In the current whirlwind of the real estate market, where listings often fly off the shelf during their debut weekend, and bidding wars have become the norm, you might wonder if home staging is still necessary. The answer is a resounding yes. Even in a market tilted in sellers’ favor, the strategic presentation of your home can drastically increase its appeal – and financial return.

According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home before selling can increase the selling price between 1% to 10% on average. This ROI on staging costs leads to tens of thousands of dollars at sale. Staged homes also tend to sell more quickly, spending an average of 23 fewer days on the market.

We’ll share how to best utilize home staging; whether you’re a homeowner, real estate agent, or home stager, we’ve curated a list of the most important tips when it comes to home staging.

Photo: Real Estate by JS O’Connor

Focus on Most Impactful Rooms

When staging a home, it’s important to focus your efforts on the rooms buyers care about most. According to the National Association of Realtors, the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms are the most critical areas to stage in order to attract buyers.

Living Room

The living room is often the first room buyers see when touring a home, so making a great first impression here is key. When staging your living room:

  • Declutter surfaces and tidy up.
  • Arrange furniture to promote an open, flowing layout.
  • Style coffee tables and bookshelves to create an inviting vignette.
  • Use neutral colors in your decor.
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The kitchen is considered the “heart of the home”, so ensure buyers fall in love with this space by:

  • Decluttering counters and organizing appliances.
  • Cleaning surfaces until they sparkle.
  • Styling with fresh flowers, fruits, and neatly arranged dishes.
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Bedrooms, especially the main suite, should welcome buyers to relax and envision their life there. Tips for home staging bedrooms include:

  • Decluttering and removing excess furniture.
  • Making beds neatly with crisp, neutral bedding.
  • Staging nightstands with decor and lamps.

Declutter and Deep Clean Every Room

Before you stage your home, it’s crucial to thoroughly declutter and deep clean each room, paying special attention to commonly overlooked areas (even your bathroom medicine cabinet!). Go through each space systematically and clear out excess furniture, personal items, and clutter. You might be surprised how clutter or dirty areas can be the reason potential buyers decide not to put inn an offer.

The goal is to get every room into clean, clutter-free, move-in ready condition before staging furniture and decor. This decluttering and deep cleaning process is essential to showcase the home at its best.

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Furniture Arrangement and Flow

Strategically arranging furniture is crucial to showcasing the size of rooms and allowing an uninterrupted flow between spaces. According to professional stagers, poor furniture placement can deter buyers.

When arranging furniture, be sure to:

  • Anchor larger pieces of furniture around the perimeter of the room to make the space feel open.
  • Leave ample room to walk around furniture to highlight spaciousness.
  • Arrange seating to promote conversation between pieces.
  • Angle furniture to point toward focal points like fireplaces.

By expertly arranging furniture in an intentional way, homes feel more spacious, functional, and enticing to potential buyers.

Use Neutral Colors

When home staging to sell, it’s important to use neutral colors throughout to appeal to the widest range of buyers. According to Orchard, white and cream are some of the most popular neutral paint colors recommended by experts for selling a home quickly. Neutral paint colors make the home feel clean, bright and spacious.

In addition to painting walls in neutral hues, it’s also important to incorporate neutral colors into decor and bedding. Shades of beige, taupe and gray are recommended by realtors for speeding up the sales process. Use bedding and pillows in whites, tans, grays or other earth tone neutrals. Style bookshelves and coffee tables with neutral decor pieces. The key is to let the neutral colors allow the buyers to envision their own furnishings in the home.

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Home Staging the Exterior

Curb appeal is hugely important when selling a home, as it makes that critical first impression on buyers. There are several key things sellers can do when home staging the exterior of their home:

  • Give the front door a fresh coat of paint in an inviting color like blue, red or yellow.
  • Style the entrance with pots of bright flowers and a new welcome mat.
  • Clean up the yard – mow the lawn, prune bushes, and plant flowers.
  • Set up accent lighting to highlight trees, pathways, and other exterior features at night.
  • Furnish and style the porch or patio with rocking chairs, benches, outdoor rugs and pillows.

Focusing on curb appeal can go a long way in impressing potential buyers and setting your home apart.

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Avoid Outdated Decor

When prepping your home for sale, it’s important to remove any outdated decor. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home, not view it as someone else’s space. Store away any personal items and decor like family photos, the kids’ art projects, and sentimental items. While you may have an emotional attachment to these belongings, they can distract buyers. If you can, also replace any old carpeting or flooring, window treatments, light fixtures, and hardware.

Decluttering and removing outdated decor ensures your home showcases an attractive layout and clean canvas for buyers to project their vision upon. According to home staging professionals, removing outdated decor and any kind of clutter is one of the most important steps in preparing a home for sale.

Related Post: The Best Emerging Interior Designs For 2024

See what a difference it makes when the room is clean, minimalist, bright, and neutral?

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Photo: Lifestyle Denver

Costs of Staging

Home staging typically costs between $782 and $2,817 on average, according to data from Bankrate. The exact price depends on factors like the home size, location, and whether it is occupied or vacant during staging.

While staging does require an upfront investment (whether you hire professionals or DIY), sellers often recoup these costs and more from the increased sale price and quicker sale timeline. Attracting more buyers willing to pay top dollar can result in tens of thousands in extra profit. For sellers on a tight budget, focusing on a few key areas like decluttering and rearrangement can help prepare the home for showings without expensive furnishings or designs.

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Let’s Get Staging!

Home staging is an essential part of preparing your home for sale. The most important home staging tips can make a huge difference in attracting potential buyers and commanding top dollar. It requires effort, but boosting your home’s appeal in this competitive market is well worth the investment. A beautifully staged home will sell faster – and for a higher price!

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