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10 Staging Tips for a Show-Stopping Open House

You know your home needs to be clean and tidy before showing it off, but what else is required for a successful open house? Staging your home to sell doesn’t need to be expensive or time- consuming, but it does require attention to detail in areas you might normally overlook. If you’re get ready to sell your home, these 10 DIY staging tips will increase your chance of success.

1. Declutter
Prospective buyers should be able to move through your home with ease, viewing each area without your belongings getting in their way. Pack up and store books, knickknacks, out-of- season clothing, and other non-furniture items before the open house. Pare down furniture to the essentials to create a comfortable flow through rooms.

2. Depersonalize
You want homebuyers to picture themselves living in your house, but they can’t do that if the halls are lined with family photos, and the refrigerator is decorated with kids’ report cards and drawings. Take down family photos and other personal items and replace them with interesting art prints and on-trend décor.

3. Define Rooms
You don’t want prospective buyers wondering what a space in your house is for. Bring life to each area in your home by using furniture and décor to define its purpose. Turn an empty guest room into a craft parlor, space under the stairs into a cozy reading nook, or a finished basement into a kids’ playroom.

4. Improve Lighting
Bright and even lighting shows off your home’s best side. Replace dim or harsh light bulbs with warm-hued bulbs in a higher lumens rating, liven up shadowy corners with chic lamps, and keep curtains open during the open house for a bright and airy feel.

5. Keep Pets Away
Not only do pets not belong at open houses—meaning you need to arrange boarding before the day arrives—but their accoutrements, too, should be tucked away. While you should be honest if asked, you don’t want your home to advertise that a dog lives there. Store food bowls, dog beds, and other pet accessories out of sight, and be sure to deep clean to eliminate lingering pet odors.

6. Hide Appliances
For better or worse, your kitchen will receive a lot of attention during the open house. Most buyers are looking for a kitchen that’s spacious and easy to use, so remove appliances, spices, and other clutter from the countertops.

7. Set a Scene
Whether it’s a game of chess in the library, a newspaper and coffee mug in a cozy nook, or stylish place settings on the dinner table, vignettes that make your house look ever-so- slightly lived in make it easier for buyers to feel at home.

8. Decorate Gender-Neutral
Don’t risk turning away buyers with overly frilly or masculine décor. Ensure homebuyers of any gender can feel at home by keeping your interior design gender-neutral, particularly in the master bedroom.

9. Keep Closets Empty
Everyone loves storage space, but if your closets are stuffed to the gills, buyers will think your home doesn’t have enough. Keep closets as empty as possible to create the appearance of ample storage.

10. Create a Fresh Scent

A pleasant aroma sets the mood for your open house. Whether you want your home to feel lively and clean, woodsy and cozy, or like a soothing refuge, the right aroma can set the mood for your open house. However, artificial fragrances give some people headaches, so skip the air fresheners and opt for an essential oil diffuser instead. Proper staging is key for a successful open house. While some homeowners benefit from hiring a professional home stager to tend to the details, there’s a lot you can accomplish yourself with a little time and elbow grease. Whether you DIY or hire a pro, don’t forget to check these 10
items off your to-do list.

Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

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