Clean modern white living room

7 Home Staging Tips To Sell Fast

Molly Grace8-minute read
September 16, 2021

First impressions matter, and the first impression potential buyers get when touring your home is vital to getting them interested enough to make an offer.

From landscaping upgrades that add curb appeal to decluttering your rooms for a more spacious feel, there are many things a seller can do to make their home more attractive to buyers. Here are some of our best home staging tips for sellers.

What Is Home Staging?

In the home selling process, home staging is the practice of styling, furnishing and rearranging the house in order to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Successful home staging doesn’t just get buyers excited about a space – it helps them envision themselves in it as well.

Sellers who want expert-level staging can enlist the help of a home staging professional to prepare their home for the market. However, you don’t necessarily need to spend big bucks to make your home look inviting to buyers. There are plenty of things homeowners can do on their own to make their spaces shine.

7 Tips: How To Stage A Home For Sale

The more appealing your home is to buyers, the more likely it is to sell (and sell quickly), which is why it’s so important to think carefully about how you’re presenting your home to potential buyers. Good home staging can help your home sell faster and potentially for more money.

If you’re DIY-ing your home staging, here are some steps you’ll want to take.

Selling your home?

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1. Declutter And Depersonalize Your Space

The first step to a successful home staging (after, of course, you’ve done a deep cleaning of your whole house and fixed any signs of wear and tear) is to declutter your entire living space.

Decluttering a home you’re trying to sell is a bit different from decluttering to make your space look neater and more organized for your own personal enjoyment. While you might not label your favorite personal trinkets or knickknacks as “clutter,” it’s important to make the space look neutral, so buyers can picture their own knickknacks littering the mantel.

Keep the items that sit out on countertops or coffee tables to a minimum. Tuck all your toiletries into a cabinet when you’re doing a showing. And even if they’re going to be the next Picasso, take all the kiddie artwork down from the front of the fridge.

Additionally, think about whether removing any bigger pieces from your rooms, such as a couch or desk, could open the space up and make it look less cramped.

This is also a great time to go through all your belongings and start tossing or donating things that you don’t plan on taking with you when you move.

2. Prioritize Staging In Specific Areas

While it’s important that your entire home looks presentable, there are certain areas that can really make or break a buyer’s experience touring your home.

  • Living room: Aim for a simple and neutral look, removing any flashy or bold artwork or decor pieces that only appeal to very specific tastes. Touches of color and brightness are OK, but use your best judgement and defer to your real estate agent if you’re having trouble distinguishing between what’s fun and what’s funky. You might also consider rearranging the space to make it more welcoming and cohesive. For example, if your living room is crowded and difficult to walk through, think about how you can move your furniture around (or even remove a piece or two) to make the area easier to navigate.
  • Closets: Large closets can be an important selling point for buyers, so if you have a great closet, strategize how you can best show it off. Go through your closet to tidy up and remove what you can, especially if it’s overflowing with clothes. Store out of season clothing and miscellaneous items somewhere else. You want to give your clothes room to breathe so that the closet looks spacious and well-organized.
  • Bathrooms: It’s vital that you clean your bathroom until it’s sparkling and smells freshly clean. Tackle any lingering odors – especially mildew smells – and then bring in a gentle scent like fresh flowers, potpourri or a candle to finish it off. Make sure all your personal items and toiletries are neatly stored out of sight – no half-empty shampoo bottles perched on the edge of your tub. Stage your bathroom as if it were in a nice hotel, with fresh, neatly folded hand towels or pretty wrapped bar soaps on display.
  • Primary bedroom: With bedrooms, prioritize tidiness and making it feel welcoming and cozy. If you have a fairly bare bones setup, you might want to spend some money to complete your bedroom set. For example, if your mattress sits directly on the floor, consider investing in a bed frame and headboard. When people are touring your home, ensure that the bed is made and all clutter has been removed from your nightstands or dressers.

3. Create A Welcoming Atmosphere

When people are shopping for a new home, they want to feel at home. Play up your home’s hominess by making the space feel inviting and warm.

  • Turn the radio on: Having some light music on in the background can make buyers feel more comfortable as they tour your home. Just make sure your music selection isn’t too loud or distracting.
  • Make it comfortable: If you tend to be one of those people who prefers to throw on a sweater before reaching for the thermostat, don’t expect buyers to do the same. If it’s cold out, make sure the house is appropriately heated. If it’s hot out, make sure it’s comfortably cool inside.
  • Let there be light: There’s no point in putting all this effort into showing a beautiful space if everyone is straining to see it. Do an assessment of all the lighting in your house. If you have any rooms that are a little too dark, introduce some light with lamps or open up your blinds. If you have big windows that let in lots of natural light, be sure to feature that and keep the curtains open.

