This is part one of my new moving with kids series. Since moving is definitely an adventure for families I wanted to share our experience with our recent move.
It’s not a secret that homes that are staged well sell faster. Staging is all about helping buyers see themselves in the house and making your space look its very best.
We recently sold our home in less than 36 hours and got lots of feedback on how well the house was staged so I thought I’d share some of my favorite simple home staging tips. None of these are difficult or require you to spend a lot of money but they are a little more specific than the typical purge and declutter advice.
Do you still need to purge and declutter?
Yes, of course those are the basics to start with, but these tips are more about adding those final touches that get you faster offers from potential buyers. They’re simple, budget-friendly, and easy to do even if you’ve got kids at home.
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Simple Home Staging Tips To Help You Sell Fast
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Empty a few drawers in each room
Whether you purge or pack, clear out a few drawers in your high traffic rooms so that things can be put away quickly. Both kids had an empty storage cube box to stash their stuffed animals and pjs each morning. I had a drawer in the living room for my laptop, papers, etc., and we kept two cabinets empty to easily put away the clutter on the kitchen counter. Make space for your daily living stuff so it can be stored quickly.
Pack up the toys
Just go ahead and tackle this early on. I was worried it would make my kids antsy to pack up their toys a few weeks before showings but they have actually been calmer and both have remarked and how much better their rooms feel. We left a few LEGO sets that can be easily tossed in a storage bin and made a rule that you can’t leave a room until everything is put away. You’ve got enough to do without having to pick up toys too!
I am NOT a plant person and have trouble keeping things alive, but a touch of greenery can really brighten up a room. Buy a few inexpensive plants at a home improvement store. I got cheap pots and baskets at Goodwill to set them in so they look fancy. Fake greenery is great too (I like IKEA’s selection) and then you don’t have to worry about keeping it happy while you’re busy. Even clippings from your yard can work well.
Don’t be afraid of fake flowers either but try to use them sparingly. We listed in August and I could not find fresh flowers for outdoors so I ended up with some fake geraniums to put in pots. Just don’t go overboard and make it look like a cheap restaurant bathroom or grandma’s house.
Diffuse a light scent
Air fresheners need to be super subtle or buyers think you’re trying to cover something up. I filled our big diffuser with a mixture of lemon, lavender, and rosemary essential oils for any showings. It was the right amount of scent without being overpowering.
You can also get a reed diffuser, but just be careful that you pick a light scent. No scent at all is better than an overpowering smell. In a pinch, vinegar will help get rid of bad smells but you need time for it to dry otherwise it’s pretty strong.
Have a “go bag” and laundry basket for quick pick ups
Plan ahead and pack a bag for your kids and pets with all the things you’ll need to be out of the house. Store it in your car or near your back door so in case you get a last-minute showing you can just grab and go. I included snacks, sunscreen, water bottles, etc., so that we could head to the park to play.
Also have an empty laundry basket or blue IKEA bag to grab anything that you don’t want out for showings. My advice: put the kids and dog in the car, then run back in for a quick check to make sure you’ve got everything set and all the lights are on.
Make a wall patch and paint kit
We did lots of touching-up ahead of time for all the scuffs and dents that seem to show up on the walls when you have kids, but I still managed to find some more every time I walked around the house. To save the mess of hauling out paint cans, make a quick patch and paint kit by putting your most used colors (trim and wall) in small glass jars with a few craft paint brushes. It’s so much easier to open the jar and do a quick touch-up than dealing with a huge brush and paint can.
Use the Target Dollar Spot
If you need to update your decor or have a few spots that need a little love, hit up the Target Dollar Spot for inexpensive decorating materials that are trendy and appeal to buyers. I found dish towels, some small vases, a cute wall hanging, and even some fake greenery for just a few bucks. Goodwill is another option for nice baskets or some dishes or glassware to freshen up the space.
Get brand new towels
Buy some cheap white towels and a new bright white bathmat and ONLY set them out for showings. They’ll stay clean and fluffy looking and help bathrooms to look sparkly and brand new! Plus you’ve got some brand new towels to use when you move to your new home.
Don’t forget pillows
One of the quickest ways to update a space or add a pop of color is with pillows. You can find inexpensive pillow covers online for pillows you already have or you can grab inexpensive inserts at IKEA. Pick some colors that help tie a space together by using a rug or piece of art in the room for inspiration. New pillows can even help older furniture look better and more updated.
Shop the house
Don’t be afraid to move things around from room to room. You don’t need to house to work for you, you need your home to work for anybody. I found some art in the closet that I could hang up, a rug that wasn’t being used, and we moved a bookcase from the living room to the guest room to make it look less crowded.
If you’re good at seeing new possibilities in a space, invite the friend with the best decorated house to come help you. Chances are they have a good eye for design and can help you see how to use what you already have (so you save money!)
Making These Simple Home Staging Tips Work
Selling your house is hard work and will require some time from you to get things ready. Plan ahead enough to make sure you have time to get your house ready. The more time you put in before you list, the faster it will sell since you’ll already have everything taken care of.
Once you are doing showings, make sure you keep things neat and clean and pay attention to the little details. Potential buyers notice and will reward you with a quick offer!
And finally, mentally prepare yourself to live a little bit uncomfortably while you’re listing your house. Talk with your kids about why things are disrupted for a little bit and show them how moving on can be part of a fun adventure. The more you’re ready for the inconvenience of having your house on the market, the easier it is to live with the disruptions. Plus, with all the simple home staging tips you’ve put in place, you’ll be accepting an offer before you know it!
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Have you recently moved? What are your top tips for staging? I’d love to hear from buyers too about what you loved (or didn’t) in the houses you looked at! Leave a comment with your best advice below.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
Well, I wish you had the solution to finding a house in Carmel. We sold our house in Bloomington to the 1st person who looked at it at the asking price. We are now renting an apt., furniture, and kitchen supplies until we find a house. VERY frustrating. Can’t do much cooking as a food blogger without kitchen supplies. Anyway, we are happy to be here because all of our kids and grandkids are here. More quality time with them. Hope all is well with you!!
Richard Davis says
Putting plants will definitely make your house looks better and livelier. Great blog by the way and thanks for sharing!
Duncan Lance says
Home staging is a major part of selling your home, so you’ll want to make sure that you nail it. I particularly like that the article recommends putting together a wall patch and paint kit. After all, it can really impress potential buyers if you fix up little problems with your home before you let them tour the house.
Taylor Hansen says
I appreciate the advice about putting greenery around the house when staging a home. My wife and I are trying to stage our home in the summer and I’m worried about the current market. I’ll have to talk to our Realtor and see what work needs to be done before showing the home.
Icons Marketing says
Thank you for sharing all these helpful tips. I do virtual staging and came up with a bunch of new ideas reading your articles.