Staging Your Home For Sale

Ensure that a potential buyer lingers in your home, imagining their own belongings filling the spaces.  Making them feel at home and welcomed, helps the buyer to envision a gathering with family or friends there. Staging your home for sale is taking advantage of the many features that made you fall in love with your home from the beginning.

Studies have shown that strategically placing furniture, decluttering, and cleaning your home produces a quicker home sale and a higher purchase price. Staging before listing the home on the multiple listing service (MLS) also provides greater possibilities of receiving multiple offers from buyers.

Staging Diva Debra Gould Teaches Home Staging on HGTV


Potential buyers have a hard time imagining their personal belongings in someone else’s space when family pictures, sports paraphernalia or your trinket collections are objects of focus.  Take care of these items by placing them in storage boxes in your garage or closets. Or better yet, rent a storage unit to hold these items. This step will help you prepare for your move as well.


Think minimalist.  Think vacation home.  Countertops should be free of extra appliances, utensils and accessories. Window decorations should be minimal and neutral. Take away artificial plants or dried flowers that hold dust. Most toiletries should be neatly stored away in cabinets. Toys for kids and animals should be put out of site for buyer showings. Cabinet contents should be arranged neatly – hidden clutter makes a buyer wonder about possible neglect of the home.


To make rooms feel larger, take away unneeded furniture or pieces that seems too bulky for the space or furniture grouping.  Provide easy walking access in and around furniture pairings to ensure better energy flow through the room. Remove obstacles from walkways and traffic areas. Accent the nicer features of a home by bringing attention to them or making sure they’re not obstructed from view. Don’t be afraid to move furniture from one room into another, the chair that you thought went well with your couch may play a better role as a bedroom piece.


staging your home for sale - furnished and stocked bar with warm colorsOnce you’ve staged your furniture and de-personalized your space, it’s time to decorate.  Large walls need larger pictures or paintings.  A small grouping of wall hangings or pictures may work, but beware of making it too busy.  Artwork should be hung at eye level, even in rooms with cathedral ceilings. Rugs work only if the furniture fits with it and doesn’t clash with fabric colors. Replace bedding that is tired or worn looking with new and modern neutrals.  Finish with a splash of color in throw pillows and blankets.  Use fresh fruit and flowers in the kitchen, dining room and entryway.  Make sure your house smells great by using essential oils not overpowering perfume sprays.


You would deep clean your house for a party, why not for a potential buyer? Cleaning your home inside and out should be done before photos are taken to put on the MLS, then a light cleaning performed before each showing. A potential buyer may feel uninvited if your entryway is dirty and unkempt. Open the curtains or blinds during the day to maximize the natural light. Turn on the lights at night to create a welcoming environment for prospective buyers.


The purple you allowed your daughter to use in her room should now be repainted to suit a guest.  Use warm and neutral tones to make a buyer feel welcomed and at peace. Touch up any blemishes on walls or trim. Painting is one of the most inexpensive makeovers.  Do try sampling the colors at home before buying needed gallons.  The lighting in your home may show a completely different color than you saw in the store.


That thing you’ve been meaning to fix for years needs to be done now. Most buyers want move-in ready homes. Every step you take provides value in your home, whether on the appraisal price or in the emotional attachment of a buyer. Hire a repair man or do it yourself. Make sure all appliances work or be ready to make concessions during due diligence. Make sure all light fixtures and bulbs work. Things that seem potentially unsafe or Jerry-rigged may not pass a home inspection. Take a look at a home inspection check list to see how your home could improve. Home inspectors take note of maintenance stickers on appliances and home systems.  The buyers then know where to ask for allowances or before-closing repairs. Remember, your home must appraise for the purchase price or higher for your buyer’s loan to go through.  The age of appliances and fixtures are used to calculate the value of your home.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the number one way to increase the value of your home.  It’s the first thing people see about your home and the last thing they see as they leave.  Potential buyers may even do a drive-by before they ever ask their REALTOR for a showing.  Make sure the grass is mown, the beds mulched and bushes are trimmed.  Always accent with flowers where appropriate. Consider evergreens if the season is nearing fall or winter.