Home Staging Tips

There's a lot you can do to make your home look better when we show it off.

Interior of home
Exterior of home
Front entry
Living areas
Dining room
Laundry room


Interior of Home

  1. Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house.  Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to groups of one, three or five items.
  2. Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary.  Thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger.
  3. Take down or rearrange certain pictures or objects on walls.  Patch and paint if necessary.
  4. Leave on certain lights during the day.  During “Showings” turn on all lights and lamps. Change any burnt out light bulbs. Also, take advantage of natural light.  Open blinds and curtains, and make sure windows are clean. 
  5. Review the inside of the house room by room, and paint any room needing paint, clean carpets or drapes that need it and clean windows.
  6. If you need room to store extra possessions, use the garage to neatly store items, or rent a storage unit. 
  7. Have FM stereo on during the day for all viewings.


Exterior of Home

  1. Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., into the garage.
  2. Check gutters for roof moss and dry rot.  Make sure they are swept and cleaned.
  3. Sweep and power-wash the driveway and walks to remove debris and dirt.  Pull any weeds.  Also, put kids toys away neatly inside garage.
  4. Prune all plants, bushes and trees.  Keep plants from blocking windows.  (You can’t sell a house if you can’t see it.)
  5. Weed and then mulch all planting areas.  Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized.  Remove any dead plants or shrubs.
  6. Clear patios or decks of all small items such as planters, flowerpots, charcoal, barbecues, toys, etc.  Put them in the garage or a storage unit.
  7. Note paint condition of the house, especially the front door and trim.
  8. Inspect all door handles and locks and make sure they are functioning properly.


Room-by-Room Analysis

Front Entry:

  1. Study your entry hall and ask yourself what kind of impression it makes of your home.  Dried flowers or a small plant can make a striking focal point on a hall table any time of year.
  2. Virtually any entry hall will benefit from a well-placed mirror to enlarge the area. 
  3. Your entry hall’s flooring will be observed carefully by the prospective buyer.  Make sure the surface is spotless and add a rug to protect the area during showings.


Living Areas:

  1. Sweep and clean the fireplace area.  Place a few logs on the grate to create an attractive appearance.  Or, if home is shown during winter months, have a fire going to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  2. Improve the traffic flow by removing excess furniture.  Have easy traffic flow patterns.  
  3. Draw attention to exposed beams or a cathedral ceiling with special lighting.  Be sure to remove any cobwebs and dust.


Dining Room:

  1. Set the scene by setting the table with an attractive arrangement or centerpiece.
  2. Visually enlarge a small dining area.  If your dining table has extra leaves, take one or two out.  Remove any extra “company” chairs.  Consider putting oversized pieces in storage until your house is sold.



  1. Avoid clutter!  Clean counters of small appliances and store whenever possible to maximize the appearance of workspace.
  2. Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. A sparse kitchen helps the buyer mentally move their own things into your kitchen.
  3. Check the counter top around your sink, and remove any detergent or cleanser, etc., that may be cluttering the area.
  4. Sinks, cabinets and counter tops should be clean and fresh.
  5. All appliances should be absolutely clean, bright, sparkling and shiny!
  6. Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc.  Clean off the top of the refrigerator.  If you must use that space for storage, use baskets and bowls to camouflage the items kept there.
  7. Set the scene with an open cookbook, a basket filled with fruit, a basket of silk flowers or a ceramic mixing bowl and wire whisk.
  8. Create the aromas associated with happy homes!  Bake some cookies from premixed, refrigerated cookie dough, or pop a frozen apple pie in the oven.
  9. In the heat of summer, place a bowl of lemons or limes on the counter to provide a fresh and pleasant aroma.
  10. Clean and organize all storage space.  If your cabinets, drawers and closets are crowded and overflowing, buyers assume that you storage space is inadequate.  Give away items you don’t use, store seldom-used items elsewhere, and reorganize the shelves.  Neat, organized shelves and drawers look larger and more adequate for prospective buyer’s needs.
  11. Large, cheerful kitchen windows are an advantage and should be highlighted as a special feature of your home.  Take a critical look at the window treatment…is it clean, sharp and up-to-date?  Do the curtains need washing or the blinds need cleaning?  Would the window area look better without any window treatment?
  12. If you have a counter top eating area, set two attractive place settings with coordinating napkins and placemats, and place cushions on the stools.
  13. Set the table for an informal meal with bright placemats and a generous bowl of fruit as a centerpiece.


