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How To Stage A House For Sale 

We can all recall making a splurge on big-ticket items perhaps a car or a holiday. Most of us do not buy on impulse. We spend hours online researching and comparing, drawn in by the allure of the new purchase, visualising our future selves owning the item of our desire. 

Buying a property is no different, so it makes sense that when selling, you need to figure out how you’re going to market your house to potential buyers. You need to think of your home as a high-end product and find a way to package it so it is appealing to prospective buyers.

Now, how do you get your house ready to sell? Staging is key. Read on and learn some trade secrets about how you can prepare your house for sale. 

What does it mean to stage your house?

Staging the house is part of the whole process of selling your house. Moving houses in Dublin is never easy but finding a sure buyer of your old abode surely eases one’s mind (even if just a little!) 

Staging your house simply means making it look presentable so you can showcase its best assets to impress buyers. This includes doing all the necessary repairs to your house and decorating it according to the taste of your target market. 

Staging your house for online viewings, websites

When you want to advertise that your home is ready for sale, customers can find out about it through property websites. This is where you can make your first impression that can either prompt your potential buyer to call you or look for another house. 

Real estate agents may also ask for photos or videos of your house that they can show interested parties.

When taking photos yourselves, make sure there is adequate lighting and that the house is clean and presentable. Just make sure that you are being honest with your photos! Though there are editing softwares available that can make your rooms more alluring, don’t overdo it. Here are a couple of things you have to keep in mind: 

  • Don’t stretch your photos to make it look like the room is so much bigger than it actually is.
  • Don’t digitally add or edit features to your house that aren’t there such as extra windows or doors.
  • Keep the adjustments to a minimum. For example, don’t adjust the brightness too much if a certain room isn’t really getting a lot of sunshine. 
  • When describing your house on real estate websites, be truthful about the details. Don’t say you have a view of the beach when your windows are clearly facing another house’s blank wall. 
  • It’s okay to play up the nice features of your house but be upfront about its downsides too. Each house has them so don’t worry too much!

Staging your house for live viewings 

When you get some people excited about your house (they may have found it online or maybe they drove past your “For Sale” sign) they may request for a live viewing. This is when they actually go to your house and inspect it. 

Unlike an online viewing where they can only see the facade of the house and the exterior of different pieces of furniture, during live viewings or open houses, guests can open drawers and check if appliances are working. 

How the house smells is also important. Cleaning up is necessary and we have a few more tips ready for you so keep scrolling! 

What to do before staging your house for sale

To make money, you gotta spend money. And with a big ticket item like a house, it should not come as a surprise that you may need to spend a little more than you have anticipated. Don’t be surprised if you incur costs for repairs and beautification. 

Here are some of the things you should do so you don’t go overboard:

  1. Assess your house. Go around the house and note anything that would need major and minor fixing. This may include chipping paint (that would appear both on photos and during live viewings!) or faulty light bulbs. 
  2. Calculate your budget.  How much are you willing to spend on staging your house? Write a concrete figure then go back to your list. Prioritise the repairs over minor and optional decorative things. 
  3. Think of your target market. Your house’s location and price range will undoubtedly attract a certain clientele. The way you decorate and prime your house for staging should also be complementary to the taste of your prospective buyers.
  4. Highlight the best asset of your house. When staging your house for online or offline viewing, make sure that you draw the attention of interested buyers to your house’s best assets. Is it a large kitchen with an island? Or maybe your master bedroom has an awesome view of the city? Mention this in your communication materials.

How to stage your house while living in it 

What if you’re not due to move yet but you have people coming over to view the house? If you’ve prepped your house for staging and you’ve got guests over, how exactly do you continue living in your soon-to-be-former house? 

  1. Pretend you’re not living there anymore. It may take a while to get used to the idea that someone else will be living in your home but you need to prep yourself mentally for that. And you can do that by moving your belongings to your new house (if available!) or keeping them in a storage unit if you’re still waiting to move in. And renting a storage unit is actually pretty simple. You can even rent them on a weekly or monthly basis. 
  2. Just keep the necessary items in the house. As much as possible, remove your personal trinkets. Pack them carefully and ship them to your new home (or a storage unit!) The idea of staging is for buyers to imagine themselves living in your house and that’s quite difficult to do when your vacation photos are still plastered all over the bedroom walls. 
  3. Go out and eat out more often. Keeping the house clean is part of the staging. You have to impress buyers of your house’s cleanliness. If you spend less time in the house, the slimmer the chance you’ll make a mess. 
  4. Have ready-to-go bags. If you have a real estate agent and buyers prefer to inspect the house when the current owners are away, having ready-to-go bags are essential. This is basically a bag with anything you may need for a few hours and you need to leave with only a short notice. 
  5. Set up an open house day. If the idea of having several buyers over at different days doesn’t suit your schedule, it may be beneficial if you just set up an open house day. It’s one day when all the buyers can gather and inspect the house. Owners or real estate agents are usually present during this event to answer questions about the house for sale. 

How to stage a house on a budget

Now what if you need to sell your house ASAP because you need the money. Then spending money in the staging process is surely out of the question? Wrong. There is still a way to stage your house even when you’re cutting corners. 

