The Ultimate Guide to Staging Your Home

beautiful white living room with white furniture, staged to sell

In order to sell your home, you’ll want to do a few things like patch up holes, give walls a fresh coat of paint, and deep clean the corners. For most of us, we’d prefer if that was the extent of what we had to do, and then a quick, full price offer would follow. However, it takes more than just placing a For Sale sign in your yard and doing a thing or two.

Differentiating yourself from the real estate competition today is more or less an art form. The concept of preparing your home to sell is referred to as ‘staging’. Staging a home is the process of highlighting your home’s strengths and downplaying its weaknesses in an effort to successfully appeal to the most desirable pool of prospects.

Here’s your guide to selling your home faster and for top dollar by using staging.

It’s Not You, It’s Them

The first thing to keep in mind when staging your home is that buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This isn’t the time to show off your personal taste or momentos; in fact, the less personalized your home looks, the better.

Start by eliminating any unnecessary clutter. Walk around your house with a critical eye and identify anything that isn’t essential to keep around. This can include everything from kitchen counter appliances and refrigerator magnets to personal photos and storage containers. Presenting a neutral, well-organized home allows buyers to more easily imagine how they would personalize the space while also getting a clearer picture of the home’s design.

Space, an Illusion

When professional stagers descend on a home, they often remove as much as half of a home owner’s furnishings. This not only serves to depersonalize the home as mentioned above, but also creates the illusion of a bigger space. There are several simple tricks you can use to enhance the apparent size of the area and demonstrate to buyers the versatility a space offers.


Before staging, your furniture is most likely arranged in a way that best suits your personal living style—couches facing the TV, baby gates blocking off the kitchen, etc. However, home staging is about creating a desirable illusion—piquing buyers’ interest by imagining the life they could have in your home.

Floating furniture arrangements can serve as a useful asset in this case. Moving furniture pieces away from the walls and repositioning seating to create a more intimate setting allowing a clear traffic pathway, can create a more guest-friendly look as well as open up the space to make it seem larger.


Paint is a key variable of a well-staged home, as it can have different impacts depending on the colors used and the way they are applied. Using paint to make a room appear larger can be as simple as painting it the same color as the adjacent room. For instance, if you have a small dining room off of your kitchen, paint both rooms the same color to achieve a streamlined look that makes both rooms feel like one large space. Utilizing light paint colors can also have this enlarging effect, as darker colors can make a space feel closed in.

Purpose in Every Room

It’s normal to have a room or area in your house that, despite its potential, serves little more purpose than a junk gatherer. However, a useless space is undesirable to buyers and can hinder their ability to see the potential in your home. Fortunately, overcoming this avoidable downfall is as simple as dedicating your extra space to something unique and attractive.

Asses any items in your home that can be easily relocated and used in a new way to fill up the undedicated space. The simple placement of a desk and chair makes for a home office, a loveseat and a lamp creates a cozy reading room, or a couple of yoga mats and some free weights and bam! You’ve got a home gym. Work with the space and the items you have available to you. Ultimately, your goal here is just to be sure there are no undedicated areas of your home.

Embrace the Light

Upon entry, people always notice the amount of light in a home. It’s important to enhance the amount of lighting in your home as much as possible. This can be achieved by cleaning your windows, opening the blinds, swapping out heavy curtains for sheer ones, and replacing older lights with brighter bulbs.

Impress Without Dropping a Stack of Cash

The foundation of staging a home relies on the design you present to buyers, and mismatched or worn out furnishings can negatively impact the image you want your home to represent. Take it room by room and see how you can amp up the appeal of each space with simple tweaks.


An attractive master bedroom is a major draw for buyers, so take the time to give the space a refresh and create an oasis they’ll want to call their own. If you don’t have the money to buy an expensive new bedroom set, focus on one focal piece to design the room around instead. Dress up an inexpensive yet comfortable mattress with an impressive headboard and lush bedding. This way, potential buyers’ eyes are drawn to the areas you want to highlight without taking too much of a toll on your budget.

Living Room

Help encourage buyers to visualize themselves in your home by creating a living space that they want to curl up in. Play up the furniture you do have with attractive accessories, such as plush throws, a high-quality rug, and a statement mirror. All of these items add a little something extra to a space yet are style-neutral enough to appeal to a range of tastes.

Finish What You Started

No buyer is going to meet your desired asking price for a house full of unfinished projects. Simple but important details like chipping paint, peeling wallpaper, or scratched up floors can make a big difference in how your house shows but don’t take too much time to improve. Put yourself in the mindset of a serious buyer and look for any maintenance imperfections you might notice in a house you’re considering and rectify them.

Larger projects such as unfinished renovations, missing tiles, or a heavily cracked driveway should be tackled to the best of your ability. While they may be more time consuming costly, the return on your investment will be achieved when buyers start placing offers.

It’s What’s on the Outside That Matters

Buyers’ first impression of your home is made when they first pull up to your house. The impression made right then will determine if they want to view the inside or move on to the next listing. The key components to focus on in this area of staging are landscaping, paint or siding, and entryway. Tidying up your landscaping doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply making sure your lawn is freshly cut, hedges are trimmed, and the garden is well maintained is sufficient—barring you don’t have any major landscaping issues you’ll need outside help with.

The same goes for selling your home in the winter; shovel your driveway, knock down any icicles and make sure the walkway is fully cleared. Tend to any paint or siding issues as these can significantly bring down the appearance of a house. Finally, ensure your entryway displays the pleasant and inviting scene you’ve created inside the house.

Some Tricks of the Trade

Professional stagers and designers swear by the odd numbers trick. Arranging decorative pieces like throw pillows, chairs, and artwork in threes, fives, and sevens is visually more appealing and provides more visual interest to otherwise symmetrically structured spaces.

While you want to avoid anything too outrageous, so not to hinder buyers’ ability to view themselves in your space, you also don’t want the house too dull. Setting the table with attractive flatware and napkins and arranging a few floral displays is a simple and effective way to add a little life to the home.

Be Extra

Before a showing, there are a few last minute to dos you should always complete to give your home an extra finishing touch.

Temperature: Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature depending on the weather outdoors.
Scent: Light fragrant candles in pleasant, generally liked scents such as balsam or vanilla.
Replace towels: Change out any used dish or hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom for fresh, attractive ones.
Once-over cleaning: Double check that all surfaces have been wiped down and polished, toilets have been cleaned, and any miscellaneous items have been picked up.

The Last and Most Important Tip

Selling your home with Homie! A dedicated Homie agent will help you sell your home, from list to close. We’ll be there every step of the way to make sure your home sells as fast as possible and for top dollar.

Start listing your home now!