How to Stage Your Home

How to Stage Your Dining Room

Staging your home is the best thing you can do before putting it on the market. Most sellers, like you, want to know how to sell their home fast! Staging a home is a crucial part of this. In this post we will cover how to stage your home, inside and out, so buyers can see the potential in your home! If you are looking for a complete guide on how to sell your home, read this post.

Staging a home takes time and if you pay someone to do it, it will cost a bit of an investment as well. So why is staging your home so important? Staging creates a neutral environment where potential buyers can see the space your home has and therefore can better visualize themselves living there. You want buyers to envision your home with their belongings in it.

The theme throughout the home should be clean, bright, and spacious. Create a feel throughout your home of how it can ideally be used and then buyers will pick up on this and add how they want to use the space.

Buyers need a blank canvas, or a staged one, to see the potential in the home.

To start with, you will need to clean, declutter, and depersonalize your entire home before staging. Every room is staged a little bit differently, some more than others. We will cover all the areas and rooms in your house so you know how to stage your home properly.

The Basics to Staging Your Home

As you read through this post you will find that even though you stage each room a little differently, they all start the same way: by cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing, and then adding light to the room. Then the staging begins. So once you finish a room or two, you’ll have the foundation and practice to continue throughout the rest of your home.

You can always hire professional stagers, but you’ll be amazed by the difference you can make in your home. If needed, use the professionals to rent out furniture for some of your rooms. Don’t think that leaving a house empty is staging. Empty houses make it hard for buyers to judge the size of the rooms.

This post will be broken up into the different sections in your home.

This way you can easily navigate to the rooms you are focusing on. For almost every section we have also written an individual post with more detailed information. Feel free to click on these links to hone in on ideas for staging that particular room.

How to Stage the Outside of Your Home

How to Stage the Outside of Your Home

The outside of your home is the very first thing buyers see when they pull up to your house. So curb appeal is needed the entire time your home is on the market! The easiest things you can do is to keep your lawn mowed and hedges trimmed. Keep beddings full by adding mulch or pine straw to them.

Pressure wash your driveway and the walkways. Add some flowers or plants to your yard for some color. Your realtor can help advise you on ways to spruce up your yard.

If your mailbox has seen better days, make sure it stands up straight and repaint if needed. Add large, visible house numbers so it’s easy to see.

The next area you want to focus on is the entry way. Fix any broken shutters or porch swings. Repaint the porch if needed or stain it. Get rid of cobwebs around the front entrance and pressure wash the entryway. Give the door a fresh coat of paint if it looks like it could use a boost. If you have enough room, add some outdoor furniture.

Add little touches for a more welcoming feel like fresh cut flowers by the door, or even add a new welcome mat!

Stay away from any pet related door mats as the first thing that will come to the buyers’ minds is that carpet replacement will be needed if there are animals in the house. And carpet replacement equals money, which means money they will have to spend to fix up a house.

The backyard also needs some love. Mow the backyard and rake any leaves, branches, or twigs that might be lying around. If there is a patio of any size, put appropriately sized furniture out. Be sure your items aren’t too big for the space! Even if you have a small space to work with, add a nice bench. If buyers think they can’t utilize the space, then it might turn into a negative for them.

How to Stage Your Entryway and Dining Room

How to Stage Your Entryway and Dining Room

Once buyers walk in, the entryway is the very first area that they see inside your home. Make sure they are greeted with a great first impression! Since the outside entryway is fixed up, the inside needs to be staged as well.

The entryway, or foyer, needs to be cleaned top to bottom. Keep the colors in this area a light neutral. White is always inviting. Since this is the buyers’ first impression of the space, be sure that there is no mess to be seen!

Put away any jackets, umbrellas, or shoes that are lying around.

Any letters or magazines need to be stowed away as well. Declutter the entire area and remove any personal photographs. You want the buyers to envision that they are walking into their future home.

A nice buffet table or bench with storage underneath is the best way to keep an entryway tidy. Keep the furniture sleek and streamlined. Nothing bulky should be in this space. Make sure you have enough light in the entryway. Add table lamps if needed to brighten the space up.

Add some punches of color in decorative table runners, rugs, or small decorative items. Don’t add too much color, you want the buyers to be focused on the space, not the decorations!

The dining room also needs to be cleaned top to bottom. Dust this area extremely well! Dust will show in the light, so make sure there’s no dust left behind. Open the shutters or blinds and let in the natural light. There shouldn’t be any shadows in the dining room, so add floor lamps if needed.

