DIY Home Staging for a Quick and Profitable Sale

by Joanne Guidoccio
DIY Home Staging for a Profitable Sale photo

Attract more interested buyers with a beautifully staged home. Use these DIY home staging tips for a quick, profitable sale.

Martha Stewart. Nate Berkus. Peter Walsh. Julie Morgenstern.

Many of us would gladly welcome any of these design and organizational mavens into our lives, especially if we were planning to sell our homes within the near future. It would be wonderful to hand over the house keys, take a two-week holiday, and return to find a beautifully staged home that could incite a bidding war and be featured in a future edition of Better Homes and Gardens.

This is definitely a fantasy, but it is possible to do our own staging on a budget and attract more interested buyers. Consider the following tips:

Start at the Curb

In a survey conducted by The Home Show, a British television show, 22 percent of 220 potential buyers said they would drive by a home if the exterior of the house looked neglected.

Mow the grass and tend the flower beds. De-clutter the lawn by removing any pink flamingos, Walt Disney characters, statues, or anything else that might obstruct the view and turn away buyers. Ensure that all bins, children’s toys, and tools are stored out of sight. Clean and apply a fresh coat of paint to the fence and front door.

Enhance the Entrance

Regardless of size, the front entrance should look and feel more like valuable living space than a dumping ground for newspapers, boxes, and other paraphernalia. Dispose or remove these items immediately.

If space permits, add a chair, mirror, and a floor lamp to this area. Alternatively, you could give the entrance a lift with a simple floating shelf, containing interesting accessories.

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De-Clutter and De-Personalize

As you walk through your house, remove and purge items that do not enhance the overall aesthetics of the rooms.

Pack away family pictures, high school trophies, and other memorabilia. Make smaller rooms look larger by removing extra pieces of furniture. Empty out closets to give the illusion of more storage space.

Take this opportunity to donate to charity and get a head start on packing. It will make your life easier when you actually have to move. (See Smart Ways to Minimize Moving Costs.)

If you do not have a large basement or extra storage space, temporarily store the items at a friend’s or relative’s home.

Focus on the Kitchen and Bathroom

Many buyers will make decisions about the rest of your home based on what they see in these two rooms.

If you have an old and dated kitchen, do not rush out and buy new appliances or install new cupboards. Instead, lather up.

Deep clean your stove, fridge, and freezer. And don’t forget the oven. Potential buyers cannot resist; they will take a peek. Remove fridge magnets, lists, schedules, and other art. If any of these items are essential to the daily functioning of your household, temporarily store them in a drawer. Clean and polish the kitchen floor and get rid of any soiled rugs.

Continue scrubbing in the bathroom. Remove all traces of soap scum, lime scale, and mildew. Store all personal items and medications in cabinets. Aim for a coordinated look with matching shower curtains, floor rugs, and towels. Add large jars filled with bath oils and soaps, and if space permits, introduce an attractive vase or other interesting object.

Create a Light, Airy Feeling

After cleaning all the rooms, open up the blinds and curtains and let in the natural light.

If there are smokers in your home, remove all traces of cigarettes and ashtrays. Do not depend upon artificial air fresheners. Instead, several days before the open house, open all the windows and allow fresh air to circulate throughout the rooms.

Your home will look and feel better when you let in natural light and air.

Add the Finishing Touches

Fluff up all the pillows in the house. Brighten up your bedroom and bathroom with new linens and towels. Bake cookies, add fresh flowers, turn on the fireplace, play classical music on the stereo, or go with whatever feels comfortable and affordable.

About the Author

For 31 years, Joanne Guidoccio taught mathematics, computer science, business and career education courses in secondary schools throughout Ontario. Her articles, book reviews, and short stories have been published in Canadian newspapers and online. She has bachelor's degrees in mathematics and education and a Career Development Practitioner diploma.

Reviewed April 2022

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