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How to stage your home can be completely overwhelming. Part of my business practice as a Real Estate Broker, I offer what I like to call “light staging”. Meaning, I am not a licensed home stager, but I have several large pieces that I can use to stage homes along with decor items. I’m a firm believer that staging helps sell homes. Note that I didn’t say sells homes, but helps. Things like your pricing, the current market, and shape of the home also play a part in selling your home. But, staging is part of the process and helps. It’s a part of the puzzle, that I think many times is underutilized, and saved only for high end homes. Which I think is a complete disservice, and why I offer this service to my clients.
I wish I had taken before pictures of this home. It hadn’t occurred to me at the time that I might want to blog about this specific project. But imagine, that this home was completely empty and vacant. Adding in furnishings I think is absolutely what helped bring in multiple offers, over list price, its first weekend on the market.
Please note that I am not a professional stager, but I am a professional Real Estate Broker and Realtor, and as such, I have seen my fair share of what works, and what doesn’t when staging a home. So let’s look at a few tips on staging your home to sell.
This means a couple things. First off, it means that how your furniture is set up to best suit your family, might not be showcasing the room in its best possible light. Rooms with too much furniture can feel small, and crowded. While you may love the placement of your lucky football watching chair to get the best view of the TV, someone viewing your home may just feel that the room is cut off and un-open if it’s not in a place with good flow. So, consider placing some pieces in storage while you sell your home. Or move pieces to create better walkability through rooms and flow.
Moving furniture also means move your furniture away from the walls! The easiest trick in the book to create flow in a room. Move your couches or tables 6” or so away from the wall. This makes living spaces actually feel bigger, and more cohesive.
I’m a girl that can get down with some pink and serious bling in a room. Who wouldn’t want a sparkly gold accent wall? Or a bedroom that’s painted in the colors of their favorite football team? Well, actually, a lot of people. When you think about how to stage your home, you want to appeal to the masses. We all have preferences in home décor, but the best thing to do when staging a home is minimize those personal preferences and showcase a beautiful neutral space. This doesn’t mean throw out your favorite zebra snuggie that has a place of honor on the back of the couch! But this does mean, maybe put it in a drawer while the house is being shown and instead opt for a more mass appealing throw blanket.
CASUALLY PLACED TRINKETS
How does Pottery Barn make their rooms look so perfect? It’s the power of triangles, casually placed trinkets, pieces of bling and botanicals. Placing objects of varying heights together is a great way to add visual interest. A few plants will bring life to a room, literally, as well as filter the air. A piece of bling or two in a room can really make it pop. You want to create a space where people feel relaxed and where they wish they lived. It’s about selling the dream! Consider this when staging your home. Coco Chanel famously said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” I like to use this same rule when staging. While staging your home is wonderful, you also don’t want to overdue it. Remember this when you’re placing your decor items.
I’m always surprised how many homes I go into have no art on the walls. I understand, original art can be expensive, especially for those of us balling on a budget. But, I think in so many cases art can tie a room together, add visual interest that can enhance features of your home, as well as detract from negatives. A long hallway might look narrow with stark white walls and nothing on them, but add a few pieces of art and suddenly it feels brighter, more alive, and will be a perfect place for the new owners to create a gallery wall. You can find beautiful, and inexpensive art at thrift stores, or big box stores like Fred Meyer that offer mass produced art at a great price point that is actually incredibly beautiful.
THOUGHTS ON PERSONAL PIECES
You’ve heard it a million times, take down all personal items when selling your home. Now, I’m going to disagree here… to an extent. What’s great about a home is that it feels like just that, a home and not a house. That’s the feeling people want to have and want to fall in love with. Part of what makes a house a home is those personal touches. It can be a painted piece of artwork from the kids hanging on the wall, or a sign with your family name. I think these are beautiful touches to a home that won’t turn off buyers. What I would suggest doing is paring down. If you can’t even see your beautiful new fridge because it’s covered in the kid’s art, letters from friends, birth announcements, and wedding invitations, pair it down and find a new space for those items while you sell your home. So in recap, a few tasteful personal items are a go, over crowded and cluttered items should find a new home.
After you tackle inside, consider moving outside to really make a bang for your buck with enhancing your curb appeal!
Emma @ theweekendabroad.com says
I do marketing for a real estate company and this is incredibly useful! Gorgeous picture of that kitchen.
I’m saving this blog post for when I move!! This seems so helpful to homeowners, thank you for sharing this!
Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor says
Staging is so important!! When we sold our first home we learned a lot about staging and wish our realtor had as much insight as you do. I’ll have to keep all this in mind if we move again and need to sell our current home.
Such great tips – and that home is absolutely beautiful!!
Ah, Great post! Once my husband moves home I’m going to be def redecorating so these tips are definately helpful!!
