Home Staging Tips for the Modern Buyer, Sell Faster!

Uwcanada
7 min readFeb 25, 2024

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Ready to sell your home? Staging your home will help you outshine the competition, attracting modern buyers. If we had to rank the rules, number one for appealing to today’s buyer would be “turn-key”.

Make your home feel “low-maintenance”. This generation Ubers Cheetos to their front door paying a huge premium for the service. This is an indicative generational trait. Exploit that understanding, applying it to your staged home.

The Cost of Staging Justified

Home staging is to help make your home look appealing to buyers. When preparing a property for sale, think “love at first sight”. The latest generation of home buyers like a home that speaks to them, and the language of love is “lazy”. That may sound harsh, but life is hectic. The home should be a respite. Staging can add cachet and flair but primarily your goal should be ease-of-use. A potential buyer should look at the home and make a judgement that living in your home will be easy.

How Do You Do That and How Much Will it Cost?

Obviously that is completely variable, however you should look at staging the home in one dimension only: what changes will have the greatest positive impact on the sale price of your home? So pick and choose from the best home staging tips more with an eye to the end goal than the up front price. Is the price of the upgrade justified? If it is, then do it. Would $9,000 worth of new appliances and flooring in the kitchen pay back at a profit on sale? Probably. Would replacing a roof with 4 good years left on it make sense? Doubtful.

The cost of home staging should mean nothing to you if it will help your home sell for more than the cost of the updates and especially if it will help the home sell faster. A good real estate agent can help with that. Staging is best viewed as an investment that will help buyers see your property’s potential in living color. Staging is the process of putting your home in its best light.

DIY Home Staging? Professional Home Stager, Real Estate Agent, Mom? Who Should Stage My Home?

At minimum, do what you can do to make your place better. Your expertise might fall short of a full kitchen remodel, but there are things you can do. Can you paint? Can you throw out old clothes and other junk tying up space? Is deep cleaning your thing? Do the de-cluttering and cleaning and touch ups and whatever else you can do.

Then think about strategy. A well-staged home sells faster and for more money than not. Do you need professional styling to accomplish that? Are you fresh out of ideas? Or do you have the skills to impress prospective buyers with your renewed home decor ideas?

The staging process can be collaborative. Ask your real estate agent. Ask your friend with design flair for some input. If you are looking to sell a house quickly and you have cash to invest, maybe consider a professional staging company. Pros make the most sense when there’s a lot of money on the line. If your home is at the higher end of the market, there’s likely more margin for big expenses like professional home styling.

This guide provides practical tips for preparing your home, ensuring a quick sale at a great price.

The Basics: Universal Home Staging Tips

De-clutter

Make your home ready to accept staging by clearing out the clutter. Do not throw it back in a closet or basement; get rid of it. If you haven’t touched something in 24 months, I have sad news: it is now garbage to you. Donate it, dump it, burn it — but get rid of it.

Deep clean

Once the clutter is clear and before doing anything else, grab the bleach, maybe a steamer, some magic erasers, maybe a carpet cleaner, a heavy duty vacuum, the mop, and a bunch of elbow grease. No guide to home staging is going to help you sell your house fast if you don’t have a clean home on which to work.

De-personalize

It sounds harsh, but nobody wants to see your family photos from Disney. Or your prized Norman Rockwell. That’s your style. When you stage a house you are decorating for the target buyer, not yourself. So many people struggle with this. Don’t be that guy.

Fix Nagging Issues

Nothing puts off buyers like scratches on the wall or broken electrical outlet covers or broken light bulbs. Get real with yourself. Walk through the whole house with a flashlight and a pen and paper. Before you put your home on the market, make your home appeal to your buyer with simple and inexpensive fixes. If you make a list, you might be able to blaze through the items in a single day.

Understanding the Modern Buyer

Profile of Home Staging: Today’s buyers seek homes that are ready to move into. They prefer spaces that blend style with functionality, emphasizing open, decluttered layouts.