  • Declutter. Sometimes the easiest way to make your home look more classy is by simply cleaning up and getting rid of unnecessary pieces of furniture or decor. The good thing about this is that you can profit from the things you no longer need by selling them. For items you don’t want to throw away, sell, or donate, you can always store them first before figuring out what you want to do with them. There are different storage unit sizes to choose from so you can make the most out of your space. 
  • Light it up. Having well-lit rooms adds to the illusion of space and cleanliness. You can buy inexpensive solar lights from your nearest shop or you could also take out stuffy curtains that may be blocking some sunshine. 
  • Add a splash of color to old walls. If you can afford a bucket of paint, a fresh coat on the walls can make any room look brand-new. 
  •  Rearrange your furniture. Sometimes the simple act of rearranging your pieces of furniture can have drastic effects on the overall look of the room. Make sure you create clear pathways where people can walk, especially if you are planning to have an open house. 

Staging an empty house vs. staging a house with furniture 

There are pros and cons to staging your house with and without pieces of furniture. Here are some considerations:

Pros Cons
Staging an empty house
  • The house will look bigger and cleaner. 
  • The prospect buyers can imagine their own pieces of furniture and personal belongings in this empty space.
  • You can invite more people during open house days because more people can fit in.
  • An empty house will not look appealing in photos because it will not look “homey” enough.
  • You need to really make sure that you clean thoroughly because dirt stands out more. 
Staging house with furniture 
  • Having several pieces of furniture gives that “homey” feel that makes buyers imagine themselves living there.
  • They look better in photos.
  • House may look cluttered especially if you didn’t do any cleaning before staging.
  • And if you do decide to declutter, this can take more time and effort. 


Tips on staging your house for sale 

Now that you have the basics covered, it’s time to glam up your home to make a quick sale! Here are some tried and tested tips from Clodagh Doyle of Placelift, the one-stop property transformation specialists.

Take professional photographs 

The first impression most buyers will have of your home will be from the photographs on online property sites or the estate agents brochures. It’s therefore essential that your property looks its absolute best, and the photographs need to capture and provoke interest in your audience. But even the best photographer will not be able to disguise a poorly presented property especially if it is cluttered.

Make Room to Sell

Most of us are guilty of collecting too much of something whether it is gnomes, books, furniture, exercise equipment, tools or clothes. The longer we spend in a home the more we tend to accumulate over the years. It’s easy to become immune to the build-up when you see it every day but it will jump out at potential buyers and risk putting them off.

But all is not lost, by taking a few simple steps and viewing your property through the eyes of the buyer, will help prepare your home for sale. Helping the buyer picture themselves living in your home; will sell your property faster but they can’t do this if it’s overflowing with your belongings.

Hire a professional stager 

When you have called a property a home for many years it is hard to be objective, it can be helpful to have someone experienced who can help you present your home in a way that can appeal to a large market of potential buyers. 

You can seek the advice from a friend, estate agent or hire a professional stager who will use simple techniques that will make the most of your property so that it appeals to the greatest number of buyers. They will help buyers to easily visualise how they can use the space to suit their needs and work to ensure they are given no reason to find fault with your property.

Clear the clutter

Buyers like to snoop. They will open all wardrobes and presses so don’t have them overflowing. You want to create the illusion of ample space so make sure they are neat, tidy and half empty.

When decluttering it helps to make three piles:

  1. Keep and store – Items you want to keep can be stored with friends or family if they have space or you can use a local self-storage company like Nesta Storage.
  2. Donate – Local charity shops will be happy to take unwanted items and you will be helping a good cause at the same time. 
  3. Dump – When deciding to dump you can hire a skip or a local rubbish removals firm (it’s important you choose a licenced provider).

 If you need help decluttering, we’ve also prepared a moving house checklist for you!

Don’t skip any room or space when tidying   

Less is more when presenting your property for sale; with less clutter, your property looks bigger and will be far more appealing to potential buyers.

  • Bedrooms – Remove extra furniture, this will make the space look bigger
  • Wardrobes – Remove half the clothes and keep shelves and floor space clear
  • Bathrooms – Clear out cabinets and only store what is really needed.
  • Hallway – Keep this space clear and open as possible, keep coats and shoes out of sight
  • Furniture – Reduce the amount of furniture so there is an open flow in each room
  • Photos – Take down personal photos so buyers can visualise themselves living in the house
  • Bookshelves – Tidy the shelves, box up the overflow of books giving a sense of space.
  • Kitchen worktops – Have only the essentials like kettle and microwave on display.
  • Kitchen Cabinets – Don’t have them overflowing, have everything stored neatly and organised
  • Children’s toys – Give each child a storage box that they can fill with the essential toys. Everything else can be stored out of sight. It also makes for easy clean-up for viewings.
  • Garage – Have it cleaned and organised. People will be viewing its potential as much as the house.

You only get one chance to make a great first impression so put in the work now and declutter your home. You will be guaranteed to sell your home quickly and achieve your asking price. 

When you’re preparing to sell your home, do remember that it doesn’t have to be stressful. You can rent storage units of varying sizes for several weeks or months so you don’t have to worry about your precious belongings. 

If you want to know more about storage units, you can request a quote from a trusted provider like Nesta today!