How to Stage Your Dining Room

Clean your light fixture and exchange any dim bulbs for bright ones. Always set the dining room table for a showing. Have neutral colored plates and add a pop of color with chargers underneath. You can also use a nice vase with flowers as a centerpiece.

The furniture in your dining room shouldn’t overtake the space.

Make sure that there is plenty of room to walk around your dining room furniture. If you furniture takes up almost all of the area it will cause the room to feel small. Take out any extra china cabinets and make sure there aren’t too many chairs placed around the table.

We have a separate blog post you can read here that covers everything you need to know about staging your entryway and dining room. This post is more detailed and will outline the how-tos to get your entryway and dining room in perfect staging condition!

Hallways and Staircases

How to Stage Hallways and Staircases

The hallways and staircase in your home are pretty simple. Get rid of any cobwebs, wipe the walls down to remove any marks, and clean the floors. Mop if you have hardwood floors or deep clean any carpets. Dust the banisters and make them shine. Fix any holes in the walls and repaint a neutral color if needed.

Make sure the lights in your hallway are bright. You can add a nice floor runner in long hallways to enhance the flow of space. Lastly, depersonalize the pictures in the hallways.

How to Stage Your Living Room

How to Stage Your Living Room

There should be a nice flow into your living room. The theme you want to stage your living room with is an ideal living space. Create the environment and buyers will see it and buy into what you’re selling.

The first part of the process is to clean your living room top to bottom. Don’t skip the windows or baseboards. Mop your hardwood floors, or if you have carpet make sure to deep clean it, and add some baking soda for a fresh scent. This way your living room will not only look, but smell clean!

Stay away from candles or sprays as these tend to only cover up odors and not eliminate them.

Your walls should be in tip top shape. If buyers see any marks or holes on the walls they will begin to wonder what the rest of the house has in store. Paint over marks in the wall, fix any holes, and repaint the walls a neutral color if needed.

The next phase is to add lighting! Remove heavy drapes and open the blinds or shutters. Natural light opens up the environment and creates warmth for the space. Add lamps to tables if needed to brighten the space.

There should be a flow to your living room. Buyers should be able to walk around easily. The furniture shouldn’t be too big for the room or it will make the room look small. Buyers won’t realize it’s just the furniture that makes the room look small, so remove any excess furniture.

Make sure the furniture in the living room is clean as well. Cover any furniture stains with a throw. You can add pops of color with a few pillows, but don’t add too many! Remember we want the spaced decluttered. Declutter any table stands or cabinets and remove personal photographs. You want the buyers to focus on the room and the potential is has, not on your family photos.

If you want to focus solely on your living room, visit this post that covers how to stage your living room. The living room is a huge focal point for your home, so make sure it’s staged well!

How to Stage Your Kitchen

How to Stage Your Kitchen

Staging your kitchen is important if you want your home to sell faster. Most buyers concentrate on this room, so don’t cut any corners here! Be sure to clean the entire spaced. Wipe down cabinets and drawers inside out. Clean off all the appliances to remove dirt and handprints. Make them shine!

Clean the inside of the fridge and microwave, buyers will open these appliances. Another appliance buyers will open is the dishwasher, so empty it before a showing! Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink. Remove old soap and washcloths as well.

Lemons provided a nice, fresh and clean smell to the space.

Your cabinets and drawers should all have handles and knobs that work. The items inside don’t need to be organized too much, but ensure that all drawers can be opened easily and that nothing will fall out of any of the cabinets if opened.

Now that your space is clean, keep the counters cleaned off! You can add an item here or there for decoration, but make sure the items aren’t big. You don’t want them to take up too much room on the counter space. We want to show off all the space your kitchen has for potential buyers!

You can add pops of color with small plants or even a nice fruit bowl. Just as with other rooms in your home, let the light in! Open the blinds and be sure your kitchen lighting is bright. Replace any dim bulbs. Also patch up any walls that need some TLC and repaint your kitchen a neutral color. Buyers sometimes can’t get past any bright or crazy patterns, even though these personal preferences are an easy fix!

How to Stage Your Eat in Area in the Kitchen

If you have an eat in area, clean that as well. Define the area by putting a rug underneath. Once again, let the light in! Set the table. Make sure the furniture isn’t too big for the room. The table shouldn’t take over the space, only enhance it, so take out any excess chairs.

The kitchen is a featured room for the entire home, so read how to stage your kitchen here. Buyers are going to love your kitchen once it’s staged properly!

The Pantry

Don’t worry, we won’t go into too much detail here. There are all sorts of ways to organize your panty. You can bring in shelving, racks, and all kinds of things. The main goal for your panty is it should show off the space.

