Selling Your Home? Here’s some tips for staging it from a pro

3 Quick Upgrades

To Sell Your Home Faster

Sometimes, you don’t have time – or the budget – for a lengthy renovation before selling a house. While the place could probably do with an upgrade in places, many home improvement projects can take a long time and delay the buying process by weeks or months. Here are three things you can do to increase the value of your house without losing precious time.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

First impressions are important. Prospective buyers have made a judgment about the house the second they parked outside it, which could heavily influence their decision.

Ideally, you should put some real landscaping effort into your front yard, as this can have some great return on investment. However, this can take time. To keep it short, do some basic maintenance. Mow the lawn, trim any bushes, rake leaves and make the space look tidy. You could also invest in some pots and planters with flowers to brighten things up.

Also, don’t underestimate the difference a bucket of soapy water or a power washer can make: an exterior wash could add $10,000 to $15,000 to the value of your house. The New York Times has a good guide to washing the exterior of your house safely and effectively.

Let There Be Light

Buyers want to see light, airy spaces, so you should look to maximize sunlight by opening curtains and blinds. However, there are cases where that’s not enough. You could be showing the house on a dark gloomy day or later in the evening and some rooms may not get a lot of natural light anyway. This means that how you light the room could make a big difference.

There are three types of lighting: ambient, task and accent. Ambient is the general lighting for the room, which enables you to see and determines the overall brightness of the space. Task lighting helps you perform a specific action like a reading light, while accent lighting highlights a specific feature of the room. A well-lit room should have all three with sources spread around the space.

You should also consider the type of bulbs you are using. recommends looking for “true white” bulbs for task-oriented spaces including the kitchen and bathroom and using softer warm whites for living spaces. Make sure you are using the same kind of bulb in each room to avoid it feeling disjointed.


When staging a home, you need to strike a balance between removing enough clutter that the house looks spacious and neutral, without removing too much character. After all, while you want your buyer to be able to see themselves in the space, you don’t want them to think the house is bland.

Start with getting rid of anything you don’t want, don’t use or don’t really need. Donate anything useful, recycle what you can, and throw away the rest. This will not only make staging your home easier, but it will also simplify your upcoming move.

Then, you should consider the things that you still want, but also may be unappealing to a buyer. These include things such as personal photos and knickknacks, toiletries on the sink, and kitchen ingredients lying around on counters. Select a few particularly nice objects to leave out so the room still feels homely and hide all the rest.

Instead of just putting everything into a box for the showings, consider whether there is any quick DIY you can do to improve storage around the house. Buyers are likely to look in closets and drawers and creative, tidy storage will give the illusion of plenty of storage space.

These changes do not require any significant DIY knowledge and can be done in a couple of days, but could make a big difference to the appeal of your home. They could also add some value, so make sure to get the house valued by a real estate agent after you have done these. Afterward, you can also find out how much profit you are expected to make from the sale with an online calculator, which could help you in your search for your next home.


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.