Updated: Aug 4
Whether you’re selling a home for the first time or the fiftieth, you’ve likely heard the term “staging” thrown around.
Staging a home means adding or adjusting the appearance of the inside of the home to prepare it to sell. This could mean adding certain furniture, lighting fixtures, appliances, accents (Ex: Books, unused specialty soaps, or candles) painting walls, doing some back or front yard landscaping, and so forth.
Staging is, at its core, curating the interior or exterior of a home to make it more appealing to home buyers.
If you don’t choose to stage a home, you might decide to sell their home in an empty state without any furniture or as is without staging.
How do you decide if you should stage your home?
You might research what the norm is for your area or neighborhood, consider the cost of staging, and consult with your realtor about the market conditions that will affect your home selling experience. If you’re not yet ready to hire a professional stager, the tips we share below will help you to take some simple and helpful steps toward staging your home.
So let’s dive in!
Tip 1: Stage Your Home With Neutral Colors
When painting walls, choosing tile or selecting accent pieces, go neutral. Bold, unique colors or noisy prints can overwhelm a room.
Can’t afford to redo that room with brand new tile or hardwood? A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference at a reasonable price.
Going neutral creates a sense of calm in your home and allows those who are considering buying your home to imagine themselves in it. This is a key piece of the staging puzzle.
Tip 2: Notice How Your Home Smells Before You Try To Stage or Sell
From pet odors to that smell around the shower drain, you might be “nose blind” to certain smells in your home.
But your visitors and potential home buyers won’t be.
Invest in a deeper carpet cleaning if you have pets and consider odor neutralizers instead of scented sprays to avoid covering one scent with another.
While baking cookies before a home showing may make your house smell lovely, some people may be allergic to or irritated by certain artificial or strong candle scents.
When in doubt, go for neutralizing an odor over trying to add another scent to masking it.
Tip 3: Keep Everything Clutter-Free
Store unnecessary items and cut down on extra accents. If you feel a room can function and look just as stunning with fewer pieces of furniture, don’t be afraid to remove a piece or two to make the room itself appear larger.
Instead of a set of seven coffee table books, opt for one. Store memorabilia, photo albums, and nic-nacks. If you can store them in your garage without cluttering that space, fantastic! It may also be helpful to pre-pack things like books and photo albums and store them at a family member’s home or in a storage unit so that the clutter is truly out of the house. Not sure where you might find the clutter that detracts from your home? Double-check your counter tops, desks, tables, nightstands, sink tops, and children’s rooms.
Tip 4: Set The Stage For Dinner And Other Activities
Setting your dining room table with some stylish place settings and leaving a classic book on the bedside table can be great ways to help visitors imagine what it would be like to call your house their home.
If you have any “extra rooms” imagine a relevant use for them, and stage appropriately. That fourth bedroom can become an office, for example. This is a far better move than leaving that room “undecided” which might confuse a home buyer or prevent them from really seeing the potential in that space.
Tip 5: Keep It Bright When Staging The Interior
Whether your home gets the morning light or the mid-day sun, make sure windows are cleaned and blinds, curtains, and drapes are open.
Letting light into the home can show off space in all its glory and can ensure that your visitors see how the light really shines in certain rooms.
Got a home that doesn’t get “great light”? Make sure you’ve considered other lighting options and that you and your realtor discuss what’s best to leave on when showing a home. Table, floor, and ceiling lighting options, when right, can really make a difference in how your house is perceived by potential buyers.
Tip 6: Stage The Outside Of Your Home As Much As The Inside
You’ve probably heard the phrase “curb appeal”. Well, that’s part of staging too. Does your home have attractive house numbers? A well-manicured lawn? If you have a front porch, do you have furniture or accent pieces that fit your home and neighborhood style?
And what about your back yard? If you’re back porch or patio is perfect for entertaining, be sure that the furniture and accessories you stage show off that awesome home feature.
Make sure that if you have a fence, back gate, and patio or porch, those areas are in great condition. Broken fence posts, splintering wood, or cracked and unattractive pavement can leave homebuyers with a not-so-fantastic feeling.
Tip 7: When in doubt, ask your realtor to recommend a staging pro
If doing all of this work feels a bit overwhelming, or if you’re not sure what to start with, your realtor can offer their expert perspective and recommend a staging pro if they feel that’s what you need.
By the way, not every home needs staged. But many homebuyers find it helps them sell their home because it often helps someone can really see and feel how wonderful your home truly is.
“To Stage or Not To Stage?” And Other Questions, Answered
As your realtor, I can give you the insight you need to decide if a professional stager is right for you and I’m here to answer your other home-buying questions along the way. To get started, contact me here.