Staging your home is sort of like decorating—only in this case, you’re not aiming to make the space aesthetically pleasing to you; you’re trying to create the kind of environment that potential buyers can envision themselves living in.
If you’re toying with the idea of staging your home, there are a number of very convincing arguments for doing so. According to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors, 40 percent of homebuyers cited home staging as having an effect on their perception of the house and a whopping 83 percent said home staging made it easier to imagine living there. Sellers’ agents were also surveyed, and 22 percent reported an increase in the final price as a result of staging.
Now that we’ve fully convinced you to stage your home, let’s dive into how to do it:
Clean Out Storage Spaces
Are you the kind of homeowner who keeps the living room tidy but fills the closets with clutter? You’re going to want to clear out clutter from closets, cabinets, shelves, garages, sheds and other storage spaces. According to the study we mentioned earlier, 95 percent of selling agents say that say that clearing out clutter is the most important part of staging a home for a sale.
Remove Personal Items
Remember, you want to create a house that allows buyers to imagine building a home. To achieve that, remove personal items including those family photos on the fridge, that stack of paperwork on your desk and those old stuffed animals on the bed.
Don’t Be a Trendsetter
Get rid of any decor that’s overly trendy—especially if that trend has come and gone. You may love that chevron pattern in your guest room, but it could be a major turn-off to homebuyers. Keep things neutral. Avoid anything that might be geared towards a certain age group, gender or niche audience. Think white paint instead of hot pink.
The Nose Knows
You know that feeling when you walk into a new home and you’re struck by an unfamiliar and perhaps even off-putting smell? Don’t be the person with the funny smelling home. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Replace carpet or have it professionally cleaned. Seventy-eight percent of real estate agents recommend a full carpet cleaning when staging a home. It’s also worth noting that 83 percent of agents advise against having pets present during a showing. Even if your house doesn’t smell like a dog, having Fido present—or even leaving his toys around—indicates a house with pet odor.
Upgrade Cabinets Without Breaking the Bank
To create a more attractive kitchen without investing in a full remodel, upgrade cabinets by staining or painting them. You can also replace knobs on these and other doors to give your home a fresh look.
Natural light is on just about every homebuyer’s wish list, so open up those blinds and lose the heavy curtains. Add additional lighting by purchasing a few new lamps and placing them throughout the home.
Consider Renting Furniture
If your furniture is worn or dated, consider storing it and renting furniture instead. You can also rent additional items to give your home a modern appearance.
Focus on Functionality
As potential buyers tour your home, they’re all asking themselves the same question: How would I use this space?
Give them the answer by focusing on functionality when staging your home. This might mean moving an armchair from the living room to another room where you can place it beside a bookshelf and create the idea of a study. This could mean putting a floral arrangement and new place settings on a dining room table so that it appeals to those who like to entertain. Go through each room and ask yourself how it can appear functional rather than decorative.
Rent a Storage Unit
Okay, so we’ve talked about cleaning out your closet, removing personal items, stowing away your dog’s toys and renting furniture instead of leaving your own items in the home. Now where are you supposed to store all of that stuff?
The answer is a storage unit. Rent one online and take advantage of online discounts, month-to-month leases, climate control and other features that are perfect for people who are staging their homes. A 5x10 or 10x10 unit is best for this, but here are some size guide videos to help you find the perfect storage unit for your needs.
As an added bonus, once you’ve successfully sold your home—no doubt with the help from staging—your storage unit can be a huge help during your move too.