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14 Best Practices for DIY Home Staging

Staged houses spend up to 90% less time on the market, but you don't need a professional staging team to get beautiful results. By putting in a few dollars and a little hard work, homeowners can stage and sell their home much quicker than without staging.

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal

Make the best first impression to potential buyers by upping your curb appeal. Keep the lawn clean and trim, the landscaping tidy. Spruce up the front door by updating the house numbers, painting the front door a fun pop of color, or adding potted seasonal flowers to the front step. Take it a step further with these 10 projects to quickly add curb appeal.

Make Those Small Fixes

Make Those Small Fixes

Make sure your house appears well maintained by finishing that to-do list of small repairs. Tasks like patching walls, replacing caulk, repairing flooring scratches or stains, replacing light bulbs and unclogging slow drains will give the potential buyer the feeling of a well-maintained home. Check out these 11 easy home repairs that save big money.

Paint Walls Neutral Colors

Paint Walls Neutral Colors

Painting walls before you move out might sound daunting or expensive, but this can make a big difference. Too often buyers find it hard to imagine visual alternatives when shopping for a home, so refreshing dirty or bold colored walls with a light neutral shades will take the distraction away from the buyer and create a neutral base for them to build on. Ask your local paint store for the most popular beige, greys and whites.

Pare Down Furniture

Pare Down Furniture

Having too much furniture in a room can make it feel small and crammed, considering simplifying to the basic necessities. Remove 1-2 pieces from each room to give the space a little more breathing room, leaving no more than three main focal points per room. Think: couch, sofa chair, coffee table, or bed, dresser, side tables. Need some help? Learn how to safely move furniture here.

Declutter

Declutter

Move at least 30% of your household out. This might sound extreme, but will make a big difference. Get a head start on packing by boxing up seasonal items, d?cor, and items you won't use over the next 6 months. Consider renting a storage unit, or temporarily storing items at a friend, relative or neighbors home. Out of sight is best, but if you're out of options, stack neatly labeled bins and boxes in a basement corner, storage shed or along one wall of the garage.

Organize Closets

Organize Closets

Messy, packed closets read: There's not enough storage in this home. Weed-out closets by 50 percent, and make sure what's left is clean and organized in stacks or bins. Buyers will open closet doors and kitchen cupboards; make sure they don't see a big mess! Check out these 11 ideas to transform your closets.

Secure Valuables

Secure Valuables

Strangers walking through your home can seem unnerving, so make sure your valuables, personal documents and prescription medications are not accessible to potential buyers or unfortunately, criminals. Consider a locked closet, safety box, or storing elsewhere at a trusted location during showings. Get more ideas for hiding valuables here.

Switch to White Linens

Switch to White Linens

This may seem like a small detail, but switching shower curtains, towels and bedding to white or light neutral colors can make a big difference in overall impression. Bathrooms should appear clean, so swap out current shower curtains and display towels for new white versions just like hotels do. You can pick up inexpensive versions at home stores like Ikea. Bedding shouldn't distract, so consider layering a white or light blanket over current quilts for an airy, inviting impression.

Throw Pillows

Throw Pillows

Soft features like throw pillows make a space inviting and photograph well for online listings. Consider layering pillows on sofas, chairs, beds and benches. Buy simple covers and stuff with cheap inserts like basic bed pillows that can be had for under $5.

Accessorize in Threes

Accessorize in Threes

Keep d?cor to a minimum, but adding a few accent pieces in odd-numbered groupings is more eye appealing than symmetrical arrangements. Consider these accents on bookshelves, mantles, coffee tables, and above kitchen cabinets.

Remove Personal Effects

Remove Personal Effects

Pack up all decorations that tell a story about yourself. Photos, monogramed d?cor, and unique speaking-pieces will all distract a potential buyer. You want a neutral canvas so they can immediately picture themselves and their family living in the home, not spark questions about who is currently living there.

Clean

Clean

It's important to make sure the home is overall clean and tidy. Most importantly, clean tubs, sinks, and countertops. Almost every home shopper will peak into the tub, test out a sink, and run their hands along the kitchen counters. Make sure nothing dirty turns them off about their home-showing experience. Resist using highly fragranced oil diffusers, candles or scent plug-ins. A buyer might question what the scent is covering up; instead hide odor-neutralizing blocks in rooms of concern.

Make Views Shine

Make Views Shine

Clean all windows, inside and out as well as opening all curtains and blinds. This will let the maximum light into the home, and make it feel larger. Dirty windows can be distracting and create the image of an unkempt home, deterring buyers. Learn how to clean glass windows and doors the right way here.

Make a Pre-Showing Checklist

Make a Pre-Showing Checklist

Often owners are still living in the home while trying to sell, making the call from their realtor about a showing an inconvenience. Keep a short checklist at hand for each time you need to prep the house for a last minute showing. Tasks such as wiping counters and sinks, vacuuming, removing clutter, straightening linens, opening curtains and turning on lamps should all make the list.