10 Tips on How to Stage Your Home for Sale

You’re ready to move on to your dream home, but first you have to sell your current house – and fast! Fortunately, smart staging will help your home appeal to all types of buyers and get it off the market faster. We’ve provided 10 tips for staging a beautiful home where homebuyers can picture themselves living.

From simply decluttering messy spaces to lighting a few scented candles, our staging tips can help bring you closer to closing and a step toward your dream home!


10 Tips for Staging a Home

There’s a lot that goes into getting your home on the market. From improving your curb appeal to maximizing that first impression as a prospective buyer enters your home, staging your home is all about making your home a winning choice, right away. Take a look at these key home staging tips that can transform your home into one people will remember.

1. Start before your next appraisal

Your first helpful home staging tip is to stage it before your next home appraisal, since appraisals can be impacted by the home’s condition and appearance.

2. Prioritize the most impactful rooms

Be aware that certain rooms have higher influence in the eyes of buyers. The living room, master bedroom and kitchen are known to be more important than the bathrooms and smaller bedrooms. By focusing the way you’re staging your home and aiming on these high-impact areas, you’ll improve the odds of finding a buyer.

  • Paint outdated kitchen cabinets
  • Swap out old door and drawer pulls to a more modern aesthetic
  • Use inexpensive area rugs to make floors feel more comfortable
  • Purchase updated curtains or new window treatments for these spaces

3. Declutter

Grab some moving boxes and get to work. Decluttering now will make everything that much easier when the moving trucks arrive.

  • Pack up anything that’s too personal, too large for the space or isn’t in the best shape
  • Get rid of anything you don’t plan on taking with you in the move
  • Store any kids’ toys that aren’t being used
  • Organize your tabletops, bookcases, countertops and floors to get rid of unnecessary clutter

4. Clean from top to bottom

Kick into spring cleaning mode! It’s time to get your house cleaner than it’s ever been.

  • Scrub bathrooms from top to bottom, including closets and medicine cabinets
  • Remove any stains from sinks and tubs
  • Rid your house of all pet odors — clean out their bedding, crates and litter boxes, then give them a bath and keep them clean until your house is officially sold
  • Tidy the cabinet shelves and drawers in your kitchen
  • Wipe down all light switches, heat and air registers, door handles and light fixtures
  • Wash all windows, inside and out, for a sparkly clean view
  • Power-wash your home’s exterior, driveway and walkways

5. Rearrange and organize

Our next tip for staging a home for sale is to create a space that lets the potential buyer see each room’s potential.

  • Clearly define the purpose of each room
  • Create cozy conversational groupings of furniture by moving it away from the walls
  • Stage your dining room and outdoor areas with the look of a lifestyle everyone wants — use flowers, seating, hammocks, etc.
  • If you have a one-, two- or three-bedroom home, be sure bedrooms are being shown as bedrooms and not as a home office or toy room so your house appears bigger
  • Put an odd number of decorative items on shelves and furniture — an odd number is more pleasing to the eye
  • Decorate the master bedroom in a gender-neutral style so it appeals to the widest audience
  • Remove excessive personalization so buyers can picture themselves living in the home
  • Create a spacious feeling by making more walkable space and removing any excess furniture

6. Make necessary repairs

Putting in a little money now to make necessary aesthetic repairs will help quicken the selling process by adding more appeal to your home.

  • Repair cracks in walls and ceilings
  • Paint all walls that have unusual colors or are white – warm neutrals like taupe, gray, green and brown appeal to a wide range of people
  • Remove out-of-date carpeting and repair damage to floors – buyers are looking for floors that look new
  • Make sure all appliances and bathroom fixtures work
  • Refresh the stain or paint on your deck or front porch
  • Add batteries to any power items you want to show off, like the remote for a fireplace, electronic blinds, fire alarms and more

7. Apply finishing touches

These small but mighty final touches will make your home inviting, comfortable and overall a place someone sees themselves living in. When staging a home for a quick sale, the details count.

  • Mow and seed the lawn, weed and mulch gardens and plant flowering annuals
  • Freshen up the place with a clean robe on a bathroom hook, flowers on the dining room table and a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter
  • Replace the welcome mats at your front and back door
  • Attract people to all corners of your house with well-placed lights, pictures or staging elements

Make sure your home smells nice before a showing. Open the windows for 10 minutes, bake cookies and run your dryer with towels you’re fluffing up for a display in the bathroom.

8. Bring in natural lighting

Leveraging natural light will make your home feel warm and inviting and allow buyers to see all it has to offer. Staging a home to sell is all about simple adjustments that can open your home to the benefits of natural light:

  • Open all the blinds
  • Remove drapes
  • Add warm, artificial lighting where necessary

9. Keep it neutral

If you’ve ever walked into a home and been blindsided by loud, red walls, you’re not alone. Bright colors can be distracting and unappealing for some buyers. Staging your home is best done by working with a color palate that’s soothing to the eyes. Accessories should complement one another, not scream for attention.

  • Swap out your bathroom accessories for neutral-colored towels and rugs
  • Paint your walls to a light creme or light gray
  • Avoid bold colors in your living room decor

10. Ensure everything smells fresh

An unappealing smell can not only be distracting for buyers but also associate a lack of freshness with your home. Sometimes that’s a deal-breaker for would-be buyers. This final “how to stage a home for sale” tip is key to getting buyers to bite.

  • Avoid cooking foods that trigger strong smells
  • Light candles with scents that are appealing and not overwhelming
  • Plug in a wall scent
  • Give your home a proper deep clean
  • Professionally vacuum all carpets
  • Toss out any smelly trash

Home Staging FAQs

If you’ve got a few questions about how to stage your home, we’ve got a few answers for you!

  1. Although it’s not necessary, staging a home for sale can have a large impact — both on realtors and buyers. When a home looks clutter-free, buyers have a better chance of seeing themselves in your house.

  2. According to realtor.com, costs for staging vary. If you’ve already moved out and the home will need furniture in every room, you can expect costs around $450 for the initial consultation. And a monthly expense of around $550 per staged room — per month.

  3. Additionally, staged homes may draw as much as 3 percent more than the anticipated price. Improving the odds of finding a buyer willing to pay above your asking price makes staging your home a worthwhile investment.

  4. A staged home will sell faster than an empty home on the market, according to the Mortgage Daily News. According to the Appraisal Institute, unoccupied, unstaged homes sold for an average of 6 percent less than occupied homes. And unstaged homes took longer to sell, as well.

  5. Most realtors will encourage you to stage your home, and a large percentage of them may actually pay for an initial consultation. In truth, they know that they’re going to benefit from a staged home with a higher commission. But it’s a benefit that can really help you out as well — the home may sell more quickly, and you may find a buyer willing to pay at or above list price.

    It’s smart to shop around for a realtor who’s willing to pick up some, or all of, the tab to stage your home before it goes on the market.

Start the Home-selling Process Today

Selling your home quickly depends on how easy you make it for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in it. Give these smart home staging ideas a try – no doubt you’ll have them feeling at home the second they walk through the door!

Once you've sold your home and moved into a new one, talk to your agent and check out our homeowner coverages to make sure your new hard-earned dream never goes unprotected.


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Related Topics: Selling Your Home