Remove any items off the floor to prevent the space looking smaller. You can group items by category. An easy thing to do is turn all the labels to face the front. This immediately adds some organization.

Get rid of any plastic bags that may be lurking around.

These little tips will make your panty look a little more in control! You can do a total overhaul and organization of your pantry if you have the time and will. If not, a little work will go a long way with this space!

Laundry Room

Just like the pantry room, the laundry room only needs a little bit of tidying up, nothing drastic. Clean off your washer and dryer. Remove any items on top of the washer, dryer, or counter spaces and put them in the cabinets. Keep items off the floor as well. If needed, buy storage boxes to store loose items in order to keep the laundry room from looking cluttered.

How to Stage Your Master Bedroom

How to Stage Your Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is where the new owners will go for relaxation. When staging this area, aim for a tranquil feel. You want the potential buyers to walk into the master bedroom and feel like it’s a space where they can hide away in.

Guess what the first step is? That’s right, cleaning! Clean the room from the ceiling all the way to the floors. Don’t miss the baseboards and make those windows shine!

The bed is the focal point of the room, but make sure it isn’t too big for the space. Use light bedding in a neutral color. When adding pops of color, remember the theme is tranquil, so go for browns, dark grays, or teals. Nothing too bright. Keep the windows clear and let in all the natural light.

Next, declutter and depersonalize the area. You want buyers to see themselves in the space, so take away any personal photos. Clean off the tables and drawers and only add in small items to keep them from feeling too cluttered.

Make sure there are lamps on each of the night stands.

If you want to add any chairs or sofas, make sure there is plenty of room to walk around them. You don’t want to fill the master bedroom with furniture. This area needs to feel spacious.

If you want to concentrate on your master bedroom, we’ve got you covered! Read all about it in this post. Since the master bedroom is an important room for buyers, make sure you spend some time staging this room.

How to Stage Your Master Bathroom and Closet

How to Stage Your Master Bathroom

Bathrooms and closets may get overlooked when staging a home, but you do not want to skip these areas for the master bedroom. The master bedroom can be staged properly, but if the master bathroom and closet aren’t, then buyers may not fall in love with the master space like you want them to.

Cleaning is the main thing here. Clean everything so well it looks new. Once again, this includes the ceiling, walls, baseboards, and floors in addition to the shower, tub, toilet, and sink space. Fix any drawers or knobs that are broken. Wipe down the cabinets inside and out.

Another shot of how to stage your master bathroom

Clean off the counters and hide old soaps and big tissue boxes in a cabinet. You can buy smaller storage containers for loose items. Use lemon cleaners for a fresh scent. Adding a fragrance to the toilet bowls before a showing is a nice way to freshen up the space.

Replace any dim lights with bright bulbs, you want the bathroom to be bright! Leave out nice folded towels for a personal touch. You can also add a nice plant or orchid flower for a little decoration.

The main thing for the master closet is to have nothing on the floor. If the floor is crowded then the space will look smaller.  Vacuum the floor and use baking soda for a fresh after scent. Be sure to clean the tops of the closet and pay attention to the walls.

Fix any holes in the walls and repaint over marks. Now, add a little organization to the closet space. Move heavy clothes to the back and then organize the clothing by color and sort from sleeveless to long sleeve.

Use the same hangers for all clothing to create an organized feel.

Place anything not hanging in tinted boxes, then place these boxes on top of the clothes rack. Here is a post that is focused entirely on how to stage your master bedroom and closet. This post gives more detailed information and tips for staging these spaces.

How to Stage the Other Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Closets in Your Home

How to Stage Other Bedrooms in Your Home

Now that you know what’s expected in the master bedroom, bathroom, and closet, let’s cover those other rooms in your home. These rooms will be similar to the master area.

The main focus for other bedrooms is to keep them simple and not overfill them. The bed is the focal point of the room, so make sure the bed isn’t too big for the space! Buyers should be able to walk around the room easily.

If there is room for a reading nook, add a nice sized chair with a blanket and floor lamp. This will appeal to buyers since it’s a comforting feature. Open the blinds and pull back and window coverings. You want the bedroom to be bright.

You still need to clean the ceilings, wipe the walls clean of marks and prints, dust the baseboards, wipe the windows, and clean the floors. If there is carpet, once again, use baking soda for a fresh scent. Clean the fan and light fixtures. Repaint the walls a neutral color if you have any vibrant or dark walls. Make sure there are no holes. The same goes for the cleaning the closet space.

