People often think that the process of getting a home ready for sale can be complicated. But here are 20 practical home staging tips you can do yourself today to make a difference in the presentation of your home. You can also apply these 20 tips right now to boost the enjoyment of your current home.

Here are the 20 practical home staging tips:

1. Minor Repairs Can Make a Huge Difference.

Small things like grime on the bathroom walls, broken light switch plates or holes in the walls may seem like no big deal, but these types of minor details can signal that the home is not well maintained. So, it is important to make sure repairs like these are taken care of before showing the home.

2. Appeal to the Nose

Scent can trigger emotions and feelings. This is why when you walk into a department store, it often smells very pleasant and inviting. Often times, real estate agents will bake cookies or boil cinnamon sticks before the open house to make the home smell more inviting.

Similarly, bad smells will deter buyers. When you are getting your home ready for sale, do a thorough check of your home. Get a friend or your real estate agent to walk through the home with you and jot down any smells that are not pleasant. This is especially helpful when you have pets. Often times, you are already used to your pets’ scents and may not be aware that it can be strong for visitors.

Make sure that there are not any strange or bad smells in your home. If so, find out where it is coming from to make sure it is not something serious like mold, mildew, etc.

3. Use Art to Add Visual Interest

Having art on your walls is a great way to add color and visual interest to the room. It adds a layer of depth and can set the mood and tone of any space.

4. Use Color to Add Personality

The way we put colors together in the room can create different moods and set the tone of the home. Colors can soothe and can inject life into a lifeless room. You can use accent pillows, artwork, accessories, etc. to add pops of color.

5. Create a Flow

The layout of your furniture is important for a few reasons. First of all, furniture that is properly laid out makes an area welcoming and inviting. It also informs the visitors of the purpose of each room. Lastly, it creates great traffic flow for your open house visitors. You can create effective furniture layout by using grouping. For example, group the living room furniture (sofa, accent chairs, coffee table) together to create a conversational area that is suitable for entertainment and family gathering.

6. Does the Room Feel Small?

Oversized furniture and home accessories can make a room feel smaller than it really is, so when you are staging the home, look at the scale and proportion of your home accessories and furniture.

Similarly, a room that is overflowing with stuff is going to make the room feel cramped. It will also be difficult for visitors to tour during the open house. Do an audit of your rooms to make sure only the key pieces of furniture remain. You can liven up the room by using accessories and artwork.

7. Use Accessories to Create a Lifestyle Buyers Want

Home accessories can add a lot of personality and colors to a home. When you are staging to target a buyer’s ideal lifestyle, the right pieces of home accessories can do just that.

8. Avoid Things that Look Dated

If you have any items in your home that can be seen as outdated, like old drapes, kitchen cabinets, fixtures, etc. especially if they are also not in the best condition, replace them with something simple and neutral. You can get fairly inexpensive replacements from big box retailers like HomeSense, Home Depot, Ikea, etc.

For bigger ticket items like kitchen cabinets or wood flooring, there are a few ways to renew the worn-out wood. For example, you can stain, reface or paint kitchen cabinets to give them new life. Old wood flooring can be refinished and polished as well.

9. Make Your Bathroom Inviting

The bathrooms (especially the master bathroom) are some of the most important areas of the home and often have higher ROI than others. So it’s important to make sure that your bathrooms are in good shape. Take care of any leaks, major issues like mold, update the fixtures (if they are outdated), before the open house. You can also add accessories like fluffy towels and decorative pieces to make the space more inviting. Hotel bathrooms are great for inspiration.

10. Let There Be Light

Good lighting sells! In visual merchandising, lighting is an important element. It’s the same when it comes to staging your home. It is vital to make a room feel bright and airy when you are putting the staging together.

11. Less is More

This phrase may sound overused but it is very true when it comes to staging your home for sale. This is why there is a strong emphasis on decluttering in staging, because by having too many unnecessary items in the house can block and distract buyers from truly seeing your home. These items are fine when you are living there because they add to the ambiance and the enjoyment of your home. But if they are not necessary when the home is on the market, it’s best to remove them.

12. Painting Your House (and Stuff!) has the Best ROI

If the colors on your walls don’t look fresh anymore, it is time to repaint. Over time, the paint on your walls will fade and there may be uneven sunspots on the walls. The paint color itself can also become outdated, or it may be too personal to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers.

By refreshing the paint job, your home will feel renewed. Similarly, you can paint outdated fixtures, furniture and finishes to refresh the pieces.

13. No One Wants a Dirty House (Except Those Who are Looking for Bargains)

No one wants to buy a dirty house. It will immediately give the wrong impression to the buyers that you are a home seller who doesn’t maintain the house.

Buyers often say that they don’t need a turnkey-ready home; however, they still prefer to buy something that’s almost turnkey ready. So give them one less excuse to say no in buying your house.

14. Buyers LOVE Storage

No one ever complains about having too much space for storage.

Go through your cabinets and closets and remove any non-essential items during the sale period. Buyers will be interested in learning what kind of the storage space the house has. It is most likely that the buyers will be opening up kitchen cabinets, pantry spaces and closets to check what kind of closet space they will have.

15. Don’t Forget Your Garage

On that same note, don’t forget your garage! Clear out any stuff that you won’t need for the next few months and pack it away neatly in a storage unit if you can.

16. Make Your Master Bedroom Attractive

The master bedroom is very important since it’s where your buyers will be living. When it comes to staging the master bedroom, it’s important to make it an attractive space for the potential buyers. It should appeal to a broad range of buyers and not be overly feminine or masculine. The colors on the walls should be neutral and relaxing. Think about how high-end hotels usually style their rooms to make their customers feel excited to be spending the night there.

17. Don’t Forget Your Shelves

This is often ignored, especially for those who are living in the home while they are selling. Your reading materials can be a distraction to potential buyers, especially if there are books that should be in your private collection.

Often times, people also display their prized possessions on the shelves. Be sure to pack away anything valuable or have sentimental value to you in case it gets damaged during the open house.

Same goes for your kitchen shelves. Do a purge of items in the pantry and pack away things you will not need during the selling period.

18. Flooring On a Budget

If budget is an issue when it comes to updating the flooring, there are plenty of budget-friendly options. When it comes to old carpeting in the home, it is worth it to peel back a corner and check the condition of the floor underneath. Often times, our clients have refinished the hardwood floor underneath the old, outdated carpets.

You can also go to retailers and showrooms to check out your options. Nowadays, there are tons of choices out there that are economical and still look very lovely. You can use vinyl as an inexpensive option or substitute with plywood, bamboo, etc. for hardwood floor.

19. Green Brings Green

Have you noticed oftentimes that retailers like Ralph Lauren or Anthropologie all have plants or flowers in their retail stores? That’s because greenery and house plants can add visual interest and liveliness to a room and make the space feel more inviting and homey.