Five Easy Ways to Stage Your Home for Resale

Spend a little extra time on the details and you'll likely net a faster sale

Credit: iStock / Caziopeia

A sparkling kitchen gives a good first impression to a potential buyer

Sell your home quicker with a few simple staging tricks

Zigzagging through the residential streets near my home the other day while on a family bike ride, I noticed something I hadn’t seen in awhile: houses for sale. There is definitely more inventory in the Vancouver housing sales market, if the open house signs and for sale signs staked on the front laws across my neighbourhood are any indication.

Several friends see this surplus in inventory as an opportunity to move homes or test the market. My friends Rob and Sarah have recently placed their westside Vancouver home up for sale. Serial renovators, the couple is keen to move neighbourhoods to a slightly more urban setting and try their hand at renovating again.

I was surprised when Sarah mentioned that she was styling her house for sale. From her all-white garden to her hand towels, I couldn’t imagine what else she possibly could need to stage her home.

Shannon Vrlak, a real estate agent with WESTSIDE Tom Gradecak Realty, confirms that there is more product on the market and buyers are taking their time. She added that staging a home can help sellers see results faster.

“Pricing your home right in addition to minimizing the clutter of your daily life in your home is key,” said Vrlak.

Keeping Things Spic-and-span is the Secret to a Well-staged Home

Sarah spent a weekend blitzing through the house, decluttering closets, hiding excess junk in the garage, popping in annuals throughout the garden and retouching walls and baseboards with paint to cover chips.

Her focus was on paring down and sprucing up, rather than buying lots of new furnishings. She bought flowers and orchids for the house and that was it. I peeked in on a recent open house and was impressed with the results.

Tips for Preparing Your House for Resale

  1. Make a good first impression by having a neat garden and clean front porch. Make sure the garden is weeded, hedges are trimmed and grass is cut and edged. Put in annuals to give the garden an added splash of colour. Wash the front door and doormat.  
  2. Clean, clean, clean! Focus on the kitchens and bathrooms. Ensure the sinks are spotless and the fridge and stove are clean. Declutter the countertops. Tuck away all personal items in the bathrooms. Counters that are cleared of extra items will appear larger. Vacuum, wipe fingerprints off doorknobs, wash windows.
  3. Closets need to be neat and tidy. If there’s too much crammed into a closet, a potential buyer may think there isn’t enough space. Hide seasonal clothes inside empty suitcases. Stash extra shoes in a Tupperware container and slide under the bed.
  4. Neutralize your home. Your favourite red walls in the dining room may be too powerful for some buyers. The cost of a couple of cans of paint could bring in a higher offer.
  5. Invest in plants rather than freshly cut flowers. Flowers will get you through an open house or two, but an orchid will last up to three months and is low maintenance.