Here’s a hypothetical situation. Suppose you want to buy a can of tomato soup. There are two left at the store. They are identical in every way, except one can’s label is torn. Which can would you choose?

Your answer to that question shows that you already understand the importance of home staging. Presentation is crucial to selling anything for its best price, and a house is no exception. The more presentable your house is, the sooner it’s going to receive a serious offer. Better yet, a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing house also encourages potential buyers to submit faster and higher offers.

Home staging is essentially cleaning, decluttering, furniture rearrangement, cosmetic repairs, and a few other light touches. You get a great return on investment for the meager amounts of time and money you invest into staging a home, and you don’t have to hire a professional. Just follow our six home staging tips when you want to pull equity out of thin air!


1. Prioritize the Big Three Rooms

It would be nice if every room in your home looked like it belongs in a mansion, but going overboard just isn’t practical. Prioritize staging the rooms which matter most to potential buyers: kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. These are the rooms buyers imagine themselves spending the most time in, because they will.


2. Neutralize Each Room

Staging shouldn’t make a home feel sterile. People are willing to rent a beige, empty apartment unit, but they want a little more personality from a home they’re considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for. Neutrality helps buyers visualize what living in a home would be like.

But don’t make your home’s presentation too personal. Remove family photos. Clear off your fridge. Take down calendars. Hide personal hygiene products. Remove coats from the coat rack. Essentially, don’t let your potential buyer see anything that could remind them that strangers are currently living in the house. They’ll feel less at ease touring a home that has obviously already belonged to someone else. They prefer a blank canvas!

Bold-colored walls are unpopular with potential buyers for the same reasons. Repainting a wall or entire room from a bright color to a more subtle gray, white or beige is something any layman can do, and it creates the neutral atmosphere buyers greatly prefer.


3. Rearrange Furniture

You’re accomplishing two goals when you rearrange furniture for a home staging: make each room look appealing, and make each room easy to navigate. A good furniture arrangement gives a room a flowing and spacious feel, which will improve potential buyers’ moods and make their showings go more comfortably. If you have any oversized, damaged, mismatched or superfluous pieces of furniture, secret them somewhere and leave them there until you move.


4. Clean, Declutter and Light It Up.

You already know people prefer clean, clutter-free and well-lit spaces. The words “dirty,” “cluttered” and “dark” are seldom associated with places we enjoy spending time in. Furthermore, there’s actual science supporting the value of cleaning, decluttering and lighting a home you want to sell:

  • The sight of clutter can trigger stress, increase negative feelings, and limit the brain’s ability to process information. That’s why decluttering can help keep buyers calmer, happier and more focused – all good moods for them to have, from your perspective as a seller. 
  • Good lighting has a similar positive effect over people’s minds. It alleviates depression and enhances cognitive performance, so swing open the curtains, clean each window until its glass is invisible, and turn on every lamp and ceiling light that has a switch.
  • We don’t need science to explain why people prefer buying clean things. It’s because we don’t like dirty things. But cleanliness also suggests to potential buyers that the previous owner has taken good care of the home, and probably also maintained it in ways which aren’t immediately apparent.


5. Do a Little DIY

You don’t have to be a general contractor to take care of the light repairs every home staging should include. Patch, fill and paint over any holes in the walls. Touch up any patches of wall that have had their paint chipped, and brush a cheap melamine sponge eraser over any sections of wall that are scuffed. Apply caulk to areas that could be improved by the addition of caulk. Cosmetic DIY touches are just as important to staging a house as cleaning!


6. Make a Strong First Impression

First impressions aren’t everything, yet they count for a great deal all the same. Potential buyers will see and judge two aspects of your home before they have even entered it: its landscaping, and its entryway. You don’t have to completely redo your home’s landscaping and hardscaping. You may simply revitalize them by trimming trees and shrubs, adding a few potted flowers, freshening up the lawn, and renting a power washer for a few hours. For the entryway, remove any seasonal decorations, repaint or replace the exterior door if it’s scuffed or damaged, and perform any other cleaning or light repairs that would make your home appear more inviting at first glance.

Are you selling a house, commercial property, hunting land or farmland in the greater Detroit Lakes, MN area? Contact Action Realty of Detroit Lakes today to engage a Realtor who knows the simple, affordable and effective techniques that will maximize your return on investment!