Staging a House to Sell

Preparing your home and staging your home before selling is equally important. However, when you are staging your home, you are transforming your home so it is more appealing to a larger group of buyers and not one's specific taste. There are many different tips, tricks, and techniques for staging a house. Below we will go through some easy tips on how to stage a home.

These steps will help you successfully get your home ready to sell. Statistics show that a staged home can have a positive outcome on the sale of your home, and can help you sell your home faster and for more money.

With most home buyers finding their homes online, professional photography is also important. This is when the 'first' showing truly takes place. Below are easy-to-follow tips for staging a house to sell.

60 different tips to follow when staging a home for sale - Infographic.

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Living Room Staging

picture of a couch and table in staged living room

  • Remove any unnecessary furniture throughout your home to help open up each area.
  • Pull furniture away from the wall in certain rooms such as the living room to help create more space.
  • To help freshen up a room, consider replacing dated curtains with newer ones.
  • When hanging pictures, group smaller, like-kind art together.
  • If you have cords and wires showing from TVs, receivers, lamps, or any other electronics. Consider tucking cords away so they are not visible.
  • When staging a home, you likely hear the word de-personalize. One way to do this is to pack away any family portraits you have around the house.
  • A lot of households have magazine racks packed with old editions that never get looked at. Pack them away or recycle them!
  • When looking for ideas to staging a living room, you will notice that walkways don't usually look bare. Consider adding a long narrow rug to fill in the space.
  • When hanging art throughout the house, hang the largest artwork on the largest wall.
  • After removing your old magazines, add a nice coffee table book in its place.

STAGING COST: The median cost to stage a home is $675 for each home.*

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Staging a Dining Room

view of dining table and chairs

  • Remove any extra table leaves and store them away to help make the dining room feel larger.
  • Properly set the dinner table as if you are having guests over for a special occasion.
  • Hang light-colored curtains from floor to ceiling. This will help give the perception of taller ceilings.
  • Clean and open blinds to let in more natural light.
  • For the time being, replace low-wattage light bulbs with 100-watt light bulbs to brighten up darker rooms.
  • Add more life and color by bringing in different kinds of plants into the house.
  • Add an extra lamp or two to bring in more light in dark areas that are hard to light.
  • Add mirrors for more light and to help give the perception of an open area.
  • Don’t hang art and pictures on every wall. Consider leaving some walls bare.
  • When home staging, hang wall art at eye level.

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Kitchen Staging Ideas

kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances

  • Clean and pack away most of the items that are usually stored on your counters.
  • One old staging tip is to add a bowl of fruit to bring in more color.
  • Staining or painting dated cabinets can be time-consuming but can easily transform a kitchen.
  • After updating your dated cabinets, also consider replacing the old knobs and hardware.
  • Another way to de-personalize when staging a house is to remove all items from the refrigerator.
  • Spice up the kitchen! There are many quick and easy ways to add a new backsplash to add more personality.
  • Consider replacing that old, dated faucet with a brand new faucet.
  • Loud and bold colors can be a quick turn off for home buyers. Consider repainting any rooms a more neutral color.
  • One easy way to add more natural light is by simply cleaning all windows inside and out.
  • Fix any leaking faucets. Plumbing issues are common things buyers look for when looking at houses.

BONUS: Thirty-two percent of buyers’ agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent.*

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Bedroom Staging Ideas

bed with white linens and blue and white pillows

  • Organize your closet by hanging clothes in groups and have them facing in the same direction.
  • One way to make a room feel more relaxing is to remove TVs or any other entertainment items.
  • Replace old bedsheets with new, white textured linens.
  • Make a bedroom feel more inviting by making the bed and adding new pillows and throw pillows.
  • In smaller bedrooms, it’s hard not to have the bed pushed into the corner. Consider pulling the bed away from the wall to help balance the room.
  • Bookshelves tend to collect more than just dust over the years. Clear out all bookshelves and built-ins.
  • Clean out and pack away half of the stuff in the closet. Homebuyers almost always look into the closets when looking at homes for sale.
  • When cleaning out the closet, replace any un-matching hangers so they all match.
  • Some homeowners have complete sports or princess themed bedrooms. It’s a good idea to transform these rooms into a more neutral bedroom.
  • When transforming a playroom over to a neutral bedroom. Clean up and store away most of the toys. This will help when its time for moving.

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Bathroom Staging Tips

bathroom with vanity, granite countertops, and tiled shower

  • Put away toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and any other toiletry items.
  • Add new, white towels to the bathroom. Consider folding towels into thirds to take up less wall space.
  • A commonly overlooked home maintenance task is old, moldy caulk. Remove and apply new white caulking around the bathroom.
  • Hide or store away wastebaskets.
  • Add one new bottle of nice hand soap on the bathroom counter.
  • Roll small, light-colored hand towels and place in a basket on the counter.
  • Make sure you thoroughly clean the bathroom. Including the bathtub and even behind the toilet.
  • Hang a new, white shower curtain or clean the old one to make it look new again.
  • This is a pet peeve for not only most real estate agents but for some homebuyers. Always keep the toilet seat lid down.
  • Quiet doors will go unnoticed but a squeaky door will stand out to a homebuyer. Fix any squeaky doors throughout the home.

