Staging your home for Success

10 Tips to Stage Your Home and WOW Your Buyers

A major element in the overall equation of helping to sell your home faster and for top dollar is home staging. In today’s competitive market, it is more important than ever that your home show its very best. When in a buyers’ market, where there are more homes on the market than buyers, your home needs to be in tip top shape and stand above the competition. Buyers have so many choices these days. A non-staged home stays on the market 5 times longer than a staged home and will bring lower offers.

In today’s competitive market, it is more important than ever that your home show its very best. When in a buyers’ market, where there are more homes on the market than buyers, your home needs to be in tip top shape and stand above the competition. Buyers have so many choices these days. A non-staged home stays on the market 5 times longer than a staged home and will bring lower offers.

Staging highlights the positives and helps to detract from the negatives. Home stagers create a harmonious, spacious, neutral and inviting environment. They set the scene so potential buyers can imagine living in the home. It’s important to make the home both neutral and warm, taking the seller’s personality out of the home but not to the point that it feels cold. You also want to appeal to the greatest number of prospective buyers and keeping your home neutral helps accomplish that. Keep in mind that buyers are looking to meet both their physical as well as their emotional needs when selecting a home. They are buying a lifestyle and a dream. They want a place where they can feel proud to entertain family and friends.

The Exterior

The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Spend some time giving your home's exterior some love to create a sense of welcoming - so that your buyers are impressed before they even leave the car!

Create curb appeal:

What the buyer sees when they drive up to the home determines if they will want to see the inside. It makes that all important “first impression”. Adding or refreshing mulch, planting flowers, keeping the lawn mowed and edged, trimming overgrown bushes and trees, and removing toys, boats and trailer from the yard can make a big difference. You will also want to examine the exterior of your home to see if it is in need of a fresh coat of paint or power washing.

Make your porch welcoming:

An extension of your curb appeal is your porch. Tidy up any furniture, buy a new welcome mat, add some potted flowers, and replace your doorknob. Add a tasteful wreath to your door and leave your porch light on in the evenings, especially if you will be showing at night.

Spruce up outdoor areas:

Whether you have a large backyard or a cozy balcony, your outdoor areas should not only be attractive, they should be inviting. Help your buyers to envision a lifestyle by adding seating or dining areas such as chair and tables, a hammock, or even a fire pit. Make sure gardens are cleaned up, the lawn is mown, and any fallen leaves or branches are tidied up.

Cleaning and Repairs

Nothing turns off a buyer like persistent maintenance problems, lingering repair projects, or a home that's just not clean! Don't lose out on a sale for an easily preventable reason!

Finish repair projects:

Make all repairs upfront whether small or large. If you don’t, you position your home as a “fixer upper”. No one wants to spend their own time and money and effort on something that should have been fixed in the first place. If a buyer discovers the home is in need of repairs, they may decide against the home all together or put in a lower offer, feeling justified in doing so. Buyers are likely to think a $500 repair is a $2,000 problem and maybe more, thinking of the worst-case scenario. By making all repairs upfront, you position yourself for receiving the best offers in the shortest amount of time. If you don’t have the time or desire to make necessary repairs, you will need to lower your price to reflect the state of the house.

Clear out the clutter:

As a seller, you will need to make the mental conversion from “home to live in” to “house for sale”. Personal belongings are a big distraction and make it difficult for buyers to visualize their own belongings in the home. The goal is to keep the buyers focused on the home instead of the family who lives in it. You also want to create a spacious feeling in each room and make them light and bright. You will want to keep enough furniture so that the buyers are able to envision their furniture in the room and leave only enough décor so that it won’t distract from the home. Pack up and box anything that detracts or takes up space in the home and place in a storage facility or have a yard sale.

Painting walls and replacing carpet go a long way in making the home look new. If a house has worn out carpet and marked up walls, buyers have a difficult time envisioning it any other way. You are better off replacing carpet and painting than to offer an allowance because people cannot visualize how it could look. Instead, they may buy another home. Again, we are in a competitive market with a lot of homes in the marketplace. If you don’t have new carpeting and freshly painted walls, if this is what is needed, a buyer will find a home that does.

Deep clean EVERYTHING:

Keep your home immaculate and show-time clean. It is important to give it an initial thorough clean from top to bottom before going on the market and to maintain it on a regular basis by hiring a professional cleaning service if feasible. The two most important rooms in the house are the kitchen and bathrooms and they must be spotless and first class. An unclean home causes apprehension and the buyer could begin to lose interest.

Interior Decor

Now that you've created curb appeal and tackled the basics, it's time to start looking for ways to impress your buyers and make your home stand apart from the crowd.

Depersonalize your decor:

Your home might have a certain style that you find tasteful - but not all home buyers have the same tastes in decor. Neutral and simple are always best. Repaint any bold or bright colored walls with neutral colors. Remove any personal decor and replace with tasteful yet neutral art and centerpieces. You want to create the sense of a home that's lived in but not yours, as the idea is to allow buyers to imagine their own personalizations in your home.

Create balance with furniture:

Placement of furniture can change the whole feel of a room. Your furniture should not overcrowd the room or leave it feeling too open. Floating the furniture away from the walls can actually make rooms feel larger and create a cozy, conversational feel.

The Final Details

Now's the fun part - the detailed staging and decorating that adds that "wow" factor, that sparkle, that little bit of something special. Just be sure to keep it simple!

Increase your lighting:

Make your home warm and welcoming by increasing the lighting - both natural and artificial - throughout your home. Open windows if the weather is nice, or at least pull back the drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Increase the wattage of the bulbs in your lamps and fixtures, and aim for three types of lighting in every room - ambient (overhead), task (reading or under-cabinet lights), and accent (table or floor lamps).

Bring the outdoors inside:

Your decor might be neutral, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Bring in bright splashes of color in the form of potted plants, clipped flowers, or fall branches. This can help increase the sense of warmth and welcoming throughout the home.


Absolute deal killers are cigarette or pet odors. Since smoke settles on drapes, carpets and furniture have them professionally cleaned and please…no smoking in the house. If you have a pet, have it meticulously groomed to avoid offending potential buyers and keep litter boxes cleaned on a daily basis. If you frequently have cooking odors, bring in the fresh air while cooking and lightly spray a mixture of a little lemon oil mixed with water to add freshness to the house.

Follow these pointers along with Gina’s personal assistance and you will be on the fast track to getting your home sold in a shorter period of time!

Your Selling Resource

These staging tips are just the beginning of the expert advice and knowledge we can use to help you successfully sell your home. Contact us today to get your home sold!