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DIY Home Staging

Do It Yourself Home Staging

Helpful Hints - Done Cheap!

When it comes to home staging, the little things are just as important as the big things.

You never know what will catch a buyer's eye, and will turn them off.

Most buyers respond to the same expectations when it comes to looking at homes. They want to see clean, clutter-free homes in good condition. So break out the paint and Spackle and fix any damaged areas that you have been neglecting.

Not everyone has the money for some of the bigger repair jobs. So what can be done on a smaller scale that will still have a major impact on the presentation of your home?

1.    Paint is relatively cheap and can change the entire presentation of a home inside and out. It's a great way to add appeal and increase market value.

2.    Make windows sparkle, on both sides. Drapes and blinds should be left open during showings to let natural light in.

3.    Flowerbeds should be free of weeds and well maintained, regardless of the season. A well-maintained yard implies a well maintained home.

4.    Cut the grass and trim the shrubs. Patch and fill any holes dug by pets, and remove any and all dog poop piles and toys left scattered in the yard. Ensure the yard is clutter-free. All toys, tools, etc should be put away in a proper place for storage. Bikes and wagons can be stored along the fence or in a garage or shed. Open, clean space will make your yard look larger. Curb appeal is the first impression people get of your home, so make sure it's a good one.

5.    Make your front entry as inviting as possible. Put a blooming flowerpot, or water feature at the door. If the door looks damaged, paint it. Get a nice welcome mat or area rug to enhance the comfort you feel when you first walk into your home.

6.    Remove any unused appliances from the countertops and place in cupboards. Empty countertops give the illusion of more space. Clean and shine all appliances and organize drawers neatly. Some buyers may open cabinets and drawers to look at storage space and capacity.

7.    Remove all unnecessary clutter from each room. You are moving anyway, so packing these items away now will also save you time later. Most show homes show only the basics. Pack up your books, videos, DVD's, CD's, etc. Remove all clutter!

8.    De-personalize your home. Remove all family photos, trophies, etc. The buyer needs to be able to envision themselves and their own possessions in your home. This is hard to do with pictures of you and your family all over. Not only can they not envision their possessions, they may also feel as if they are intruding your personal space.

9.    Clean, clean, clean! There is no such thing as too clean. Emphasize the effort in the bathrooms, laundry areas, kids' rooms and closets. Make use of the storage under beds if your closets are looking too full.

10.    Last but definitely not least; the aroma in your home is tied to the second impression the buyer gets from your home. Ensure windows are open, and the house is clean and smells great! Soft scents work best! Avoid strong scents and incense! And, most important of all: clean the cat box!

DIY Home Staging Checklist:


1. The Yard

- Remove all weeds from flowerbeds, rocks, & cracks in concrete.

- Add new mulch in all beds around the yard. Monkey hair is easy to use and gives the yard a fresh sophisticated look.

- Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion.

- Cut the Grass Diagonal- by cutting in a diagonal pattern, it makes the lawn appear longer and wider.

- Trim bushes & trees removing all dead limbs & debris.

- Add fertilizer/ greening agent to lawn & plants.

2. Decks, Patios, Driveways, Porches & Fences

- Power wash driveways & sidewalks.

- Patch holes & cracks.

- Remove stains.

- Replace any broken areas.

- Paint or stain fences & decks.

- Arrange outdoor furniture & firewood neatly.

- Put away all lawn equipment, bikes, & toys.

3. House

- Inspect all exterior elements of home: gutters, downspouts, siding, windows sashes, trim, & shutters. Clean, paint, and/or replace as needed.

- Replace any broken windows, doors, & screens. Make sure they all operate properly.

- Clean windows & screens thoroughly. This helps brighten the home inside.

- Roof: Inspect for missing/ damaged shingles & flashings. Make any necessary repairs.

- Clean & touch up paint on the little things: House numbers, mailboxes, doorbells, etc.

4. Front Porch

- Replace front door if damaged & cannot be repaired.

- Paint door & trim.

- Clean porch area.

- Put out a new & clean doormat.

- Install potted/hanging plants if space permits.

- Have a nice porch light. Repaint, clean, or replace. Install high wattage bulbs to make porch area brighter.



1. Whole House Improvements

- Clean & wax wood floors.

- Clean vinyl & ceramic floors.

- Clean, paint, replace all vent covers.

- Clean, polish, paint/stain wood trim in home.

- Be sure to remove pet odor & smoke odor when cleaning. Smell is a huge part of what buyers remember about your home.

- Clean windows & screens.

- Clean curtains, drapes, & blinds.

- Clean carpets. If pet stains exist replace carpet & pad.

- Remove wallpaper & borders (wall paper is normally too personalized).

- Add a fresh coat of paint using white, off white or beige paint.

- Repair damages to walls & ceilings. Includes: holes, cracks, & water stains. Repaint after repair.

2. Lighten up the Place

- Clean all lampshades & covers.

- Replace bulbs with high wattage bulbs.

- Clean windows & screens.

3. Closets

- Stage the Closets.

- Remove out of season clothing from closets.

- Leave only a few items on the floor of closets.

- Add extra, empty hangers.

- Neatly arrange items on shelving.

- Leave extra space on shelves.

4. Pay Attention to the Little Things

- Oil any squeaky doors or drawers.

- Arrange furniture to give an open feel. Remove any unnecessary or oversized furniture.

- Make sure all switches & outlets are clean & working properly.

- Place fresh flower arrangements throughout home.

- Fix any leaky faucets.

- Tighten loose towel racks.

- Make sure windows open & close with out squeaking.

- Hide Prescription medication. Theft of these items is rising.

5. Kitchen & Baths

- Thoroughly clean all counter tops, appliances, mirrors, ovens, sinks, toilets, tub and tile.

- Store small appliances to open up counter space.

- Clean & organize drawers, cabinets, & linen closets.

- Clear off vanity counter tops & store all personal care items neatly.

- Clean ventilating hood & exhaust fans.

- Remove rust stains.

- New knobs on drawers & cabinets make a difference

- Clean all tile grout. (Suggest Healthy Green Cleaning Recipes.)

6. Garage, Basement, Attic & Storage Areas

- Remove stains & dirt from floor.

- Paints floors gray.

- Organize garden tools & equipment.

- Wipe off water dirt/cob webs from water heater, furnace, washer & dryer.

- Dispose of everything you are not going to move.

- Arrange items neatly & clutter free.

- Consider painting walls & ceilings white.

- Cure problems in basement. Seek professional advice if needed.