How to Stage a House

Want to score the best price for your abode? Market it right. Here's how.

Savvy Homebuying
Stage a Home with Ryan Homes

Before you list your home, beautify it, and watch multiple bids come in.

Say Goodbye

First things first: Let go of the emotional attachments for your house or apartment. Think of it as a product that needs to be sold. This will help: Visualize your future residence, the fabulous decorating possibilities, and all the crazy-fun times you'll enjoy in the years ahead.

Presentation is Everything

Fortunately, folks are always looking for houses or new condominiums for sale (which is good if you're trying to unload your place). Here's a clever trick brokers love: Bake cookies if you're having an open house—the yummy scent makes buyers happy.

Take the “You” Out

House selling is about creating a beautiful environment where buyers can imagine living. Put away family photographs, remove personal books from bookcases, and take diplomas off the walls. Do you have unusual or racy artwork? Remove the “whoa” factor and replace it with something more generic. Find something inexpensive at Ikea or 20X200, a great art resource.

Declutter to the Max

Think of staging as the very first step in packing: Box up every loose paper and knick-knack. Clear the kitchen counters of spices and appliances. Donate any piece of clothing you haven't worn in a year to Goodwill. You want to convey that your home is fantastically spacious.

Play Interior Decorator

Because you want the rooms to speak for themselves, you might want to move some of your furniture into storage (most of us have too much anyway). Rearrange your sofa and chairs to create cozy conversation areas, and anchor the furniture with an area rug. The idea is to have each room to appear welcoming and airy.

Go Cleaning Crazy

Scour the kitchen and bathrooms. Scrub away any mildew and pack up the kids' bath toys. Consider buying a fresh shower curtain, put out brand-new towels, and wash the windows inside and out. Think about getting a professional cleaner every two weeks. Your house should gleam.

Amp the Curb Appeal

Trim all hedges and bushes, and if you can, plant colorful annuals. Pressure-wash the brickwork and siding. Give the boot to beat-up patio furniture or replace your set with something inexpensive.

Ryan Homes Tip: If your wood floors are looking shabby, ask a pro to put down a coat of polyurethane. The investment could be worth it—shiny floors sell homes.