Real Estate Updates June 27, 2024

Staging for Home Selling Success

The benefits of staging a home are well documented. Numerous studies show that staging helps sell a home faster and for a higher price. Studies also indicate that buyers decide if they’re interested within the first 30 seconds of entering a home. Not only does home staging help to remove potential red flags that can turn buyers off, it also helps them imagine living there. Homes that are professionally staged look more “move-in ready,” which makes them far more appealing to potential buyers.

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to put your house on the market and want to try your hand at staging, here are some concepts to keep in mind:

Aim for Cohesion

Make the inside match the outside. For example, if the exterior architectural style of your house is mid-century modern, the interior should be primarily outfitted with mid-century modern style furniture. Prospective buyers who like the exterior style of your home are going to expect something similar when they step inside. If the two styles don’t agree or at least complement each other, there is likely going to be an immediate disconnect for the buyer.

There is always room for flexibility. Not all your furnishings need to match, and even the primary furnishings do not need to be an exact match to the architectural style of your home. To create cohesion, you simply need to reflect the overall look-and-feel of the exterior.

Neutralize and Brighten

Every home is a personal expression of its owner. But when you become a seller, you’ll want to look for ways to make your home appeal to your target market. Keep in mind, your target market is made up of the group of people most likely to be interested in a home like yours—which is something your agent can help you determine.

A good strategy to staging your home is to “neutralize” the design of your interior. A truly neutral interior design allows people to easily imagine their own belongings in the space—and to envision how some simple changes would make it uniquely their own.

Paint over bold wall colors with something more neutral, like a light beige, warm gray, or soft brown. The old advice used to be, “paint everything white,” but often that creates too sterile of an environment, while dark colors can make a room look small, even a bit dirty. Muted tones and soft colors work best. Likewise, consider removing wallpaper if it’s a bold or busy design.

Lighting is key. Replace heavy, dark curtains with neutral-colored shear versions; this will soften the hard edges around windows while letting in lots of natural light. Turn on lamps, and if necessary, install lighting fixtures to brighten any dark spaces—especially the entry area.

Clean and De-Clutter

To further inspire buyers to imagine the space as their own, make sure every room—including closets and the garage—is clean and clutter-free. You may even want to hire professionals to give your home a thorough deep clean. Remember, the kitchen and bathrooms are by far the two most important rooms in a house when selling, so ongoing maintenance is important.

Family photos, personal memorabilia, and collectibles should be removed from the home for your safety. Closets, shelves, and other storage areas should be mostly empty. Work benches should be free of tools and projects. Clear the kitchen counters, store non-necessary cookware, and remove magnets from the refrigerator door.

The same goes for furniture. If removing a chair, a lamp, a table, or other furnishings will make a particular space look larger or more inviting, then do it.

You don’t want your home to appear cold, un-loved, or unlived-in, but you do want to remove distractions and provide prospective buyers with a blank canvas of sorts. Plus, de-cluttering your home now will make it that much easier to pack when it comes time to move.

Where to Start

If you’re concerned about the additional cost of staging, rest assured. Even a relatively small investment of time and money can reap big returns. There are even things you can do yourself for little to no cost. Contact your agent for advice on how to stage your home most effectively or for a recommendation on a professional stager. While the simple interior design techniques outlined above may seem more like common sense than marketing magic, you’d be surprised at how many homeowners routinely overlook them. And the results are clear: staging your house to make it more appealing to buyers is often all it takes to speed the sale and boost the sale price.

by KeeleyShaye Hill June 3, 2025 article here