Christine SaltyMama says
Great tips! It’s amazing what a difference that staging can make to a prospective buyer!
One of the things I love is that you said is to not take down all the personal items. When we sold our home in El Paso we were told the same thing and that is one of the things the buyers loved. They said seeing our personal touches made them feel like it could be their home.
This is great. I always wonder, what about family photos? If you have a gallery wall of family pictures should you change it up when the house is going on the market or leave it?
When my parents sold their house a few years ago NO ONE told them about light staging. Everyone was all about remodeling before selling. They sold the house because they couldn’t afford it anymore. A whole house remodel wasn’t going to happen. I wish we’d known about light staffing. Might’ve made things easier on us all.
Meg Taylor says
I love your first few suggestions even just for decorating and organizing my own home. Thanks for sharing!
Meg, Borrowed Heaven
So good! Wish I had this list when we moved! I was basically winging it! Haha
My parents recently moved and I wish they saw this post before they did. They spent big bucks on renovations and I think light staging would have been a much better option.
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
I totally agree with you on the personal stuff. I think a couple of things is fine. A fridge full of your personal life, too much. These are all great tips though!
This is great advice. I actually have a friend who is struggling to sell her house right now so I’ll refer her to these tips!
What a cool job! Staging a home really does make a huge difference for me when viewing a place. It gives me a good idea of what size furniture will fit in the rooms and decorating ideas.
These are all great tips! I hope I don’t have to stage my home in a long time, but definitely I will keep this in mind.
I totally agree with you on the personal pieces. A family portrait, taken in the house or in the garden, shows that a family was able to live and love there.
AnnMarie John says
It’s been a long time since I last fixed up our house for selling. I’ve been living in Colorado for a long time now. I think these are great ideas though. It’s good to put your best foot forward and show your home’s potential by dressing it up a little.
I have no idea how to begin to decorate, let alone stage it. I seriously can’t figure out where to put the little things. I have commitment issues.
I’ve watched my fair share of HGTV and you’re so right! Staging a house can make or break a sale. Any go to places for large wall art?
Great tips! When I sold my last house I started packing and stored all the boxes in the garage so they the house looked perfect. Definitely want the future homebuyers to visualize the home with their belongings and not have it so cluttered.
These are great tips. We are planning on moving soon and I have been doing a lot of research on home staging. There is so much that goes into it. I love how easy and doable you made it seem!
Journa Ramirez says
Great advice. I honestly don’t know how to stage our own home. My husband’s the one who’s doing these stuff and I’m so grateful to have him. Thank you for sharing!
Wow, if we ever decide to sell our house, I will definitely keep these tips in mind. I didn’t realize how these simple things can make such a big difference!
Cindy Ingalls says
Great tips. I also agree with the personal aspect of the home. I want to know it was loved and used well by the people before me. I think you can add some touches of your personality without going overboard.
Great tips! I feel the same way about personal pieces, as they make a house feel more like a home <3
hanna - platforms and pacifiers says
These tips are spot on!! I’m no pro but I do know when we put our house on the market we removed all the family photos but kept “generic” family things up like our signs that said “this is love” and “home is where the navy takes us” ps we also took ALL of the toys out of the house!
Absolutely agree with all of these tips. I also agree with you regarding the personal items. When looking at homes, I definitely wanted to see some pics of the family strategically and tastefully placed around the home. Made me envision my own family pictures in the space.
Hey Sharonoox says
Staging a home especially if putting the property in the markt is so important. I remembered visiting many properties before and most are staged by pro. I like decorating my house with paintings – makes it feel more homely.
Sami | The Classic Brunette says
These are some great tips! I totally agree about the moving your furniture away from the walls, it definitely makes a space look bigger!
The Classic Brunette
These are great suggestions for anyone selling their home and could even help them get a higher price. Sometimes a few small changes can make a home look like a million bucks. Love that you suggest leaving out one or two homey items but not to go overboard with personal items.
Kait Around The Kingdom says
This post totally speaks to me and my HGTV loving heart! Great tips!
Great tips! I’m fortunate to live in a town with a great art college, so I pick up student art and frame it for my walls. No one pays attention to the inexpensive frames when the art looks high end!
Great and useful suggestions! Just perfect as we are planning to renovate our first house for AirBnb and thanks for the tips!
We are in the process of selling our home and staging was a very important part of the plan. We received an offer the first week we listed our home and are quite happy with the outcome. But wowza, that’s a lot of work!
We are thinking of putting our condo up soon so these are timely tips! A well staged home can be the difference between a quick sell or a stale home.
Um.. Can I hire you to help me sell my house in a few years?! I’m going to have to remember these tips!
Great tips! I’ve been thinking about staging a lot lately, I think we’re leaning towards selling next spring.
Awesome tips! We used several of these when we sold our home too 😀