Use a neutral colored, light bedding. You can add pops of colors on a bed throw or a couple of pillows. Add a plant and a mirror for small touches. Any tables or dressers in the room should be cleared off and wiped down.

Keep the room depersonalized and decluttered.

Make sure nothing is on the floor in the closet. Move heavy items to the back and color coordinate the clothing. Put any loose items in storage bins and place them on top of the rack. Switch out any dim lights for bright ones!

How to Stage Other Bathrooms in Your Home

The bathrooms are similar to the master. Make sure you clean bathrooms so well that everything is nice and shiny. Use a cleaner with a lemon scent for a fresh smell. The walls should be a neutral color and there shouldn’t be any holes or marks. Fix any loose door handles or broken cabinets. Wipe down the inside of the cabinets and drawers.

Shower curtains should also be a neutral or clear color.

Although shower curtains won’t be staying in the home, a shower curtain with a crazy pattern can be a distraction to buyers. Add nice soap and tissue holders. Leave out folded towels. Add fragrance to toilet bowls before a showing for a nice scent.

We have a separate post that covers these other rooms in the home. Read up on how to stage these areas here! Each area is covered in more detail, so you can polish up these spaces.

How to Stage Your Home Office

Home offices are a wanted feature for buyers. You can create these spaces in your home, or stage a current one that you have! The first step here is to clean. Clean the ceiling, windows, fix any marks on the walls, clean your office table, and clean the floors.

We will be using light to enhance the space, so make sure it’s cleaned well and no dust is left behind. You want to use neutral colors in this space, even though brighter ones help stimulate the brain. The reason for this is you want buyers to be excited that you have an office in your home, not deciding whether or not they like your color choice.

Use a sleek chair and stay away from anything oversized for this area.

You can add in some bright colors with accessories like pen holders, binders, or even a colorful art painting. Make sure you still declutter and depersonalize the space. If your home office is near a window, keep the drapes pulled back. Add a table or floor lamp for extra lighting.

Want some home office staging ideas? Or want to learn how to create this space in your home? See this post! We cover all the information for how to stage your home office.

How to Stage Your Garage

You may think the garage isn’t a big enough deal to worry about staging, but you’d be wrong. Buyers want to know that they have enough room in the garage. If your garage is filled up with stuff, it can be a huge negative for buyers.

This space is going to take the most work, but it will pay off. And you’ll thank yourself for taking the time to do this once you move! The first step here will be to remove all items from the garage. Clean it out!

Make different piles to help as you go. Have a trash pile to get rid of anything you no longer want, a donate pile for usable items, a keep pile to put in storage containers, and a stay pile for items you’re still using in your garage. For the keep pile, put as many storage containers as you can in the attic. You don’t want to clutter the floor with boxes.

If you have a two car garage, show enough space for two cars to fit.

Now that the space is cleaned out, it’s time to clean! Wipe the walls and fix any holes if needed. Repaint the walls if there are too many scratches or marks. Pressure wash the floors. Ask your realtor if you need to repaint and seal the floors.

Wipe off any water tanks so they won’t look old and worn. Next, make sure the garage doors work properly and there aren’t any dents. Go ahead and find your remotes and make sure the batteries work. Light is also important to this space, so replace the overhead light if it doesn’t brighten up the entire space!

If you have any other areas in this space like a laundry, gym, or workshop, define the space. Have a clear pathway for these spaces and make sure buyers can get to them easily.

If you don’t visit any other individual post, be sure you read this one. It covers how to stage your garage and it is a must read to get your home in perfect showing condition.

What About the Attic?

The attic is a different story from the rest of your home. Buyers can tell the attic size by the roof. It’s okay if this area is well packed, but try to keep items away from the front entrance. Mainly buyers are looking to make sure they have extra storage space.

Your Completely Staged Home!

Congratulations! Your home is now completely staged! You should be proud of yourself and the transformation of your home. Buyers are going to be able to see your home for the potential that it has. This will help the buyers envision themselves living in your home.

Staging your home is a lot of work and time, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. Staging is the best way to get your home sold faster! If you want to learn how to get your home clean before staging it, here is a post that covers cleaning the inside and outside of your home so it stands out to buyers!

Then read this post on how to declutter your house and this post on how to organize your house! If want to change the flow of your home by adding more space and knocking down walls, you should consider remodeling your home. Read this post that covers the rooms to remodel before selling your home.

All of the photos used were captured by David Henderson. Thank you, David, for allowing us to use your beautiful work!

See more of David’s photographs here: