The goal of any home staging process is to help potential buyers picture themselves living in your house for sale. It’s why well-staged houses often sell faster and at higher prices.
It’s also why you’re here.
Many homeowners and real estate agents hire a professional stager to work on this. But staging a home yourself while you’re still living in it can be not only cheaper, but also a fun challenge!
So let’s get started. Here are some DIY home staging tips from the pros:
How to DIY Stage Your House for Sale on a Budget
First things first
Pick up and put away everything that shouldn’t be where they are – dishes in the sink, papers lying around, kid’s toys, the dog’s toys, and so on. If you’re in a hurry to stage your house yourself, walk around with a large storage box so you can put things out of sight quickly.
2. Clean up
Sweep, dust, and mop all surfaces until they’re spotless. During a showing, homeowners judge not just the home for sale, but you as a home seller. If you appear like someone who doesn’t take care of the home, they’ll be wary about defects the house may be hiding.
When DIY staging your home to sell, you must keep in mind that potential buyers will open cabinets and the refrigerator and peer into drawers. (Sometimes even when they aren’t part of the sale.) You want everything to look neat and organized because if your belongings look mixed and cluttered, people will think their belongings won’t fit in either. Plus, an organized home always gives out more positive vibes, both to you and the buyer.
Staging the living room
Depersonalization is owner-occupied home staging 101. You have to take all your family photographs, children’s artwork, and other personal items off the walls, shelves, and mantle. Not just here, but everywhere in your home.
Depersonalizing makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves living in the house. If you want a quick sale, you want them to feel like they could move in immediately.
2. Fix up the fireplace
As the highlight of your living room, the fireplace needs to look good as new. Paint over old and worn-out bricks, clean away dust and ash, and make sure it can light easily if the potential buyers want to try. Ensure the fireplace screen matches the rest of your staging decor.
3. Upgrade your furniture
You can upgrade your current living room furniture by making sure you clear any dust and stains on the couch, chairs, coffee table, or rug, and add fresh, vibrant accent pillows to your sofa.
Experiment to see if the living room looks nice with or without the rug, and how you place your furniture around it. You can also temporarily rent modern lamps for the living room or add interesting and depersonalized decor to your walls, sofa, or coffee table.
4. Restock your shelves
If the shelves are looking too bare or too full, add or remove books and decor until it looks somewhere in between.
Remove books with unattractive spines or provocative content because they make buyers feel uncomfortable. You might even play it safer by removing books on delicate issues such as politics, war, and religion.
5. Fix the walls
Spackle old nail holes and cracks, get rid of scuff marks, and repaint the room if you have to, to fit a more neutral color staging theme. You can also paint an accent wall behind the sofa if it suits your home, but it’s best to consult with your agent before committing to that.
Staging the dining room
1. Set the table
Don’t leave the table bare. When you’re living in a home on the market, help potential buyers envision themselves living there by setting the table with good-looking, and matching utensils and cutlery over table mats.
Ensure the chairs are properly placed by the table. You can also add flowers and centerpieces to make the room feel more welcoming.
2. Upgrade the furniture
Clear scratches and stains off the dining chairs and table, or cover it with a tablecloth for some simple DIY home staging. You can temporarily rent dining furniture if you’re staging on a budget and need a bit of a boost.
Staging the kitchen
1. Update countertops and cabinets
This is the first thing that any potential buyer will see in your staged kitchen. It’s going to be difficult, but when you’re staging a home for a quick sale, you need to make sure the counter tops are always clean and the cabinets are always organized.
You might also want to repaint the doors, upgrade the handles, and make sure the drawers and hinges are working smoothly.
2. Upgrade your appliances
Place just the oft-used appliances such as the toaster and coffee machine, maybe even a slow cooker on the counter top to highlight the availability of space. This will include your microwave too if it isn’t already built into the kitchen. Depersonalize your fridge by taking down family photos and artefacts, scribbled lists, etc.
Organize the fridge by stacking food in neat, same-set boxes. Clean, modern equipment that’s been well taken care of makes a huge impression on potential buyers.
3. Fix up the sink
Replace old faucets with new ones, and ensure the sink is clean and the drain and garbage disposal are working fine. Don’t forget to make the area under the sink look presentable too by organizing your cleaning supplies there. Make sure that the water will flow easily when potential buyers check.
4. Remove bad odors
Your kitchen trash cans should be neat and closed so that they not only look good, but avoid smelling bad. It’s recommended that you take the trash out to the dumpster (which needs to look well-maintained too) before a potential buyer comes in. Using a scented cleaner for a frsh smelling kitchen would be great.
Staging the bedroom
1. Put new bedding
When decorating your bedroom to sell the house, you want your bed to look incredibly homely and inviting.
2. Organize and declutter
Like every other room we’ve organized, make sure the closet and nightstands are neat and uncluttered so that it never looks like your potential buyers won’t have enough space. While preparing the house for showing, remember to depersonalize by taking down family photos and deeply personal stuff and replace them with neutral art and decor. Clean and update the curtains, pillow cases, and rugs as well.
3. Keep valuables safe
When you’re living in a house while selling it, protect yourself by moving all your valuables such as money, jewellery, diaries, and sensitive information like family details, children’s schools, banking records, and identifying information to a safe that potential buyers don’t need to see.
Staging the outdoor area
1. Renew your house number
Replace old, rusty, dented house numbers in front of your home and on the mailbox and apply a fresh coat of paint over faded or chipped areas.
2. Brighten up the yard
Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, repaint the fences, clear away debris and dying plants, and pot fresh plants in their place. Make sure the footpath is clear and visible. All of this is intended to boost what stagers call “curb appeal”.
3. Redo the door
A fresh coat of paint on old doors works wonders on first impressions. The goal here is to make it look warm and welcoming.
By now you must realize that staging a house for sale on your own is mostly about fixing damage, decluttering, and repainting. It helps to carry a checklist of all these tasks to stay organized.
If you’re looking to make a bigger difference to how your house looks and woo potential buyers, you can change the furniture temporary by renting home staging furniture from CasaOne (that’s us!).
Let’s get started!