home staging guide graphic

When thinking about staging your home, plan to showcase your home’s best assets, impress buyers and sell it quickly for the highest possible price.

Home staging might seem like a daunting task if it’s your first time, but it’s a lot easier than it appears. Plus, because not all home sellers stage their homes, so you’ll be at an advantage if you do.

Take a look at our 11 home staging tips and tricks for your home.

How To Stage Your Home

While there are plenty of room-specific staging tips, if you’re on a limited budget. It’s best to focus on big-picture improvements and on the areas, that will make the biggest difference in your home’s selling price.

The following tips and tricks can and should be used in as many rooms of the house as you can afford and have time for.

Goodbye, Clutter

There are two major problems with clutter. One is that it distracts buyers from your home’s features. The other is that it makes it seem like the home doesn’t have enough storage space.

If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story.

goodbye clutter home staging

It’s not easy, and it may even require utilising other storage (or a nice relative’s attic) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards, and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers.

Keep in mind that buyers will be interested in your storage space, so tossing everything into the closet to hide it away may not be the best strategy.

Clean Everything

From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward.

clean everything home staging

In the kitchen, potential buyers love to see new appliances that come with the home, but if you can’t do that, make the ones you have spotless. No one wants to see splattered spaghetti sauce, films of grease or piles of crumbs in their potential new home.

Your goal should be to get your house sparkling clean and make everything look new. Don’t skimp — this step is key!

Change Your Wallpaper/Paint

It is unlikely that a potential buyer will like your wallpaper. Your best bet is to tear it down and paint the walls instead. Don’t even think about painting over the wallpaper – it will look shabby and send red flags for the buyer about all the work he or she will have to do later.

change your wallpaper home staging

Paint colours are the same way. You may love your orange bathroom, but people’s tastes in colours are very specific and highly personal. While you might think that white walls would be ideal because they create a blank slate. It’s better to paint your home with warm, neutral colours that project the homey image you’re trying to sell.

Depersonalise Items

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove all the family photos, items with family members’ names on them, heirlooms and refrigerator art.

Also, even though there may be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start.

depersonalise items home staging

Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organised kids’ room, and they might be swayed. So, make sure to put away all the toys and anything else that is highly indicative of the home’s current inhabitants.

Remove Smelly Odours

Pets, kids, what you ate for dinner last night, a mildew-covered bathroom and many other conditions can make your home smell. You are probably immune to your home’s smell, so you’ll need to have a friend or neighbour help you out with this one.

remove smelly odours home staging

If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also, make sure your house is pet hair free!

If you’re a smoker and you normally smoke indoors, start limiting your smoking to outside the home and take extra steps to deodorise indoors. Finally, don’t forget to take out your rubbish.

Define All Rooms

Make sure each room has a single, defined purpose. Also, make sure that every space within every room has a purpose. So that buyers will see how to maximise the home’s square footage.

If you have a finished attic, make it an office. A finished basement can become an entertainment room, and a junk room can be transformed into a guest bedroom.

define the flooring home staging

Even if the buyer won’t want to use the room for the same purpose. The important thing is for them to see that every inch of the home is usable space. This includes alcoves, window seats, corners, breakfast nooks and so on.

For more room-specific staging tips, take a look at our Home Staging Infographic here.

Rearrange Furniture

Make sure furniture is the right size for the room, and don’t clutter a room with too much furniture. Furniture that’s too big will make a room look small, while too little or too small furniture can make a space feel cold.

You don’t have to pay a lot of money to switch out your existing furniture. Also, you may even be able to rent it, but the furniture should look nice, new, expensive and inviting.

rearrange the furniture home staging

You’ll also want to arrange the furniture in a way that makes each room feel spacious yet homey.

In the living room, for example, seating should be set up in a way that creates a gathering area around the fireplace. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.

Ambient Or Natural Lighting

Take advantage of your home’s natural light. Open all curtains and blinds when showing your home. Add supplemental lighting where necessary. Outdated or broken light fixtures can be cheaply and easily replaced. If you think your existing fixtures are fine, make sure to dust them, clean off any grime and empty out the dead bugs.

ambient or natural lighting home staging

Another thing that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. Don’t depend on just natural lighting or minimal fixtures per room, either. Make sure you include three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

Tidy Up Your Exterior

Your home’s exterior will be the first impression buyers get and may even determine their interest in viewing the inside. With the garden, make sure the grass, hedges, trees and other plants are well-maintained. Also, make sure they are neatly trimmed and eliminate any weeds.

tidy up the exterior home staging

To brighten windows, wash them well, and consider adding flower boxes to brighten them up further. Make sure the pavement leading up to the house is clear and clean. Creating some sort of outdoor living space in the garden, such as a deck or patio with outdoor furniture, is another way to use the exterior of your home to its greatest advantage.

Must-Have Accessories

Just before any open house or showing, make sure that your staging efforts go the full mile with a few last-minute touches that will make the home seem warm and inviting. These include fresh flowers, as they are an excellent way to add colour and a fresh look to a room. Faux flowers are often used to prevent any wilting. So, the flowers are always seen to be fresh.

must have accessories home staging

A bowl of fresh fruit is an excellent way to accessorise a room and keep it bright. It’s also handy for if a potential buyer is hungry and wants a snack! Just remember to make sure the fruit doesn’t go off.

Other ideas include letting fresh air into the house for at least ten minutes beforehand. So that it isn’t stuffy, adding a pleasant scent as discussed earlier, and putting new, plush, rug to give a house a more cosy and homely feel.

Remember The Flooring

No one wants to live with dirty, stained carpet, especially when someone else made it that way. Though pricey, hardwood floors add value and elegance to a home. They are also low-maintenance, provide great long-term value and are perfect for buyers with allergies. In other words, they appeal to almost everyone.

remember the flooring home staging

If you don’t want to invest in refinishing floors, the strategic placement of rugs can go a long way.

Home Staging Thoughts?

Keep these 11 quick staging tips taped on the inside of a kitchen cupboard. So you can implement them quickly, and make sure your family is well-trained so they can leap into action when required!

Overall, your home staging efforts should be designed to appeal to the widest possible range of buyers. The more people willing to submit purchase offers for your home, the higher the selling price will be.