Tab’s Tips for staging your home to sell

April 8, 2018

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

Staging your home to sell is critically important to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. We built a new home in Avondale, Arizona in our second year of marriage in 2003 and lived in it until we had to sell in 2010 to relocate across the valley. I was the girl who decorated my bedroom as a preschooler, changed my color scheme every few years and have always secretly wished to have my home featured in a home decorating magazine so I was excited to stage it to sell!

Tab’s Tips for staging your home to sell

My husband is currently a Phoenix Realtor and has worked with several families who wanted to sell their home, one of which was a close personal friend and I was happy to share my tips. When we staged our home, the only potential buyer that visited BOUGHT IT! He said he knew it was “the one” as soon as he walked in the door and that’s what you want.

You can see the whole tour here.

1. Consider moving out of your home before you put it on the market.

This is really step one because if you’re able to vacate before listing your home, the showings will be much easier and you won’t have to hide the dirty dishes and laundry then dash out the door every time someone wants to see your house.

2. Stage your home then have pictures taken of your home at its best.

Beautiful images of your home sell a potential buyer before they even visit your property. Visit some model homes then declutter and clean until your home resembles a model. Then declutter again. Look at high-end real estate listings online–you’ll be surprised how little is needed to make a home look cozy and inviting. For the pictures, turn on all the lights and open all the windows to make the rooms look as spacious and bright as possible.

3. If you can’t move out, plan to stash personal items before showings.

Have a dedicated toy chest or laundry hamper (probably several) to hide things at the last minute. Have a drawer or basket for tooth brushes and other toiletries. Dirty dishes can even go in the oven. Lidded ottomans or benches might also be a good investment.

I kept counter tops almost entirely clear and kept the decorations above the cabinets to a minimum. 

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

4. Hide other personal items.

They say potential home buyers want to envision themselves in your space so seeing your family’s faces and memorabilia all over can be a distraction.

No family photos.

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

5. But do have enough personality to be cozy and inviting.

Make sure every room has a purpose. If you have a den that could be confusing, stage it as a home office even if you just have a desk, a chair and a plant.

Keep surfaces mostly clear.

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

6. Consider having a color scheme.

It’s nice if your home has “flow” so a common color throughout goes a long way. Start with an entry rug and continue the color with pillows, flowers, candles and curtains in every room. Red and turquoise are lovely choices. A bathroom remodel may be necessary but you may be able to get away with simply updating a few items.

The guest bathroom was all neutral except some pops of turquoise.

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

7. Paint where necessary.

If your house has unique or personal colors throughout, the money you spend on one neutral color will be well worth it. Look at baseboards and doors, too, as they can get especially dingy. A neutral “greige” (a gray/beige) looks good with virtually any style and appeals to all generations. Bright white trim and doors makes a huge difference!

Painting kitchen cabinets is also a low-cost upgrade with a HUGE pay off. We recommend my dad who is an expert at painting cabinets. Visit OnaMission Home Painting for a free bid. White, gray or espresso (to coordinate with your counters, fixers and walls) are recommended. Bathroom and linen closet cabinets can be painted to coordinate.

8. Pay attention to curb appeal.

This includes landscaping and the front porch and front door. Look at your exterior lights and the hardware on your door, too. New plants and some pops of color go a long way. You want that “wow” factor when a potential buyer pulls up.

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

9. Appeal to all five senses.

People notice a home’s smell as soon as they walk in the door, whether it smells like cats or cinnamon. The most universally appealing smell is akin to the scent of baking a pumpkin bread–warm, cozy and inviting. Pillows, art work, blankets, plants and rugs add texture and interest as well. Soft music playing is a nice touch.

10. Remember the nooks and crannies.

People will look inside cabinets, including your medicine cabinets, as well as in closets and the pantry.

Not only does how you keep up your kitchen utensil drawer say a lot about how you’ve maintained the home but people also want to see what kind of storage the home has. You wants things to look tidy and clean. You can probably thin out closets by at least 50% so they look more roomy.

Master bedroom closet after I packed away 75% of it.

Staging your home to sell. Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant Drew Dumas Phoenix Realtor

Staging your home to sell can not only help you sell fast and for top dollar but can also be the first step in an easy move.

Please reach out to me if you need personalized help or if you need a Phoenix Realtor to list, market and sell your home. My husband takes excellent care of his clients and his business is truly a family affair.


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