How to Effectively Stage Your Home to Sell

How to effectively stage your home ahead of sale

Nearly 10% of Americans move every year. That’s 31 million people, many of whom have to prepare their house for sale, list it, sell it, and move all of their belongings to their new place. As anyone who has gone through a move can attest, it’s a major process with a lot of moving parts. Selling your home, in particular, can be difficult. You have to find the right buyer, at the right price, in your market. And, depending on the state of your home, it may need a little help across the finish line.

In this article, we’ll make the case for home staging, review how to best prepare your home for sale, and discuss why your realtor is the best person to consult with before you list.

Put your home in its best-possible light

Before any staging or decoration takes place, you need to put the time and money into cleaning up the interior and exterior of your home. This deep clean is crucial: you want to pick up any clutter, provide light in dim-lit areas, and generally give prospective buyers the idea that the home is well-cared for.

People can’t help but judge based on their first impression. If your home has an overgrown yard, a dilapidated fence, and faded exterior paint, it’s the first thing prospective buyers are going to see when they pull up. You don’t want them to have negative opinions about your home or its value before they even cross the threshold of the front door. 

Put the time and money into cleaning and refurbishing your home, inside-and-out. Before your first showings, have a professional landscaper come out to mow the lawn, trim your trees, and fix up any lawn ornaments. If it’s been a few years since your home was last painted, you should have a professional exterior painter out to repaint or touch up your home. You’d be surprised at just how impactful new paint, both inside and out, can be!

Stage your home with the right furniture

Part of what makes your house a home is your furniture. If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably collected a somewhat random assortment of furniture over the years. You found your coffee table at a local estate sale. Your couches came from the local furniture store. That chair in the corner? That belonged to your great aunt Linda. Most homes contain a mish-mash of furniture styles, all with special meaning and comfort to the homeowner.

Yet, as comfortable and cozy as this eclectic collection is to you, it can often make it difficult for prospective buyers to picture themselves in the space. When touring a home, buyers try to envision themselves in it: what would life be like in this home? A home with drastically different furniture and furnishings than what they’re picturing may muddy this vision. If you have particularly big furniture—such as oversized cabinets or couches—it could also negatively influence their perception of the square footage.

This is where home staging is incredibly helpful. By moving out your furniture and staging the home with modern furnishings, you can appeal to a wider range of prospective buyers. Most home staging experts and realtors will pick out smaller, contemporary pieces of furniture to keep your living room and other spaces from feeling claustrophobic and cluttered. The goal of home staging is to present a vision of the idealized use of the space, giving the potential buyers a way to envision themselves in the home.

Talk to your realtor about your next steps

Remember: home staging and cleanup is an effective way to extend the value of your home, but may not necessarily be a game-changer. Some yard cleanup and modern furniture isn’t going to make up for a failing roof, or structural damage. But, home staging can make an already-great home that much easier to sell for your asking price or above. 

If you’re planning on listing and selling your home in the near future, start talking to a trusted, local realtor today. Any successful realtor will know what works best for homes in your neighborhood and at your asking price. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not staging is a good idea, and what other investments you might need to make to the property prior to listing. If they do advise you to stage your home, ask them for their recommendations on local home staging companies or professionals. You might be able to get a great deal through their referral!

The upfront investment that comes with home staging and preparing a home for sale typically pays off. For a detailed overview of the home staging process and everything involved, check out this infographic.


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