Laundry Room:

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint to spruce up the room
  2. Organize all closets and storage space
  3. Remove all dirty laundry.  Keep current with your laundry or store all dirty laundry in a closed container.
  4. Clean and polish the washer and dryer.
  5. Consider adding an attractive coordinated throw rug.



  1. Make certain the stairs are safe!  Stair lighting should be more than adequate, stairs must be clutter free, stair railings tight and secure, and runners or carpeting tacked securely.  Remove any items from the surface of the stairs and store elsewhere.  Check the condition of the walls and paint, if necessary.
  2. If the stairs are a focal point in main living areas, carefully choose accents to improve the visual appeal.  If you have a wide, gracious staircase, emphasize this feature by hanging a few pictures along the wall.  Draw attention to a handsome lighting fixture by polishing the brass and dusting each small light bulb or crystal prism.



  1. Large master bedrooms are particularly popular among today’s homebuyers. Make your bedroom larger.  Paint the room a light color, remove one of the dressers if the room is crowded, and minimize clutter to maximize spaciousness.  Aim for a restful, subdued look.
  2. A private bathroom off the master bedroom is a real sales plus.  Decorate to coordinate with the color scheme of your bedroom, creating the “suite” effect.
  3. Virtually all buyers are looking for a house with plenty of closet space.  Try to make what you have appear generous and well planned.  Remove and store all out of season clothing. Remove any items from the floor area.  This will make a closet seem more spacious.  Arrange all shelves to maximize the use of space.
  4. Make sure all articles in the closet are fresh and clean smelling.  When prospective buyers open your closet door, they should be greeted with a whiff of fresh smelling air.
  5. Make sure all closet lights have adequate wattage and are operating.  Add battery-operated lights to those closets that lack them.  Lighted closets look bigger, are more attractive, and allow buyers to inspect the interiors easily.
  6. Take the time to explain the importance of marketing to your children. Encourage them to participate in preparing your home for showing; particularly of principle of appealing to the widest possible market segment.  Ask your children’s cooperation in making their beds and picking up their rooms prior to showings.  Consider promising a special reward if they willingly participate in your house-selling goals.
  7. Have children pack up any items that are not currently in use and dispose of unused possessions.
  8. Remove any crowded, unusual, or personal wall hangings such as posters and store them until your home is sold.



  1. Replace worn or dirty shower curtains, clean and repair caulking, and remove non-skid bath decals that are in poor condition.
  2. Clear off countertops and store all personal care products out of sight.
  3. Repair any faucets that leak or do not function properly.  Clean off mineral deposits with vinegar or commercial products.
  4. Clean and organize all cabinets and drawers.  Don’t forget the medicine cabinet; dispose of old prescriptions, and polish the shelves. The same goes for the storage cabinet under the sink.
  5. Remember to appeal to a wide range of buyers.  Play down dominant colors with contrasting neutral colored towels and accessories.  If your bathroom is mostly white or neutral, add a few cheerful accents of color; use towels in popular new shades. Don’t hesitate to buy a few new towels and a rug…you’ll be taking them with you to your new home.
  6. Scrub and wax an old floor.  Cover the largest area you can with a nice looking rug.
  7. Decorate and personalize to create a pleasing, individual look. Consider bringing out your best towels and perfumed guest soaps. Add a plant for color and freshness.
  8. A gentle hint of fragrance in the air is fine, but keep it subtle.



  1. Sweep and wash the floor to remove dirt and stains.  Organize tools, garden equipment, bicycles, etc.  A clean, organized garage appears larger.
  2. If the area is dark, add more light.  If it is small and accommodates only one car, remove your car before buyers visit.  An empty garage always looks larger.  If you have a two-car garage with very little extra room, remove one of your cars so that buyers can make their inspection in comfort.
  3. Get rid of anything that you don’t plan to move to your new home.  Place remaining stored material neatly in boxes, and position away from walls.


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