4. Pay Attention To Your Home Decor

Everyone has their own decorating style, but for the purposes of showing your home, make sure yours isn’t too polarizing. As you consider what home decor to keep, what to put into storage and whether you should add anything new, here are some things you can do:

  • Research current decor trends. Understanding the latest home decor trends can help you decide how you want to decorate your staged home. You don’t want to be too trendy, but knowing what’s popular with homeowners can help you determine what tweaks, if any, you should make to your current setup. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a bunch of new stuff – see what you can do with the pieces you already own to make each room feel more in line with the latest styles and think about bringing in one or two new, affordable components that will help renew the look, such as a throw blanket or a beautiful rug.
  • Bring the outdoors in. A cheerful bunch of flowers can brighten the mood in a big way, so consider staging your home with some fresh-cut bouquets in a few different rooms. If you’d rather not rack up bills at your local florist, opt for greenery sourced from your own backyard. Pine sprigs, branches of eucalyptus, rosemary leaves or ivy garland are just a handful of options that look beautiful while giving your home a natural, inviting look.
  • Add tasteful accents. Since you want to put an emphasis on a decluttered, tidy and neutral space, you should accessorize very carefully. While personal knickknacks are generally to be avoided, if you have something beautiful and kind of unique, you may choose to leave that out. Otherwise, stick to small and tasteful accents that give the home personality without being too overwhelming.

5. Hide Your Pet’s Stuff

Pets are great, but they and their paraphernalia aren’t always conducive to making a space feel clean, fresh or neutral. As you prepare your home for showings, take care to clean up pet-related stains and repair any damage they’ve done to your home or furnishings. Vacuum daily and, if you can, immediately before showings to eliminate fur and potentially allergy-inducing dander.

Before showings, store your pet’s toys and care items (things like bowls, leashes, litter boxes, etc.) out of sight and take your pet for a walk or car ride while potential buyers are in your home.

6. Consider Your Curb Appeal

Remember what we said about first impressions being important? When a buyer pulls into your driveway or up to the curb, what they see matters. Put your best foot forward by making sure the outside of your home looks just as good as the inside.

If your exterior walls, walkways, patios or decks are looking a little dingy, consider renting a pressure washer to clean these spots. Refresh your shutters or front door with a fresh coat of paint. Make sure your landscaping looks good and that the lawn is tidy.

7. Take High-Quality Photos

Once your home is staged, you’ll want to market your home with high-quality photos to fully highlight all the hard work you put in and show off just how beautiful your home is. If you’re working with an agent, they’ll likely take care of this themselves or hire a professional to do it, but if you’re DIY-ing your pics, just remember: ample lighting, no blurriness and smart framing.

What Does Home Staging Cost?

Staging your home yourself will only cost the time you put into it and the price of any accents you purchase to spice the place up.

If you choose to hire a professional home stager, you’ll spend more. Hiring a professional can be useful if you don’t feel super confident in your own ability to stage your home successfully or if you need to stage a home you’ve already moved out of.

How much you’ll spend on professional staging will depend on what services you need and how long you’ll need them for. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to stage a house is around $1,460, but costs can range between $630 – $2,320. If you need to rent furniture to stage an empty home, you could spend significantly more: around $2,000 per month.

Does Staging A Home For Sale Really Work?

Real estate agents on both sides of the transaction generally agree that home staging is useful, particularly when it comes to helping the buyer visualize themselves in the home.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of staging your home.

Attract More Potential Buyers

A well-staged home can make buyers more interested in your property.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2021 “Profile of Home Staging” report, 82% of buyer’s agents agreed that home staging made it easier for the buyer to visualize the property as a future home. What’s more, the majority of buyer’s agents believe that staging has an effect on at least some buyers’ view of a home, with 47% saying that staging had “an effect on some buyers, but not always,” and 44% saying that it had “an effect on most buyers.”

Turn A Larger Profit

Not only can staging your home assure potential buyers that the house is worth what you’re asking for it, but it could potentially boost your sale price as well.

In the NAR® report, 23% of both buyer’s and seller’s agents reported that staging increased the amount buyers offered by 1% – 5% when compared to similar homes without staging.

Spend Less Time On The Market

By attracting more buyers and highlighting the most desirable features of your home, staging can also mean less time spent on the market. According to the same report, 31% of seller’s agents said that staging a home greatly decreased the amount of time it spent on the market and 22% said it slightly decreased days on market.

The Bottom Line: Home Staging Can Help Your House Sell

When potential buyers are house hunting, they want to imagine the homes they’re viewing as their own. With these simple but impactful home staging tips and tricks, you’ll help buyers imagine living with their loved ones in a clean, spacious, organized setting – an ideal version of their future home sweet home.

Ready to begin the home selling process? Get started today with Rocket Homes℠.

Selling your home?

Work with a real estate agent who knows your local market.

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Molly Grace

Molly Grace is a staff writer focusing on mortgages, personal finance and homeownership. She has a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University. You can follow her on Twitter @themollygrace.