How to Stage Your Home Before Listing It

By Kurt Schenck, CNE // February 15, 2019

The importance of staging your home before presenting it to buyers cannot be overstated. By purposefully allowing prospects to envision themselves living comfortably in your space, you’ll ensure that your home sells quickly for the highest possible price.

Worried that staging your home will cost more than it’s worth? Don’t be! According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts. Additionally, in a 2018 Home Staging Resources Survey of over 4,200 homes, 85% of the staged homes sold for 6-25% more than the un-staged homes. Staging is a proven method to sell quickly at a significant rate of return.

Depending on your available budget and time constraints, staging can come in many forms. From quick-fixes to a more involved overhaul, TONO Group's real estate and interior design professionals have come up with some tips for staging your home before it hits the market.

Quick (But Still Super Effective) Fixes

  • De-clutter: Organize all that can be organized, and remove one-quarter to one-half of all of your books, knickknacks, small furniture pieces, and closet items. Emptier spaces look bigger than those at max capacity.
  • Remove Personal Items: As essential as they are to you, your family pictures, hygiene items, and Beanie Baby collection can be distracting to buyers. To reiterate, the goal of staging is to allow buyers to picture themselves in your space; they can’t do that while being constantly reminded of you.
  • Do a Deep Clean: This is the time to make your house the cleanest it’s ever been. From windows to bathroom grout, make it look like it’s never been lived in.
  • Minimal Landscaping:  Mowing, planting seasonal flowers or shrubs, and power washing exterior surfaces like walkways and sidings adds to curb appeal.
  • Add Artful Details: Before your buyers arrive, add fresh flowers to the dining room table or kitchen counter. Light candles for a fresh scent and inviting ambiance. Add a gourmet cookbook to the counter and a shiny tea kettle on the stove. Make the space inviting!

Bigger Steps to Home Improvement

  • Add a Fresh Coat of Paint: Re-paint any dark rooms in warm, light tones. For the bathroom, opt for white for a squeaky-clean look. Add a fresh coat to the front door for added curb appeal.
  • Finish Un-finished Home Improvement Projects: For many buyers, extra projects are the last thing they want when moving into a new home. Not to mention, they’ll use any obvious flaws to negotiate the price down. Fix and finish what you can.
  • Remove Large Furniture Items: You may consider placing the bulk of your items in storage while your home is on the market. Along with de-cluttering small knickknacks, removing large couches and tables, and even heavy or ornate drapes that block natural light, can give your potential buyers some much-needed breathing room.

Going the Extra Mile for Maximum ROI

  • Hire a Professional: A professional stager, like those at our partner company, Interiors by DECO, can complete your home with on-trend furniture, wall décor, and accessories down to the last detail. They’ll set your table with beautiful China, add a hammock and fire pit to your back yard, or stock a bar cart in your living space. They expertly highlight your home’s best features and downplay the awkward spaces that would otherwise get too much attention. This is the step to take if you want to give buyers the best chance to visualize your home's potential and sell fast.