How to Stage a House for Sale

4 Key Concepts to Sell Your Home Fast & Get The Best Price

First impressions matter. That first look inside your house will have potential home buyers making judgments and you want to make sure they’re good judgements. Remodel the kitchen and bathrooms, by all means. Add a staycation paradise in your backyard. But in the end, it’s the staging that could mean the difference between getting the best offers and getting the mediocre offers.

The National Association of REALTORS® Research Group in their 2021 Profile of Home Staging stated that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as a future home and increased the dollar value of offers by up to 5%. It also decreases the time homes spend on the market.

You can hire a professional staging company, which can cost about $1500. Some real estate agents have staging services for around $300. Or you can try to do it yourself with a few tips we collected from agents with years of experience showing homes and seeing first hand, what works and what doesn’t.

How to Stage a Home for Sale

Knowing how to stage a house for sale is all about knowing how to make the most of your home’s best assets. It can be hard to see what those assets are if it’s dirty, cluttered, over decorated, or too personal. Step back and take an honest look at your home. Try to see it through someone else’s eyes. Then get started setting it up for showings. Here’s how.

1. Clean, Declutter, Repair

If your space feels cluttered, the buyers won’t get past that. Start by removing whatever you don’t absolutely have to have from the house. Take out a lot of the furniture. It might feel somewhat empty and spare to you, but to prospective buyers, it will be a blank canvas that they can fill in with their own things.

Next give everything a deep clean. Get the carpets and rugs cleaned professionally. Buff the floors. Give bathrooms and the kitchen a thorough scrubbing. As you clean, you will notice things that need some repair. Now’s the time to take care of those. Also give a little TLC to repairs that give the space a finished, fresh look, like sealing windows, walls, and floors. Touch-up wall and trim paint to get rid of marks and dings.

2. Go for White

A visually clean, neutral, fresh space is another way to invite viewers to visualize the space as their own. The easiest way to do that is with white. White walls, white, curtains, white towels give the feeling of a hotel room: luxurious but nondescript. White gives them just enough to imagine the possibilities but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

White is also important because it reflects light and helps visitors see the space better. Plenty of white and as much natural light as you can get will open up the space and bring attention to every corner of the room.

A kitchen staged for showing.

3. Put in Effort Where It Counts Most

You don’t have to stage the entire home to get the benefits. A few key rooms are all you need. Focus on the common rooms and rooms that mean the most to buyers like the living room, dining room, kitchen, and main bedroom.

Bathrooms can also benefit from staging. Put hygiene items out of sight. Replace shower curtains and towels (use white instead). Same goes for kitchens. Move most everything off the countertop and put items away that might distract like salt shakers, toasters, and blenders. You’re not selling your small kitchen appliances, you’re selling the beautiful countertops in a beautiful house.

4. Depersonalize

Last but not least, depersonalization is the foundation of every principle of staging. People don’t like to feel that they are intruding on your personal space. They don’t like to imagine themselves in someone else’s home. Removing things that are personal to you and your family gives visitors license to forget that someone still lives there and allow themselves to imagine living there.

Before a showing take family photos and other memorabilia out to make your home feel more welcoming to strangers. Remove details and decor that is unique to you and your preferences. Paint over walls painted in your favorite color. Make everything as neutral as possible.

Get the best offer on your home with these key tips on staging you can do yourself. Want more tips to get your house ready to sell? Read more about what buyers most want when they look for a home.

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