Preparing and Staging Your Home For Sale

So you have decided to sell your Port St. Lucie home or maybe you have to because of unforeseen circumstances. Either way, preparing your home for sale will make a huge difference in the amount of traffic you get to your home and the quality of buyers and presented offers. For a budget of 150 dollars, you can make or break a sale!

Curb Appeal 101

The first impression a buyer gets before they get out of their car is extremely important! Make sure your home’s exterior is neat and clean. The grass should always be kept short so that buyers can walk around the home and closely look at the exterior. Also make sure all bushes, shrubs, and trees are cut back so that they do not hide the house. Buyers get nervous when something on the house is completely hidden by overgrown bushes and especially when trees are close to or touching power lines! Any bushes or trees that are close to the perimeter of the house should not be taller than the roof line, and have at least 1 or 2 feet between the edge of the bush and any other object. An easy and cheap way to spruce up any yard is to add mulch. For about 25 dollars, you can buy about 10 bags of mulch at your local home improvement store to give your yard and landscaping that freshly manicured look. Make sure to remove as many weeds as possible before putting down the mulch.Finally, always remove any debri, garbage, extra vehicles, and non-neutral items.

Exterior of Home

A clean Exterior wall and roof line is always attractive to buyers but sometime is not cost effective in certain situations. Not everyone can afford new siding or stucco, and especially paint. However, removing bugs, dirt and rust stains can be very inexpensive. To remove dirt, simply go and rent a pressure washer from your local home store or borrow one from a friend. You can pressure wash your exterior walls, gutters, decks, driveway, and other walking areas in 1 day. Another common visual problem are rust stains from well water. These usually look like brownish orange stains in weird patterns. There is an easy solution for this! Your local hardware store has a product for about 8 dollars that you spray onto the rust stains and they simply disappear!

This is such an easy fix. However, I still see tons of homes with awful looking rust stains. Last but not least, bugs are very important to remove, as many buyers will lose any good feelings they had about the house just from seeing a bug or two. For 12 dollars, you can buy a gallon of bug killer that you spray along the perimeter walls and edges of your patio, sidewalks, and driveway. This will take care of live ants and keep them from coming back. Make sure you pressure wash first, followed by removing the rust stains, and then treat for bugs. Also, the bug spray you use is good for exterior and interior so that you can protect the inside of your home as well.

Interior of Home

Remove all clutter and personal or unusual items. Port St. Lucie and Stuart buyers always invision themselves living in a potential home and it is very difficult to do this with the sellers personal belonging in the home. This can be distracting for a buyer and sometimes scare them away! Also get rid of any dirty or broken down furniture and fixtures. Throwing stuff away is free and can make a huge difference. Once all clutter is removed, clean everything! Vacuum and mop the floors, use magic eraser to clean scuffs and dirt off the walls, dust all fixtures and ceiling fans, clean all glass and windows with window cleaner, clean all bathrooms and shower curtains, and bleach any mold or mildew you find in the bathtubs. Another great thing to do is use degreaser to clean the shell of your interior air handler, water heater, and circuit breaker box. In high humidity areas, your a/c handler can get pretty nasty over long periods of time. Make sure they look clean and maintained. Be careful not to spray onto live electrical wires or outlets. Also, if you have a screened patio, make sure the screens are in good condition and secured.

Once the Home Is Spotless, Stage!

You will be targeting two senses in this category. The first is visual and the second is smell. Cleaning is a major part of both! The next part is staging. Since you are on a budget, you have to be thrifty. If you’re living in your home, make sure to remove any personal or family photos hanging on the wall but leave up any art or landscaping framed pictures. If you don’t have any artistic wall hangings, just go to your local flea market or Wal-Mart and buy just a few cheap classy wall hangings to go into the entry, living room and dining area. Another thing you can do is purchase three or four plants from your local home store to add a nice green color to your home. At less than 10 dollars each, you only need about 1 per room for the living, dining, and patio. The bathrooms and kitchen can be brightened by adding a few hand or bath towels, and a nice pump hand soap dispenser. You can also purchase cheap rugs for these areas as well but that is optional. The last thing you should do is make sure the home smells inviting. Just go to the dollar store or your local home store and buy just 1 or 2 air fresheners for the entry and master bath.

During Showings

Before the buyers arrive, make sure you turn on all lights and open all blinds. You want the house as bright as possible. Also do one final check to make sure there are no dead bugs, animal hair, or pets in the home that might distract the buyer.If you have a radio, then turn on a good jazz or oldies station and keep the volume low. Remove or cage all pets and if the buyer is using a Realtor, make sure you leave and let the Realtor show the house! This is extremely important as most buyers feel uncomfortable viewing a home with the owner there! The only time the owner should be at a showing is if the buyers are not with a Realtor.

Final Tips

Remember, cleaning can be inexpensive but repairing and replacing is sometimes not. If you have defects or problems that need renovation, make sure you price your home accordingly and disclose that to any potential buyers. Selling a home in need of repair is perfectly normal as long as it is disclosed and priced right.


By Chad Miller

Chad Miller is a Realtor, Investor, Author, and Entrepreneur in Port St Lucie, Florida. He specializes in helping those in his community with their Real Estate dreams and teaching everyone about Real Estate and Investing. Chad is an expert at investing Port St. Lucie, Jensen Beach, Stuart, St. Lucie and Martin Counties. Feel free to visit him at for more great tips!


Chad Miller

Chad Miller