Need to sell your house fast? It can be done.
And no, it doesn’t have to be expensive or extensive. It just takes the right kind of preparation to increase your odds of selling.
It’s what we in the real estate business call “staging.” And experts tell us it can get your house sold 90% faster!
But you don’t have time for intro paragraphs! Here are the top 10 house staging tips to sell your house fast. Read them, do them, get sold!
1. Boost Curb Appeal
The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see, whether online or in person. Think of it as the cover your book will be judged by. So make it a good one.
Start with lawn maintenance. Your lawn should be mown and weeded (and should have grass). If there are dead spots in the lawn, or no grass at all, either reseed or re-sod.
Pressure wash the outside of the house and repaint if necessary. Remove oil spots and ugly cars from your driveway. Replace any unkempt plants and weather-worn decor/landscaping elements, like sunbleached bark.
You can also add hanging plants, shutters, and other outdoor decor. Repainting the front door and replacing the doorknob are nice touches, too.
2. Put Your Junk Away, Far Away
Now your house looks gorgeous to anyone who sees it. From the outside, that is.
Depending on your level of indoor clutter, buyers who step inside may immediately wish they hadn’t. Of course, if you had somewhere else to put this stuff, it’d already be there, right?
The answer is simple: get a public storage unit. Then, get your unsightly junk out of sight.
Store as much as you can as fast as you can. In general, you want a third of your stuff gone.
What you leave behind is only what makes the house look prettier. Specifically, this means your nicest furniture and decorative items and wonderful, glorious space.
As an added bonus, you’ll have a third of your stuff already packed for the move!
3. Declutter and Depersonalize
So what do we mean by “junk?” Obviously, this includes anything that’s unappealing in general. Piles of mail, things left on counters, and overly cluttered decorative displays all fall into this category.
But junk also refers to anything that appeals to you instead of to your buyers.
Remember, this is not your home anymore. At least, that’s the goal you’re aiming for.
Since you’re selling to other people and not to yourself, it’s time to remove all the personalized touches that make the house “your own.” Box up your collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia and your child’s handmade macaroni picture frame.
Ideally, you want the inside of your home to look like a hotel.
4. Clean Up
On that note, the surest way for a hotel to lose business is lack of cleanliness. After you’ve decluttered, it’s time to clean house.
It’s best to hire professional cleaners to make your house spotless. Clean all carpets, hard floors, counters, windows, and appliances. Get out the touchup paint if necessary.
There must be no fingerprints, streaks, or stains anywhere in sight. When you’re done, your house should look like new.
Then, keep it clean. Pretend you’re the hotel manager expecting new guests to arrive any minute.
Keep everything put away at all times. Clean glass surfaces/bathrooms and vacuum several times per week.
Wash and put away dishes after every meal. Wipe up any mess as soon as it’s made, especially food prep/dining areas.
Another way to make your house look new is adding new interior design elements. Start by rearranging your furniture to optimize flow and aesthetics.
Buy a centerpiece for your dining table and art for your walls. Get live plants and plug-in air-fresheners.
But remember, don’t overdo it with decor. You want to show off your house, not your decorations.
Speaking of which, let the light in. Allow plenty of natural light into your home and get high wattage lightbulbs for each light fixture.
5. Fix and Upgrade What You Can
If anything is too stained to look new, replace it. Repair or replace anything you can afford to.
Start with any major problems you know about. This should go without saying, but if you have a broken faucet, roof leak, or expired HVAC system, it will be hard to sell your house to average buyers.
Then, move on to minor fixes. Fix dents in your walls, replace stained bathroom fixtures, etc.
You can also improve your house with simple upgrades. Decorative doorknobs and light fixtures are a good place to start.
6. Be Honest
One of the biggest rules for selling a house is, “Don’t try to hide problems.” If you know of a problem and you’re unable or unwilling to fix it, be upfront about it.
You know the buyers are going to have the home inspected. If they find a problem you weren’t honest about, they definitely won’t buy. And you will have wasted all that time.
A dishonest seller is always a bigger deterrent to buyers than anything else that could be wrong with your home. Case in point, there are plenty of investors who will pay in cash for your home no matter what condition it’s in. Click here to learn more about that.
7. Lower the Price
It also helps to be honest with the price. You can’t oversell your home and sell it fast at the same time.
If you want your house off the market sooner, lower the price.
8. Sell to Your Friends
Once you think you’re finished staging your house, invite your friends over for some buyer/seller roleplaying. Someone with an outside opinion can more easily spot any issues that might turn buyers away.
Have some friends that don’t live with you pretend to be buyers and look over your refreshed property. Take notes and fix any issues that come up.
If you have no one who can do this for you, do it yourself. Pretend it’s you who is looking to buy.
Do you see anything you don’t like? Would you buy this house or keep looking?
9. Hire a Professional Photographer
Lastly, don’t let all this hard work go to waste. What good is a nice-looking house if all the pictures you take of it are ugly?
Hire a professional photographer to take your listing photos. This way, online buyers will see the best version of the best version of your home.
Sell Your House Fast
You’re still here? You have work to do!
Get out there and use these tips to sell your house fast.
For related reading, see 9 Staging Techniques For First Time Home Sellers.