor Phelps is a nationally known writer and blogger specializing in educational content in personal finance and money management.   For 10 years she worked with credit unions all across the country as a Project Manager at iDiz Inc.  She’s been an active blogger in the credit union community for over 5 years, writing for

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