staging your home to sell

5 Quick Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale

By Jennifer Nixon on May, 7 2020
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Jennifer Nixon
Jennifer Nixon

Marketing Consultant
Jennifer has experience in graphic design, brand development, and digital media. She is passionate about architecture, typography, and black & white film photography.

When you have a home to sell before your move, make the first impression count! 

With most home buyers starting their search online, it is important that the photos you use for your home showcase the best features.

Have photos taken and ready before you list your home online, whether you work with a real estate agent, a professional photographer or DIY.

You'll want to do a thorough cleaning first - think spring cleaning - to make sure your home shines and buyers aren't distracted by dishes in the sink or laundry on the floor.


Start at the front door and walk into your home - what do you see first?

  • Ask a friend to do the same, then think about what you would want your prospective buyer to see first
  • If you have a lot of personal items in your entry, it could be stealing the focus from the main areas of your home and making the wrong first impression
Since the outside of your home is the first thing prospective buyers will see, don't forget about your curb appeal - learn 5 ways to boost your curb appeal.


Remove or minimize personal photos throughout your home 

  • It is best to remove all of these before taking photos and during an open house, but having a few out during showings is usually not an issue
  • Also remove all items & magnets from your fridge


  • If you have 10 items on your mantel, cut it back to 5; if you have 5, cut down to 3.
  • Using this approach throughout your home will help shoppers focus on your home features and the available space versus how you've decorated or how little space there is.
  • This is especially helpful for kitchen counters - put away the toaster (and other small appliances) and minimize how much storage you have displayed.

declutter your home to prepare for sale

Open all of your closets & tidy them up

  • If you've been stashing all the items from your decluttering in closets, make sure they are neatly boxed or packed away so the closet is not overflowing
  • Even closets can be staged - make sure you remove empty hangers, tidy up drawers, and leave 10-20% of the hanging space free
  • Closets packed to the brim give the impression there is not enough space

Choose three top features to emphasize

  • What made you buy this house in the first place? Where do you spend most of your time? Have you made any improvements? What do you love most about the outside? The inside? Is there something unique about your home compared to others in the neighborhood?
  • Make sure that the person taking your photos knows what your top 3 features are so they don't miss getting a photo of them.


Tackle your clutter with our helpful Decluttering Check List:

Get the Check List


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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