Simple Steps to Stage Your Home Cheaply

To misquote Shakespeare, all your home’s a stage. So when it’s on the market, you want to guarantee that the audience/buyer enjoys the show.

That means staging your home to maximize its appeal. An increasing number of buyers report being more willing to purchase a home after viewing attractive online photos, and real estate agents report that staging impacts clients’ decisions to buy—and may contribute to higher offers.

While professional stagers are available, and some agents offer staging services, you can take simple steps to stage it yourself. Start at the beginning: You don’t want to turn off potential buyers before they walk in. Brighten your porch with containers of spring flowers, and make sure the yard is clean. Once inside, they should feel instantly at home. You want them to picture themselves living here.

Often, people move because they want more space: Make your house appear spacious and remember that neutral paint colors help rooms look larger. Play up the beautiful features of each room and play down the less attractive elements. Remove clutter and keep closets organized. And focus extra attention on the living room, kitchen, and master suite; your potential buyers will.

Think minimal: Remove as much of your furniture as possible. Professional stagers suggest bedrooms should only contain a large bed, dresser, and nightstand. Finally, don’t neglect your visitors’ sense of smell. Clean your home thoroughly, board out the pets, and open windows to bring spring indoors.