How to Stage a House For Sale: 10 Tips on Home Staging & Mistakes to Avoid

Tips for Staging Your HomeWith a well-placed vase of fresh flowers and carefully arranged furniture, the art of home staging can transform a house into an inviting and desirable space—it's the interior counterpart to boosting your home's curb appeal. But is it worth the time and effort? Whether you're a seasoned real estate agent or a homeowner looking to maximize your property's appeal, understanding the home staging and learning how to avoid common mistakes can make all the difference in achieving a swift and lucrative sale.

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Key Takeaways

  • Home staging enhances the appeal of a house, making it more likely to attract potential buyers and achieve a successful sale.
  • By showcasing a home's best features and minimizing flaws, staging sets it apart from the competition and maximizes its value.
  • While there are pros and cons to staging yourself or hiring a professional, understanding the benefits and costs of professional staging is crucial for a successful sale.
  • Avoiding common mistakes in staging, such as neglecting decluttering and depersonalizing, is crucial for attracting potential buyers and helping them envision themselves living in the home.

Why Stage a House?

If you're looking for a fast sale on your home, the best thing you can do is get it staged. Sometimes you have a lot of time to sell your home, while in other cases you need to get out of the house immediately or sell it within weeks. When a fast sale is critical, take a look at staging and what it can do for you.

Staging your home enhances its appeal and increases the likelihood of a successful sale. By creating an inviting and visually appealing space, staging allows buyers to see the full potential of the property. It helps them connect emotionally with the home, which is crucial in making a purchasing decision.

Another reason to stage your home is to make it stand out from the competition. In a buyer’s market, having a well-staged home can set it apart from similar properties in the area. Staging highlights the best features of your home and minimizes any flaws or shortcomings. It helps create a positive first impression and a lasting impact on potential buyers.

Additionally, staging can help maximize the value of your home. When a property is properly staged, it can command a higher sale price. Buyers are often willing to pay more for a home that is move-in ready and aesthetically pleasing. Staging allows you to showcase your home's unique qualities and increase its perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers.

Home staging has been proven time and time again to sell a house faster and quite often can bring in better offers as well. Staging makes a house look cleaner, brighter and even bigger so that people looking at it can actually imagine it being their future home.

What's the Home Staging Process?

Basically, when your home is staged, the personality that you have put into it will be taken out so that prospective buyers can see your home from a different viewpoint. When the house is depersonalized, viewers can more easily imagine living in it as they walk through the home. This is why it leads to a faster sale and bigger and better offers in many cases.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, home staging makes sure that the house is de-cluttered and that only the bare amount of home furniture is in each room. Accessories may be added to the rooms to highlight their best features and bring out the best in them.

Should You Hire a Professional Home Stager?

When getting ready to stage, homeowners must weigh the benefits of doing it themselves versus the advantages of hiring a professional stager. Staging a home yourself can be a cost-effective option, as it eliminates the need to pay for professional services. Additionally, staging oneself allows for greater control over the process, allowing homeowners to make changes and adjustments as they see fit.

However, there are also several advantages to hiring a professional. Professional stagers have extensive experience and knowledge in staging homes, ensuring that the property is presented in the best possible light and from an unbiased perspective. You have an emotional attachment to your home, and this gives you a biased viewpoint in terms of making it attractive to potential home buyers.

Plus, professionals possess a keen eye for design and are skilled at highlighting a home's best features. They have access to a wide range of furniture and decor options, allowing them to create a cohesive and visually appealing space. Furthermore, hiring a professional can save sellers time and reduce stress, as they take care of all the details and logistics involved in staging a home. 

Ultimately, the decision to hire a professional depends on the homeowner's budget, time constraints, and level of expertise in home staging.