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BONUS: More DIY Staging Tips

  • The lifespan of exterior paint can be around 7-10 years. Give the entrance of a home a new look by cleaning and painting the front door.
  • One creative way to add personality to the entrance of a home is by adding new attractive house numbers.
  • Pack away any shoes or coats that are usually kept at the front door.
  • Replace that old, worn-out Welcome mat with a new one.
  • Make sure all doors not only open and close easily but that they are also easy to lock and unlock as well.
  • If you have pets or if you wear shoes in the house -- chances are that your carpet may need to get extra attention. Consider having it steam cleaned.
  • When packing away items don’t just stick them in closets or in corners behind furniture. Get started early and be creative when decluttering your home.
  • Remove any signs of pets so any visitors do not easily notice them.
  • When househunting, homebuyers sometimes like to check to see if certain things are working. Make sure all windows open and close easily.
  • When cleaning the house before a showing – make sure you clean and dust ceiling fans too.

* 2015 Profile of Home Staging." N.p., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.

Posted by Nathan Garrett on
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Good article and describes exactly what we do for our clients. Good home staging starts with cluttering and depersonalizing and then the "magic" happens, Incorporating the earlier mentioned, along with interior design and merchandising techniques. Thank you for sharing, its nice to see an agent who values the importance of a good staged home when it comes to visual sell-ability in today's market.

Posted by Lori Daniele on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 5:33pm

Thank you Lori! I believe that staging a home is quickly becoming a must when wanting to properly market a listing.

Posted by Nathan Garrett on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 8:54pm

I'm starting today with these tips, especially the one about decluttering the closet, and I'm going to have the red wall professionally painted too. It was trendy 10 years ago, now, not so much.

Posted by Pamela on Friday, August 11th, 2017 at 7:32am

Should I have water and cookies for the buyers that come to see the house!

Posted by Irene morey on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 10:07pm

Great question Irene! I would suggest that if you decide on any food/snacks choose something that is store bought that has the ingredients posted on the label.

Posted by Nathan Garrett on Thursday, October 12th, 2017 at 10:12am

Well-articulated post with tons of suggestion and tips on home staging. Every bit of the article is helpful in giving our home a new look and feel. Expecting more such posts from you.

Posted by Catalyst Condos on Friday, December 8th, 2017 at 8:05am

Wow. This is one of the best, most user-friendly lists I have ever seen. I love the different scales of tips, from clearing out to rolling towels for a "look". If anyone is interested in the 60-30-10 rule for using color to stage, or the rule of 3 in vignettes, I'd also recommend

Posted by Sienna on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 at 5:15pm

Wow. This is very detailed and informative. Thanks for sharing these tips!

Posted by Richard Davis on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 at 10:14am

Homeowners looking to sell their homes would do well to have their house staged. A house that has been primed to sell will sell quicker than one that has not. This post provides an in depth checklist to do just that. Thanks so much for sharing!

Posted by Emma Metson on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 at 10:55am

I work in property management and am always looking for creative ways to stage a space. I loved your blog. Do you ever consult for commercial properties?

Posted by Property Management on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 at 5:43pm

I agree with the lack of entertainment system in the bedroom. gives everything a calmer and homier feel, also feels less cluttered.

Posted by ashley hoober on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 3:56pm

I've been planning to sell my house and I've been searching for ways on how to increase my chance. Thank you for this; I think staging my home is a great idea. I'll keep in mind to consider replacing old dark curtains with newer and lighter colors to brighten up the room; maybe it's best if I'll just hire a home staging service.

Posted by rachel frampton on Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 8:05pm

I like that you said to try and have one wall that doesn't have pictures or art on it. My wife and I want to stage our home since we want to upgrade and move towards the city later this year. Your tips will help our home look better to potential buyers.

Posted by Taylor Wright on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 3:20pm

I was also told to carefully and strategically prepare the interior of my home so that potential buyers can see the prospect of the house. I think this is the only reason I was able to sell it.

Posted by Bridge Dale on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 7:26am

Amazing tips on home staging Nathan. Im gonna note these tips down and gonna apply where ever needed for sure. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Blake Riley on Saturday, April 11th, 2020 at 3:46am

This is the most well-written guide to home staging I have ever read. Well done! Such attention to detail, on of the many traits of an exceptional agent!

I invite you to check out our blog.

Posted by Michele on Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 at 10:55pm

Thank you for the helpful tips Nathan. I do virtual staging and got so many awesome ideas from your blog. I love the way you explained it all room by room. Keep up the good work and keep sharing.

Posted by Icons Marketing on Saturday, July 25th, 2020 at 11:19am

You have shared such informational points with us. Thanks again. We will include these points to our list.

Posted by Mantra Home Staging and Design on Thursday, March 11th, 2021 at 2:26pm

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