room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Room by Room Tips On How To Stage A Home For Sale

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Room by Room Tips On How To Stage A Home For Sale

You only have one chance to make that crucial first impression, and there are so few buyers out there – so you really want your home to stand out!

If you are serious about staging your home for a sale there are a few things you can do yourself to prepare your home – before you put it on the market.

Always think: Declutter, Depersonalize and Neutralize!

Maybe you have already read my “3 simple steps on how to stage a house for sale”? Or else, make sure you think: Declutter, Depersonalize and Neutralize!

It is of highest importance that you highlight your home’s strengths and downplay its weaknesses to attract the broadest audience of buyers and to generate a higher price.

You need to look at your home as a model.

A model that looks lived-in, warm and welcoming – but still neutral enough that it could be anyones home.

Staging your home for a sale, can be a big mouthful for most people – but it can be quite manageable if you just take it room-by-room, make sure that each room has a distinct, useful purpose and follow these easy steps – to a quick and successful sell!

Room-by-Room Tips On How To Stage a Home For Sale:

Curb appeal

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Remember, its all about that crucial first impression!

Many people will be touring your home to do a quick drive-by first, to decide if its is even worth a look inside.

It’s always about first impression

So make sure the lawn is mowed, reseed and all the dead stuff is cleared out and replaced with blooming flowers and fresh greenery. Add fresh mulch to make it all look trim and neat and clean up all clutter from the sidewalk and driveway (you may even have to consider a power-wash).

The house should look inviting

Always make sure that the house number is easily visible and readable as well as the front door should look freshly painted and with both a working doorbell and porch light. (Keep the porch lights on in case potential buyers drive by during the evening. You can also consider illuminating the front walk with solar lights as a nice, extra touch).

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

The porch should look inviting (even if you only have a tiny stoop). Add one or two pieces of neat porch furniture, fresh, colorful potted plants and make it say “welcome home”.

Curb appeal is just as important as the inside of the home.


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Look at the paint – not only inside the house. Outside is just as important. Remember that first impression!

If the house looks old and damaged outside, the buyer may think that its the same inside!

Ask yourself; Has your house been painted recently? Both outside and inside?

You should consider refreshing what need it most.

Paint only in neutral tones – to create a “blank canvas” for new dreams.


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

As well as curb appeal is important, the first impression when a potential buyer steps over your doorstep, is just as crucial, if you want your home to sell fast.

It’s within the first few seconds a buyer makes up their mind about the house, so you want to make sure you eliminate any negative first impression!

Everything needs to be neat and organized.

– in every room, on every counter, in every closet or cabinet etc.

No one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home – so make sure your house is shining from top to bottom! – before every showing!

Make sure to give all floors a thorough cleaning, and steam clean all carpets! If you have wood floors, and those are in poor shape, consider having them refinished.

It needs to be perfect neutral

A clean and nice smelling house (like no smell or a pleasant smell of cleaning products or fresh baked bread) helps the buyer to imaging themselves living there.

If the buyer is focused on something they don’t like (a smell, dirty dishes, a stained carpet, a full cat litter, dirty bathrooms, overloaded counter tops, laundry, messy bedrooms etc.) they rarely can’t see past it to look at the great features of your home.

clean, clean clean

Sometimes its even a good idea to hire professional cleaners so that everything is spotless; windows (inside/outside), sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans, etc.

Hiring a professional cleaner is definitely worth the money!


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

The Kitchen is very often the number one priority on a buyer’s list. So make sure that your kitchen look as clean, open and spacious as possible.

You are moving anyway so now is the perfect time to decide what you really want to keep (pack that into boxes), what you want to get rid of or what to donate.

Where to start

Start by removing all appliances and clutter from the counters. (Leave only one nice piece, like the coffee machine). Counters should be completely clear.

Imagine that a potential buyer will open all cabinets, drawers – and even your oven and fridge (Yep, they will do that!)

Make it shine

Always remember to make those look as clean and spacious as possible – by emptying them!

Leave only one set of matching dishes (neatly displayed) in the cabinets and only a few food items (in neat rows) in the fridge.

– and remember to empty the trash can!

Leave a surprise

Place a nice feature on your counter, like a big bowl of fresh apples (maybe with a nice little sign that says “Have an apple, and have a nice day!”, an orchid plant or fresh cut flowers in vases. Or even, on open house days, place some cheese and crackers out, or if its a TV room put out popcorn. This will invite the buyer to think; what a nice house – I would like to live here.

Dining room

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

It it very important that you show the true purpose of the dining area! (like in all the other rooms!)

The room is supposed to be a dining area – not an office or a laundry folding station.

If either you have a separate dining room or your dining table is in the kitchen, set the table neatly with plates, napkins etc. and vases with fresh cut flowers.

