You don't have to be a professional home stager, or higher one, in order to obtain a faster sale and a higher offer. Follow these simple guidelines and you can make your home stand out from it's competition.

Before Showings Begin - Prepare Your Home

Prep Step 1: Clean!

Before you let a potential buyer step foot in your home, make sure the entire home has been cleaned from top to bottom. Everything in the home should be spotless, including appliances. All windows and skylights should be crystal clear. Be sure to clean vents and mirrors too. If you do not have time to do it yourself, hire a cleaning service.

Prep Step 2: Eliminate Odors

If you have pets or are a smoker, your home could have odors that you do not notice but a potential buyer would. Try to keep pets confined to an area that is not part of the main living areas. If you are a smoker, smoke outdoors and not in the home because the scent lingers. If it is possible that your carpets, furniture and curtains are retaining odors that may be offensive to others, be sure to have professional cleaners handle this as well. Offensive odors can be the cause of homes sitting on the market for a long period of time.

Prep Step 3: Remove Clutter


Pack away the table top items, ornaments, pictures and figurines. You want clean, clear surfaces for your kitchen counter tops, bathroom counter tops, and on your furniture. Depersonalize your home so a potential buyer can envision their belongings in each of the rooms, instead of spending time looking at the family photos. You also want to remove any furniture that may crowd a room. You want an open airy feeling in the home.

Prep Step 4: Evaluate the Condition

If your walls and carpets look dingy, stained, or outdated you want to freshen the appearance. Have the walls repainted and purchase new carpets. This is a relatively inexpensive way to give your home a face lift and is usually a big selling point for buyers.

Prep Step 5: Curb Appeal

Make sure your home looks appealing to the buyers as they pull up to your home. Make sure the lawn is mowed, hedges trimmed, and leaves are raked. Clean the gutters of debris. Buyers WILL notice the leaves and branches hanging out from your gutters. Freshen the exterior paint if there are areas where the paint is peeling or unsightly. You want your home to look inviting. Remember, a buyer's first impression is a lasting one. If they do not like the appearance of the home as they pull up, they may never walk through the door.