What Modern Buyers Look For: They value smart home technology, energy efficiency, and minimalistic design. Highlight these features in your staging to capture their interest.

Twenty Things You Can When Styling a Home for Modern Buyers

  1. Declutter and Minimalize: Emphasize a clean, minimalistic design by removing personal items and clutter. This creates a blank canvas for buyers to envision their own lives in the space.
  2. Neutral Color Palette: Paint walls in neutral colors like soft grays, whites, and beiges. These shades appeal to millennials by providing a clean, calm backdrop for their own decorations.
  3. Open Floor Plans: Highlight the flow of your home. If possible, suggest potential for an open floor plan, which is highly desirable for entertaining and socializing.
  4. Smart Home Features: Install smart home devices such as thermostats, locks, and lighting systems. Tech-savvy millennials appreciate the convenience and energy efficiency these features offer.
  5. Eco-Friendly Upgrades: Showcase any eco-friendly aspects of the home, like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, or low-flow water fixtures. Sustainability is a significant concern for younger buyers.
  6. Modern Lighting: Replace outdated light fixtures with contemporary ones. Consider adding LED lighting and smart light bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone.
  7. Functional Outdoor Spaces: Stage outdoor areas as extensions of the living space, with areas for dining, relaxing, and gardening. Millennials value outdoor living areas for social gatherings.
  8. Updated Kitchen and Bath: Update these key rooms with items like quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and sleek, simple cabinetry. Even minor updates can make a big impact.
  9. Maximize Storage: Install closet organizers and show off any built-in storage solutions. Efficient use of space is crucial.
  10. Art and Mirrors: Use art pieces with contemporary aesthetics and mirrors to decorate. This adds personality without clutter and can make spaces appear larger.
  11. Indoor Plants: Incorporate greenery to add life and a touch of nature. Millennials are known for their love of indoor plants.
  12. Pet-Friendly Features: If possible, highlight pet-friendly aspects of the home, such as a fenced yard or built-in pet doors. Many millennials view pets as family members.
  13. Flooring Updates: Replace worn carpets with hardwood or laminate flooring in a light, modern finish. Clean, durable surfaces are a must.
  14. Spa-Like Bathrooms: Create a relaxing bathroom environment with plush towels, a clean shower curtain, and minimal decor. Think serene and uncluttered.
  15. Highlight Flex Spaces: Millennials appreciate rooms that can serve multiple purposes, such as a guest room that doubles as a home gym.
  16. Energy Efficiency: Point out any energy-efficient features of the home, such as double-paned windows, high-efficiency furnaces, or programmable thermostats.
  17. Neutral, High-Quality Finishes: Opt for high-quality finishes in neutral colors for areas like countertops and flooring. These appeal to millennials’ desire for spaces that are both beautiful and practical.
  18. Accent Walls: Consider adding an accent wall with a bold color or textured design in key areas like the living room or master bedroom for a touch of flair.
  19. Stage a Home Office: Make it look workable. Working from home full-time or on a hybrid schedule is the new normal. Many millennials have hobbies and “side-gigs” that they need space for. The home office should be staged with long tables that could host either laptops or 3d printers or bike repair stands.
  20. Digital Home Tour: Create a digital home tour highlighting these features. A well-produced, engaging video can significantly pique the interest of younger buyers who do much of their home shopping online.

Why Stage Your Home?

Benefits of Home Staging: Staging showcases your home’s best features, making it more attractive to potential buyers. It creates a welcoming atmosphere that can lead to faster sales and higher offers. Do it right and the millennials will be doing backflips on their hover boards to buy your home (30 MORE FREE Tips on Styling For Millennials).

Home Staging Statistics: Homes that undergo staging sell 73% faster than their non-staged counterparts. Moreover, staging can increase your home’s sale price by 1–5%.

Want more ideas on styling a home for modern buyers? Check out our additional tips here on the completely free RealEstateHelp.io. No signups required.

So if you want to sell your home fast, get to it!

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