Staging Your Home for a Quick Sale

Staging your home can help potential buyers picture themselves in the space — a crucial first step in getting them to consider making an offer. On average staged homes sell quicker and for more money than homes that have not been staged.  

According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. “A staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.”

You’ll also want to do some staging in order to be competitive with other listings.  According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 82 percent of urban sellers say that staging their home is one of the top pre-listing activities they complete.

Where to start – First steps

  • De-clutter: You will want to remove all non-essential items from every room – think hotel room.  Don’t forget to clean and organize your cabinets, closets, and pantries — make sure there is lots of extra space to give potential buyers the impression that your home has lots of storage. Getting a temporary storage unit is a good idea, if you don’t already have a new place to move into.
  • Depersonalize: Remember, potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves calling your house home, and that’s hard to do if all they see are family photos, personal items, and keepsakes. While it might be a bit emotional, take a run through your home and remove the decor items that make your house feel personally yours.   
  • Deep clean: The cleaner the better — clean to a point where it looks like nobody actually lives in the home.  Be sure to clean the windows, the first thing many folks do is go to the windows to look out on the view of the neighborhood. A clean home tells potential buyers that you’ve taken great care of the property.
Photo depicting townhouse interior including kitchen and dining room
Staging a home can make all the difference in how long it is on the market

How to stage your home – Next steps

Once you’ve completed the first steps, you can begin staging your home.

  1. Light it up!  The brighter the better — the first thing folks notice is the amount of light in a home. Replace any burned-out lightbulbs, swap out for higher wattage bulbs, clean your windows, open the blinds, and don’t forget to turn on the lights before any showing.
  2. De-emphasize the TV or remove it:  Typically, all furniture in every room points at the TV, so take a moment to re-arrange furniture to create more conversational spaces. Point chairs and couches toward each other, and don’t be afraid to remove the TV all together. Giant TVs can also make rooms look smaller. 
  3. Neutralize your walls: Although chartreuse and hot pink are your favorite colors they may not appeal to everyone.  Beige, whites, and greys are your friends. You’ll also want to tone down any rooms that appear to overly feminine or masculine for broadest appeal. 
  4. Make minor repairs: Walk through your home with a critical eye, noticing little maintenance issues like a serious buyer would. Spend a weekend or two repainting a room, re-caulking or re-grouting, or changing out old hardware and fixtures.
  5. Take a look at the exterior: Your home’s curb appeal is the ultimate first impression. Paint the front door, clean the steps, and some fresh flowering plants and again – wash the windows!
Don’t leave rooms empty. An attractive seating area helps potential buyers picture themselves living in your home.

Options for Staging

  • Do it yourself: Following these tips you can stage your home on your own.  Give yourself several months lead time, especially if you’ve lived in your home for many years.  If you already have fairly neutral finishes and your home is in good shape, just some de-cluttering, cleaning and re-arranging may be all that you need.
  • Partial home staging: You do the decluttering and cleaning yourself, then bring in a professional stager to apply the finishing touches. They’ll rearrange and re-imagine your current furniture and decor in a way that’s buyer friendly.
  • Full-service professional home staging: Full-service staging includes the services of the professional stager, and the rental of all the furniture and accessories they bring with them, for a predetermined period of time, usually 1-3 months.

Skip staging with a Full-Service Realtor

Does staging your house sound like too much work?  If your home is already vacant or if you already have partially moved out, some Realtors offer free home staging as part of their services.  Please contact me for a free market evaluation and free home staging on every listing over $1 million.