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Why Can't I Sell My House: Staging

By Edited Jul 6, 2015 1 1

Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Fast

Welcome to the third and last installment in the Why Can't I Sell My House series of articles. In the first article we dealt with the very minimum a home seller must do to attract a buyer. The second article gave us information on how to entice a buyer to do a home walk-thru by increasing our home's curb appeal. And today we will focus on the aspect of Staging. Don't worry, this is the fun part.

What exactly is Staging?

Staging is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It's all about setting the stage for the

Sold Sign
prospective home buyer to fall in love with your home. This is done by use of color, lighting, and a few key props to help highlight all the best features of your home.

You can start to get ideas by looking through home magazines. Look at ads as well as articles for small little things that make a room seem more attractive and friendly. Those little things are staging. Let's take a look at some ideas for each room of the house.

The Living Room

In the Basics article we learned to go with neutral colors for wall paint and floor coverings. Well here is where we get to add some sizzle. Add color to your room with bright throw pillows or a hand crocheted afghan thrown over your sofa or chair. If you have a coffee table, put out a vase of flowers and maybe a couple of books to set the scene of a lived in and relaxing area. If you don't want to deal with fresh flowers, get a nice silk arrangement.

If the view out your living room windows isn't all that enticing but you want the benefit of su

A Dash of Color
nlight, consider adding a sheer panel under your curtains. Then you can draw back the curtains and the light will shine through the sheers while still blocking the view.

Do you have a fireplace? If so, be sure to use it to your advantage. If it is winter, you can have a fire going for the walk-through, or at least have a few logs set ready to light. If it is summer time, you can get a small tiered shelf to place inside your fireplace and load it up with candles.

The Dining Room and Kitchen

Set the table with your best china or glassware and be sure to have a tasteful centerpiece.

Make your counter space seem larger by putting away your small appliances. Toasters, electric can openers, etc. can be stored to open up your counter. Also make sure to remove any cleaners or dish soap that might be in your sink area.

Clean everything until it literally sparkles!

Pay special attention to the top of the refrigerator. This tends to be a catch-all space. Try placing a nice decorated basket up there instead of the usual clutter.

Remember that you as a home seller have no privacy during a home showing. Make sure that your cabinets are cleaned out and organized to look roomy and spacious. Ample cabinet space is always a plus. If your cabinets are full to overflowing with cans from over a year ago, it's time to do some spring cleaning.

A kitchen should always smell nice. Bake some cookies (you can cheat and use roll cookies that you just slice and bake) or pop in a frozen pie. If it's summer and you don't want to heat your kitchen, have a nice fruity candle burning.

This should go without saying, but make sure that your trash is empty and out of the house. You don't want an odd smell to creep up from the trash can or under the sink.


Here it helps to think of a really nice hotel or bed and breakfast. A nice, welcoming bedroom shouldn't be overly feminine or masculine. You need to go with a simple and (remember this word?) neutral setting. Be sure to have your nicest comforter or quilt on the bed to welcome the guest.

Closets should be cleaned out to make them appear bigger. Store out of season clothes and make sure that all laundry in the closet is fresh and clean. You want the smell of fresh linen to greet the buyer when they open the closet. In kids' rooms, store any old toys or outgrown clothes to open up the space. Believe it or not the amount of closet space can make or break a sale. Also, any posters should be taken down and stored to open up wall space and add to the neutrality of the room.

Make sure there is light available by the bed to read by. If need be, add a small table lamp to the nightstand. And of course a book by the lamp!


All your bathroom surfaces should be clean and spotless. This includes the toilet, sink, and bath tub as well as walls and floors. If your shower curtain looks the worse for wear, replace it.

Make sure your tub's caulking is in good repair.

Clean and organize your medicine cabinet and under the sink storage area. Yes, they will look.

Bring out your best towels and guest soaps and consider adding a small plant or basket of potpourri. Buy a colorful new rug to brighten up the room.

If you have the space consider a small basket by the commode to hold a couple of magazines.

The O

Solar Walk Light
utside of Your Home and Garage

Consider adding some solar lights along the walk way to your front door.

Dress up your outside living area. If you have a picnic table, cover it with a bright plastic tablecloth.

Remove your car from the garage before showings. An empty garage always looks bigger. If your garage is currently stuffed to capacity, seriously consider getting a storage unit until after the sale.

Final Notes

That's it. If you've followed the advice in this series of articles you should be well on your way to selling your home quickly.

Of course, there are other things to consider as well. If you have followed these ideas to a tee and still had no offers, take a look at your pricing. Compare your selling price with other homes for sale in your neighborhood. If you have been trying to sell your home by owner, consider bringing a real estate agent on board. They have the capability of marketing your home on a much larger scale to reach many more potential buyers.

Here's hoping that you'll never have to ask "Why can't I sell my house?" again!



Mar 4, 2012 9:06pm
You have some great ideas and they do work. It always amazes me how some people do not even wash up their dishes when selling their homes. In most cases when you sell through an estate agent they will contact you to inform you of a prospective buyer coming. Yet they do nothing to help their cause.

Many agents put photo's of the properties outside their homes. In my opinion this is a no no. Because buyers already know what it is like, and see no need to look further. The seller loses that chance to showcase those special attributes of their homes.
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