How To Stage A Home For Sale To Increase Value

How To Stage A Home For Sale To Increase Value

If you are planning to put your house on the market, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 21 tips for styling and upgrading your home, and see results — fast.

What Is Home Staging?

Home staging sets the stage to make your home look the most appealing to potential buyers. Staging your home involves cleaning, decluttering, and decorating to make it look its best. Home staging aims to make the space look inviting and let potential buyers envision themselves living in your home.

The Benefits Of Home Staging

Staging your home helps potential buyers see the full potential of your home. If potential buyers come to view your home and see empty, unfurnished rooms, it may be hard for them to imagine what the space would feel like fully furnished. On the other hand, if your home is furnished and decorated in your style, complete with all your personal touches and clutter, potential buyers may struggle to envision themselves in your home. Ideally, a staged home will remove clutter and personal items such as photographs while showing off the possible uses of space to create a clean slate that will appeal to a wide array of potential buyers.

Home staging is a lucrative undertaking when you’re trying to maximize profits when selling your home. Most home buyers aren’t just looking for a space to live in - they want to achieve a particular lifestyle. By helping potential buyers to envision a life in your home, you appeal to their emotions - which can help you make the best possible sale.

The benefits of home staging apply to in-person buyers and potential buyers browsing online. Home staging will make your home attractive, eye-catching, and memorable. You want to catch the attention of potential buyers online and entice them to take another look in person to increase your chances of making a great sale.

Staging your home is a great way to showcase your home's best features while detracting from any defects or blemishes. Staging makes your home look more move-in ready, which increases the perceived value of your home and helps you sell your home fast.

Home Staging Options

Some home sellers find the prospect of staging their home to be exciting and fun - others, not so much. When staging your home, you have options for getting the job done.


If you’re into doing home projects and decorating yourself, staging your home can be a fun undertaking, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Use our checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you find yourself short on time, focus on the areas that impact buyers most: the living room, primary bedroom, and kitchen.

Professional Stagers

If decorating and rearranging furniture is not your thing, you can find a professional staging company to do the work for you. These experts have interior design and real estate knowledge, and they usually have furniture and decor that they’ll bring into your home to make it appear stylish and on-trend.

Avoid Common Mistakes When Trying To Sell Your Home

At Eaton Realty, we have decades of experience helping homeowners sell their homes. We can help guide you through the process of what to do - and what not to do - to sell your home and maximize your profits. There are five common mistakes that we see sellers make again and again. We’ve put together a free ebook on The Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes which you can download now.

At Eaton Realty, we have decades of experience helping homeowners sell their homes. We can help guide you through the process of what to do - and what not to do - to sell your home and maximize your profits. There are five common mistakes that we see sellers make again and again. We’ve put together a free ebook on The Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes which you can download now.

Home Staging Checklist

Whether you stage your home yourself or work with a staging company, you want to ensure you don’t miss anything that could turn off potential buyers. Here are our 21 tips for staging your home.

Boost curb appeal

Curb appeal is something you always hear, and with excellent reason. Many people considering touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth looking inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow the lawn, and add new sod where needed
  • Wash windows
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed

Welcome visitors with an inviting porch

Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say "welcome home" with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom, and — if you have room — one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings if potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.

Get your house sparkling clean

Every surface should sparkle, from shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout. Cleaning is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. Consider hiring pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don't skimp — this step is critical!

Clear away all clutter

If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It's not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a generous relative's garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards, and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.

“But it's my style!” Guess what? It may not be the style of those seeking to buy a house in your neighborhood. So even if you have a fabulous vintage-chic look, rein it in to appeal to the largest number of people. You can bring your style back into play in your new home.

Strike a balance between clean and lived-in

Yes, we know we just said to get rid of all your clutter (and you deserve a big pat on the back if you did it), but now it's time to judiciously bring back a few elements that will make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer's market produce on the kitchen counter, or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.

Style your dining room table

The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. A large dining table can look bare and uninviting between dinners, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so try lining up a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead.

Take a good look at your floors

At the bare minimum, give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam-clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. If you don't want to invest in refinishing floors, strategically placing area rugs can go a long way.

Rearrange your furniture

In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, and lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.

Choose sophisticated neutral colors

Now is not the time to experiment with that "fun"-looking lime green. But that doesn't mean you need to go all white, either. Rich mid-tone neutrals like mocha and "greige" create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.

Create a gender-neutral primary bedroom

Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored primary bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can't go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork, and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

Open those closets!

Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it's worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.

Clean up toys

Of course, there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids doesn't mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they imagine a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids' room, and they might be swayed.

Use "extra" rooms wisely

If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it's time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so consider what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids' room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.

Try a pedestal sink to maximize space

If you have a small bathroom but a huge cabinet-style sink, consider swapping it out for a simple pedestal version. Your bathroom will appear instantly bigger.

Use only perfect personal accents

Especially in the bathroom, anything left out for visitors to see must be pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent —but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor's eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, and the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).

Entice people to explore the whole house

By placing something that draws the eye to the top of the stairs, in hallways, or in corners, you can pique curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light, or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.

Show how you can use awkward areas

If you have any room beneath the stairs or a nook or alcove anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. Setting up a small workstation, a home command center with a bulletin board, or built-in shelving makes your awkward spot another selling point.

Beware pet odors

Pet odors can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also, hide any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones when tours are scheduled.

Create a lifestyle people are looking for

Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.

Stage the outdoors too

Even if your condo has only a teensy postage stamp–size balcony, play it up with a cute café table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth, and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won't think "small"; they will think, "What a charming spot to have breakfast!"

Think seasonally

Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the autumn and winter season by building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove.

Maximize Your Home’s Resale Value With Eaton Realty

Have questions about home staging? We can offer some guidance on staging and any other aspects of the home-selling process you need help with. Our experienced realtors understand the Tampa Bay market and market trends. We serve all of Hillsborough County and can help you sell your home for the highest possible amount. Fill out our contact form, or call 813-672-8022 to get in touch with a realtor today.