When you sell your home, you want your property to stand out among the competition so it sells more quickly and for a higher price. Staging prepares your residence so it appeals to the widest audience.

Start with the exterior.

Start by improving the curb appeal to get househunters through the front door. Make any necessary repairs or buyers will overestimate the price of fixes and deduct the costs from their offers. Paint the exterior so it looks fresh and new. If you can’t afford that, give the walls a power wash by renting equipment from the home center or by having professionals do it.

Eliminate anything from your front, back, and side yards that don’t belong there, such as children’s toys, pet food containers, broken branches, or piles of leaves. Mow the grass, prune the trees and bushes, and plant some colorful annuals on the ground or in containers. If you have a patio or expanses of hard surface, put clean outdoor furniture on them, so buyers see how they can use these spaces.

Clean the interior.

The one thing that you can and should do to the interior is to clean everywhere. A spotless home looks newer and bigger than one that’s covered in dirt. Be sure to take care of the tops of window frames, behind and underneath furniture, and the shelves in closets. Buyers like to look in these areas to uncover how well you’ve kept up with the place.

Now is the time to hire professionals to do a stellar job. Make sure your mechanical systems, such as oven and HVAC system, are cleaned as well. Have the air ducts professionally taken care of, especially any visible vents. When your real estate agent turns on the air-conditioner or heater, you want fresh and clean air to come out, and not dust and allergens that could affect househunters.


Too much stop crowds and cramps your interiors. Remove items piled on floors, shelves, tables, and inside closets. Eliminate as many of your possessions as possible, especially anything personal, such as family photos, unusual art, and collections. See if friends or family can store your things temporarily. You want buyers to focus on your property and not on the people who live there.

Make sure that each room only contains the minimum amount of furniture so it looks bigger. All a small dining room needs, for example, are table and chairs. Don’t bother with a sideboard, side tables, or planters, if people can’t freely walk around the furniture. Replace any old-fashioned bulky pieces like armoires or overstuffed sofas with modern pieces. You can borrow furniture from family or friends, buy them from thrift shops, or rent them.

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