Home Staging Tips If You’re Going Solo

If you don't have a lot of time on your hands or don’t have the funds to hire a professional right now, here are some basic guidelines that you can use to make your home look better to potential buyers:

  • All of the living spaces should be well-lit and appear spacious.
  • Clear off all of the countertops in your kitchen and organize your pantry—make sure it’s not too stuffed.
  • The floors in the entranceway should be clean and polished so that they shine when viewers first walk in.
  • Set your table in the dining room with a centrepiece and your best china.
  • De-clutter and clean the whole house and pay special attention to the closets.
  • Open all of the window coverings and let the light shine in.
  • Green plants support the appearance of a green home, and flowers can make it look and smell great.
  • Ensure your house is odour-free because bad smells might drive away potential buyers.
  • Fix any minor issues that are easy and inexpensive to fix (repaint walls, oil squeaky door, etc.). 
  • Make sure everything from faucets to heating works.

In general, you'll want to have your home open, airy, and looking spacious at every turn. There should be no clutter anywhere. If you have too much stuff in your home and don't want to get rid of it with a yard sale, pack the extra items into boxes and stack and store them inside your garage. If you don't have a garage, you may want to ask a friend or relative if you can borrow some space in theirs temporarily until your home sells.

How to Choose a Home Stager

When you're looking through the home stagers make sure to ask plenty of questions and check their references—don't rely on price alone. There can be quite a price difference from one to the next, and you don't necessarily have to pay the exorbitant prices that one may be asking. Make sure you check out the references provided and search for anyone offering their services at middle-of-the-road prices.

You should also find out whether the professional stager has worked with any other homes in your area. One neighbourhood will attract different types of buyers than another. You'll want to find someone that has a good idea of what potential buyers in your area are specifically looking for.

In many cases, professionally staging your home can raise the selling price by thousands of dollars. Keep this in mind when you are deciding whether you want to go the professional route or whether you want to tackle it on your own. If you're looking for a faster sale and a higher selling price, it may be worth your while to invest some money now into a professional.

How Much Does Staging Cost?

To understand the financial aspect of staging, it is important to consider the cost involved in creating an appealing and market-ready space. Home staging costs can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the property, the extent of the staging required, and the location. However, it is generally agreed upon that the investment made in staging is worth it, as it can significantly increase the chances of a successful sale and potentially result in a higher selling price.

Here is a breakdown of the average costs associated with home staging:

Staging ItemAverage Cost
Consultation $250–$500
Furniture Rental $500–$2,500 (per month)
Accessories Rental $200–$1,000 (per month)
Staging Services $1,000–$5,000 (per project)

Keep in mind that these figures are just estimates and actual costs may vary. It is recommended to consult with staging companies to get a more accurate quote based on your specific needs and requirements.

While staging does come with a cost, it is important to view it as an investment rather than an expense. By creating a visually appealing and inviting space, you are more likely to attract potential buyers and ultimately sell your house faster and for a higher price.

Mistakes to Avoid When Staging a Home

One common mistake in home staging is neglecting to declutter and organize the space properly. When potential buyers walk in for a private showing or open house, they want to see an organized and clean home that they can envision themselves living in. Clutter can make a room feel smaller and more chaotic, which can be a major turn-off for potential buyers. To avoid this mistake, sellers should take the time to declutter each room, getting rid of any unnecessary items and organizing belongings in a neat and orderly manner.

Another mistake to avoid is failing to depersonalize the space. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home, and personal items such as family photos or unique decor can make it difficult for them to do so. Homeowners should remove personal items and replace them with more neutral decor that will appeal to a wider range of buyers.

Lastly, it can be easy to forget to address any necessary home improvements or maintenance issues. Buyers want to purchase a home that is in good condition, and any visible signs of neglect or disrepair can be a major red flag. Sellers should take the time to fix any broken fixtures, repair damaged walls, and address any other maintenance issues before putting their home on the market.

Find Buyers By Staging Your Home to Sell

Whether you choose to stage your home yourself or hire a professional, the benefits of home staging cannot be overlooked. It has the potential to significantly increase the chances of a successful sale by attracting more buyers and allowing them to envision themselves living in the space. While staging may come with a cost, it is a worthwhile investment that can ultimately lead to a quicker and more profitable sale. Avoiding common staging mistakes and making a home look its best is essential to ensure a successful outcome.

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