A large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so make it inviting by styling it lightly. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal.

Living Room:

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Like in all other rooms, make sure that all items are removed from shelving and surface areas. If you have ten things on a shelf reduce it to two or three. It makes it easier for the buyer to visualize their own things there.

Remove family pictures and kids paintings/drawings. Hang only a few generic arts and fill the holes and paint to leave a blank slate.

Check all light switches, curtain rods, and fix what needs to be fixed – you have to do it anyway.

Look at the rooms features.

Is it the fireplace, the view or the floor?

You might have to rearrange the furniture a bit so that the buyer easily can focus and see the purpose and features of the room. Symmetrical arrangements usually works well.

Remember the importance to keep the amount of furniture to the basic. Use pairs of sofas, chairs, lamps etc to create an inviting conversations area.


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Like the kitchen the bathrooms are particularly important to the buyers!

Create that kind of spa experience they are dreaming about, when they enter your bathroom!

Get rid of all clutter except for the bare necessities.

Empty all (medicine) cabinets – people will open them!

Look at every detail with the potential buyers eyes.

No one likes to see your half used shower products and products on the counters or in drawers.

While your house is for sale, just get use to have all your toiletries in a travel bag with you.

Make sure to invest in a new set of white towels, a fresh pair of luxury soap, new rugs and shower curtains to use for just when you are showing the house.

always remember the small details

– like always empty the garbage!

These simple luxuries don’t cost much, but can make a significant difference in the feel of the room.

Consider to have your granite resurfaced, so they look brand new. Replace rollers on sliding glass shower doors if they stick and make sure there are no water stains or dripping faucets.

Place a focal point on the counter such as a single flower of fresh cut flowers in a vase.

And I don’t need to say that the bathroom needs to be spotless clean!


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

This is the room that should signalize pure relaxation!

A gender-neutral room with absolutely no stress, no clutter and with no unnecessary “noise” from your personal items.

A room where the buyer can imagine themselves nesting and relaxing.

Clear all dresser tops and nightstands and place only one to two nice items, an orchid or fresh cut flowers.

You might want to invest in new linens for the bed, some decorative pillows and throws – just to underline that cozy feeling-look.

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Clean all the closets out. Keep only the most important clothes back – neatly stacked. (Potential buyers will peek inside all of your closets!)

Pack the rest in boxes or donate.

It is actually better to have an emptier closet so the buyers can see all the room there is to offer. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness, and just by making sure the hangers are evenly spaced apart, gives the closets an organized appearance.

Kids Rooms:

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Not all buyers have kids and understand how much toys them kiddos have nowadays.

So clean up all toys.

Buyers wants to imagine a fresh start – and if they have kids, then just show them how it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room in this house! – and they might be swayed.


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

A lot of houses don’t have basements or attics – and therefore it is so tempting to use the garage as holding area/storage for things we don’t know where else put, like holiday decorations, small furniture, bikes, tools, toys, kids projects, garden tools and trash. – And does your car(s) even fit in anymore?

Don’t overlook the potential of the garage!

There will possible be a male in that buy of your house – and often he will look a the garage as his “man cave”. His safety, where he can go out and enjoy his car? His hobby? His tools? His fitness equipments?

Think “man cave”

Don’t use the garage as storage for things you already has decided you don’t need. Throw it out or donate it instead.

If you choose to use the garage as temporary storage, make sure it is boxed nicely in one side or a corner of the garage, so it still leaves space for that imagination of his dream jet-ski :0)


room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Not everybody like (other peoples) pets – or pet odors! And a lot of people have allergies.

Make sure all rugs are steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing all surfaces.

Also remember to keep pet toys and doggie bones hidden when potential buyers are touring your house.

It might even be worth considering having your beloved pet in care at a family member or a neighbor when showing your house for sale.

Overall view

room by room tips on how to stage a home for sale

Help potential buyers to explore the whole house!

Let them be guided through your house by placing something that can catch their eyes attention (like a piece or art, flowers, a hanging light, a bowl of fresh apples or a colorful rug) and draw them to the next room, to the stairs, to the windows and keep them interested throughout the whole home tour.

Show the buyers how to use awkward areas in your house a unique way.

The room under the stairs is not just a waste of space, but maybe a small work station?

Uplight dark rooms, hallways and corners. Turn on all the lights and even add extra light (floor lamps or table lamps) to brighten things up.

Mirrors are fantastic too. They reflect the lights and make rooms look larger, and they are always a cheap and good investment!

Staging your home for a sale is a big decision – but in the end it will be your best decision, and lead to a faster sale and a higher price.

So show them, that in your house they get full value for every single penny!

… and remember, only 10% of Real Estate Agents believe that staging has “no impact” of the dollar value of the home!!!

“Can you afford not to stage your home?!”