How to Stage Your Home to Sell

June 2, 2020 by Lexi Klinkenberg

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale and moving to Dallas or Atlanta, now is the right time to start getting your home staged properly. Staging is much more than just cleaning and decluttering your space. It emphasizes the beauty of your home and shows it in the best light, giving potential buyers a great first impression of the space they could call their own. We had experts in the field share their tips with us on how to stage your home to sell.

Make sure your entryway stunning

Make sure your entry is absolutely amazing! This sets the tone for the potential buyer throughout the rest of the tour. If they walk in to “blah” then they are already anticipating “blah” going forward, but if they are wowed the moment they walk in, then they are already set up to be excited to see what’s next. –Amy Lou Interiors

A living room with grey walls and white furniture

Make your home stand out from the competition

In this era of online-everything, sellers need to be sure to make their home pop. Buyers now only venture out in person to their top 3 properties, so make your home stand out. Try rearranging furniture, buying a few new pillows, strategically placing pieces of art, and having some tasteful decor will do wonders for a space. Staging, followed by excellent professional pictures is the perfect way to take a house from Blah to Ooh La La. –Ilana Weismark, Ooh La La Home Staging

Staged spaces must accomplish the following: the function of each staged room is obvious, the staged rooms are editorial to make for eye-catching, and interesting photography and staging must be on-trend to get potential buyers excited to make an appointment to visit the property in person. Staging a property requires an experienced eye for design and function yet even the best staging can fall flat with poor photography! –Christine Masur, Nest Home Staging & Design


Swap out old light bulbs for new ones

More than anything else, buyers are looking for space and light. I always recommend sellers swap out the light bulbs in their lamps, chandeliers, ceiling and wall lights.  Try to find the old school 100-watt incandescent bulbs.  Or if you have to use LED, then find the 100-watt equivalent and keep the kelvin at 2700 so the light feels more natural.  –Manhattan Staging


Create a positive emotion for potential buyers

The best home staging should make you rethink selling your home. That’s how you know potential buyers will be smitten as well; home buying is an emotional experience.’ Beyond the Box Interiors 


The goal is to create a positive emotion that allows others to feel connected to the space without feeling uncomfortable, cramped or jarring.  So the palette should be fairly neutral, with some personality in the accents and artwork.  The furniture and rugs should be neutral and the right scale to allow flow into and out of the room. Lastly, the paint colors, flooring, hardware, and fixtures can play a key role in presenting an updated look for your home to appeal to today’s’ buyer.  –Gail Dunnett, CEO, Studio D


Optimize your storage space

Buyers want storage space. To make sure you are optimizing the space available in closets and mudrooms. A good rule of thumb is to remove 50 percent of the contents of a closet, if possible. Another tip that makes a closet appealing to potential buyers is to color code the clothes, shoes, and accessories that are remaining. This says to buyers this home is organized, there is plenty of storage space and the home has been well-maintained. –Jennifer Walker, Pearl Street Home Staging 


Deep clean and declutter

Deep cleaning and decluttering to lighten up the appearance of your house is the most cost-effective way to have your house look better both online and in-person showings. Prep your house by using your own decorative accessories or purchasing a few new ones to create a few lifestyle moments that can capture the attention of potential buyers. Once they emotionally connect, the house is sold. – Claudia Jacobs, Claudia Jacobs Designs 

Don’t forget about curb appeal

Spruce up curb appeal when selling your home by adding dark brown or black mulch and shrubs around foundations and lamp posts. Replace broken or rusty mailboxes and house numbers so that they match with the house or trim color. Keep garbage cans, hoses, tools, and other lawn paraphernalia out of sight, and seal coat the driveway if it has cracks or looks weathered. –Amy Bly, Great Impressions Home Staging 


A kitchen that has wooden cabinets and a blue island and a dinning room set

Make small repairs

Take care of any small repairs namely those that you can do yourself. Fix leaking faucets, replace caulking, freshen up and repair tile grout, repair the walls, fix cracked or broken windows and damaged window screens, and replace burned-out lightbulbs. –Premiere Home Staging + Design 


Remove rugs

Remove rugs from any room except your living room or family room, especially any smaller throw type of rugs. Although your home may not be as cozy looking, the buyers are buying the floors and they want to see them. Additionally, being able to see more of the floor makes a room look larger in the online photos. –Maggie Setler, Pittsburgh Staged Homes 


Rearrange furniture to balance the room

Remove or rearrange furniture so that the room feels balanced and potential buyers can move freely from space to space. Furniture and décor should be the same style (traditional, transitional, modern, etc.) and the same color scheme so the spaces are cohesive which naturally gives a feeling of peace and calm. –Leslie Causey, LC Home Staging & Redesign


Have a friend critique your home before listing it

Have someone who doesn’t live in your house, a real estate agent, stager or even a neighbor whose home just sold, look at your house with “buyer’s eyes”. What do they see that you are missing? Then really, really listen. These people aren’t critiquing your personal style. They’re showing you how to get your house sold. –Cheri Drake, Owner, Sisters Staging


Always have staging props ready to use

Keep staging props like plush white bath towels, light-colored throw pillows, and white faux orchids in laundry baskets.  Before showings place the props around your home.  Refill the laundry baskets with used towels, dirty clothes, or extra items that you don’t want lying around for buyers to see and take them with you in your car when you leave. –Alicia Herring, Stage My Listings


Work with a professional staging company

Avoid choosing a staging company based only on price-quality staging pays for itself in better pictures, and then a faster sale and most often, higher price. When choosing a company, look through previous work and read testimonials or get recommendations from your agent. A good staging company will provide a clean and consistent look throughout, that highlights all the best features, and helps prospective buyers envisage themselves in the space. –Distinctive Homestaging

When looking to stage your home to sell follow these 3 tips: spruce up the front entrance as curb appeal is the first impression, put a mirror on the wall inside the front door so people can visualize themselves living there, and have something “quirky” inside such as an animal print or a rustic antique kitchen tool so people will remember the property better. –Gina Newell, Premiere Stagers & Realty


Originally Published on Redfin