7 Rules to Live By for Do-It-Yourself Home Staging for Real Estate

For this picture and more - check out the Home Staging Pinboard here: https://www.pinterest.com/point2/home-staging-ideas/

For this picture and more – check out the Home Staging Pinboard here: https://www.pinterest.com/point2/home-staging-ideas/

Do-It-Yourself home staging can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake when putting your home on the market, yet Professional Home Stagers aren’t always budget-friendly. When tackling the staging process yourself, it can be challenging to know where to start and what to look for. Here is a short overview of what to do (and not do) when it comes to staging your own home.

1. DO Keep Clean!

Even when you know you don’t have an upcoming showing or open house, be sure to keep up with the basics. Dusting, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, mopping floors and making the beds are all examples of daily cleaning that home sellers need to do. You never know when there will be an immediate showing.

2. DO Minimize.

The two major components here are to de-clutter and de-personalize the home to increase its appeal to buyers. Hide distracting objects, keep clothing and shoes out of sight, remove all personal items including family photos (even magnets on the refrigerator) and avoid décor that is too loud or eccentric. Many professional stagers even suggest moving all personal items that aren’t essential to an off-site storage location.

3. DO Neutralize.

Neutralizing your home means to make your home look fresh and new – but neutral. Paint your home’s walls in neutral colors that could appeal to anyone – beige, wheat, cream. It can also mean taking the ‘gender’ out of the rooms within your home. So tone down the man cave and de-pink the princess hideaway.

4. DO Plan for Your Pets.

As surprising as this may seem to some – not everyone is a dog or cat lover. The fastest way to lose a potential sale is to have a growling dog or hissing cat greet them at the door. Be sure to make arrangements with a friend, neighbor or pet daycare provider to host your pet while your agent is showing your home. Ideally, take the pet’s items food, bowls, leashes, and toys within them. And, always have a back-up plan for the pet in the event that you have an immediate showing and can’t get home in time.

5. DON’T Neglect Your Home’s Exterior.

Prospective buyers coming to a showing or open house at your home get their first impression before even entering your home. This means keeping up with landscaping and making any necessary repairs to the exterior of your home. It even extends to removing garbage bins and holiday decorations. Don’t forget to shovel and salt the driveway and the walk if it has snowed.

6. DON’T Take It Personally.

When putting your home on the market, consider your home as a product. Just like a television, car or computer, different people have different preferences when it comes to purchasing and the same goes for your home. Rather than getting bent out of shape, use buyer feedback as an opportunity to get free advice on how to improve your “product.” Stay impartial. Ultimately, the goal is to sell your product – what the person thinks or plans to do with the property can’t cloud your judgment.

7. DON’T Do Major Renovations.

Spending money on major projects may seem like a tempting way to add value to your home, but don’t be fooled. Limit the amount of time and budget allocated to major projects and focus on the superficial things. Refinishing old flooring, refreshing paint and making other minor repairs should be your main focus. They will yield the biggest return on your investment at this stage.


DO seriously consider hiring a professional home stager.

A professional stager can come to your home for a consultation and provide a list of tips and suggestions for staging your home OR they can come in and redecorate room by room. Don’t be dissuaded by the idea of spending money on a home you hope to sell – hiring a professional stager is the best way to sell your home quickly and for its highest possible value.

Additional Resources for DIY Home Staging: