Do I need to stage my home before I put it on the market? We get asked this question all the time. Some real estate agents and other industry professionals believe that answer is always yes. Personally, I can’t find a reason why it would ever hurt. So this entire article will be a comprehensive list of various home staging tips that can help your home sell quicker and for a higher price.

Before I jump in to the home staging tips, I want to expound on which types of properties benefit the most from staging and why.

Small spaces: In my opinion, the greatest need for staging comes in homes or condos that are small and cramped. Here’s why

  • It can be a challenge to visualize living in a small, empty space without any furniture. Buyers need to see how they can make the space work.
  • Staging can draw the eye away from imperfections that are easier to spot in a small space.

Very large homes: Similar to the challenges of a smaller home, a huge empty home can also be problematic.

  • A large expansive space can be overwhelming to a buyer. How can I ever fill this place up? What arrangement should I put the furniture in to fill out the room?
  • A huge empty space can feel cold and bland.

Homes without recent updates: Older, dated homes struggle to captivate buyers

  • All the buyer sees is a project rather than a canvas.
  • There is nothing to distract a buyer away from the houses flaws and dated finishes. Modern furnishings can be transformative to an older home.

Now that we have identified some types of homes that can benefit from staging. Lets break in to the home staging tips that are recommended.

  1. De-Clutter: You don’t always have to spend a lot of money on staging. Start by using your own furniture or better yet, removing the furniture that’s hurting you. below are some best practices for de-cluttering are, and check out this great article with 28 Decluttering Tips.
    • If you don’t NEED it, get rid of it to open up the room. Less is usually more when it comes to opening up the space. There are TONS of things in your house you aren’t using.
    • The furnishings and pieces should compliment the space, not make it feel cramped, so shy away from big, clunky pieces.
    • Get rid of the nostalgic or sentimental stuff that’s only appealing to you. the goal is to sell the house, so think more like an artist. If it doesn’t look great, it shouldn’t be there.
    • Your kids only play with 1/10th of their toys (at least that’s the case with mine) so let them get involved with packing the stuff they don’t use so they can move it their new house. It’s ok to have kids rooms and play rooms, people want to see themselves there, you just don’t want them feeling swallowed by toys.
  2. Spruce up your own furniture: Lots of times you can have hidden gems that you can bring to life through small additions. You can also check out this article on 6 ways to stage your home for free.
    • Add throw pillows and blankets on couches and chairs for a pop of color and to cover up imperfections
    • Swap out lamp shades or light covers with something more modern.
    • Pull in a good looking rug that draws the eye in and has complimentary colors or textures.
  3. Add in accent pieces that are inexpensive
    • Crisp white curtains can add a lot to a room and brighten it up with a nice looking rod
    • Add towels, toiletries, soaps and decorative bottles along with a new shower curtain and mats to spruce up the bathroom.
    • Neutral art work, vases, and center pieces can add a lot to the aesthetic. Here is a link to the AtHome’s Decor & Pillows section of their site for some great ideas.
  4. Clean. This is not technically “staging” per se, but it is important
    • Have the carpets steam cleaned and get them looking fresh
    • Deodorize and make sure the everything smells fantastic. Buyers are using all of their senses when they are walking around.
    • Get rid of the cob webs and make sure to scrub those baseboards that are probably not looking as white as they used to.
  5. Trust the pros and hire a professional stager to transform your home. If it’s in the budget and you are working with a blank canvas, having someone stage your entire vacant home can absolutely help you sell quicker and for top dollar. Even though this is an added expense, the return on your investment can be well worth it. Ruth Xiomara Lozano of Viva Home Staging and Design was able to provide me with some powerful visuals to showcase the before and after effects of an empty space vs one that’s staged professionally. If you are in the Austin area and looking for a consultation, give her a call, you won’t be disappointed.
The owner of this home did an incredible job on the remodel, but it’s undeniable how much the staging ads to the overall appeal of this room.

In short, if it’s in your budget, hire a pro. If not, do your best on your own to make your home look it’s best for showings. According to this article by the National Association of Realtors. Staging your home can add between 1%-5% of your homes value (which equates to thousands of dollars) and can dramatically reduce your time on market.

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