When you’re getting ready to sell your home, staging it is a smart move. It allows you to help buyers envision what living there would be like through a combination of depersonalization and strategic decorating. Along with showcasing the best of what the property has to offer, it can make unconventional spaces seem more usable. Plus, staging may help you secure top dollar.
If you’re ready to learn all about home staging, including how to approach it and ways to make it easier, here’s a look at our tips for staging your home.
What Is Staging a Home?
Before digging into any tips for staging a home, it’s important to understand what home staging involves. Essentially, it’s a type of interior design that subtly flatters a property, ensuring it appears comfortable, livable, and usable to potential buyers.
In many ways, home staging takes cues from the world of marketing. It’s about showing your house in the best light possible, adjusting furnishings and décor to ensure your home is attractive to would-be homeowners.
Is Staging a Home Worth It?
In many cases, home staging requires an investment if the property is empty. You’ll need to hire a professional stager to bring in furnishings and décor that highlight the best of what your home offers.
At times, that may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, the home staging return on investment (ROI) is usually significant.
Overall, 73 percent of staged homes sold for over the list price in 2021. Additionally, they sold an average of nine days faster. Of homeowners that invested 1.3 percent of the home’s value in staging, the vast majority saw a return of more than 7.1 percent. That’s substantial.
Guidelines for Staging a House
How to Stage Your Living Room
In many cases, your living room will be the first impression buyers get of the inside of your house. Since that’s the case, you want to pay special attention to this space.
Make sure to avoid pushing all of the furniture up against the walls. Instead, create seating clusters that invite conversation and leave empty space behind some of the pieces. Anchor that seating area with a rug, and add a coffee table that fits the scale of the room. Ensure there’s enough lighting to make the space bright, adding lamps to brighten dark spots as needed.
How to Stage a Kitchen
Kitchens are a priority for buyers, so you want to make sure yours looks spacious and functional. Limit yourself to no more than two items per surface, adding some interest without making it seem cluttered. If your cabinets are overloaded with dishes or cookware, remove pieces until you can make the spaces look clean, tidy, and roomy.
Another critical step when it comes to how to stage your kitchen is to avoid fake foods, as those don’t make a great impression. Instead, add some sturdy, shelf-stable produce, like apples, lemons, or squash to a bowl, depending on what’s in season.
How to Stage Your Bedroom
If you’re trying to figure out how to stage a bedroom for selling a house, start with just a bed and two nightstands. If the room feels empty, you could add a dresser or a reading chair by a window. If it doesn’t, forgo extra furniture.
One of the keys to how to stage a small bedroom is to avoid unnecessary furniture, so stick to the basics if that makes sense. Also, regardless of the room size, remove all exercise equipment, televisions, computers, or similar items.
Otherwise, add some lighting to the bedside tables and maybe a small potted plant. Beyond that, keep those surfaces open.
How to Stage a Bathroom
Generally, when it comes to how to stage a bathroom to sell a house, you start by removing as much as possible. Ideally, the only things that should be left out are inviting touches, like fluffy folded towels, decorative soap dispensers (with soap in them), a pint-sized plant, and maybe an apothecary jar filled with cotton balls.
In the bath or shower area, remove any conventional bottles. If you want to add a little something to draw attention to a shelf, get plain, clear bottles and fill them with shampoos or conditioners instead.
How to Stage a House While Living in It
Staging a home while living in it can seem tricky, but it’s doable. Along with the guidelines above and the tips below, the biggest thing to do is have a place to put items you remove. In some cases, that may mean renting a storage unit elsewhere, ensuring you don’t overrun a garage or shed that buyers may see.
You’ll also need to commit to a cleaning regimen, ensuring your house is ready for showings at any moment. In some cases, it could also be wise to have pets stay with family members or friends, as signs of pets – including items or odors – may turn off buyers.
Tips for Staging Your Home
1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
If you’re staging a house while living in it, the most important home staging tips and tricks are to declutter, declutter, and declutter some more. Knickknacks and tchotchkes can overwhelm a space, making rooms feel smaller. The same goes for a multitude of appliances on kitchen counters, containers on bathroom counters, full bookshelves, overloaded closets, and more.
While no space should be completely bare, you do want to give everything some visual room to breathe. Pack away as much excess as possible, leaving only a strategic amount of items on display to show usability or draw interest.
Another one of the big staging a house for sale tips is to depersonalize. You don’t’ want to make it look like “your” home. Instead, it needs to feel like a blank slate, even when staged. That way, buyers can envision themselves potentially living there.
Remove any family photos as a starting point. After that, put away children’s toys and pet items, as those may reflect ways of life the buyer doesn’t intend to live. If your taste in art is unconventional, you may want to switch to more widely appreciated imagery, ensuring your pieces don’t turn off buyers.
3. Clean Everything
When you’re selling a house, it’s best to assume that buyers will look absolutely everywhere. It isn’t uncommon for them to check spots you don’t normally look at, like the underside of toilet tanks or inside dishwashers. Since that’s the case, you need to clean absolutely everything, ensuring every nook and cranny is sparkling.
4. Add Some Plants
A little bit of greenery can make your house feel alive and fresh. Consider adding a few potted plants throughout your home, spacing them out to add small pops of natural color without becoming overwhelming. Succulents can be a great choice. Along with being low-maintenance and coming in various colors, they don’t typically trigger allergies like flowering plants might.
5. Apply Fresh Paint
While you might not notice every smudge or imperfection on your walls, buyers might. That’s why painting is one of the most common tips for staging your home. It gives the house a fresh look and lets you update to a color that buyers are after.
6. Try Hygge-Inspired Design
Unless your home calls for a specific look, consider using hygge-inspired design for your staging. It’s minimalist but cozy. Plus, it embraces a neutral color palette. As a result, it’ll typically appeal to a wide range of buyers, which works in your favor.