5 Tips for Staging a Home

As someone who runs a Scandinavian interior design and small space living blog business, I have come across a variety of ideas and insights. Many of those ideas can apply to home staging too. Here are my top five home staging tips that I think will bring the greatest return on investment when selling your home:

1) De-personalize
Staging is making your home visually appealing to prospective buyers and not to your own decorating tastes. Start with removing anything personal such as family photos and books and replace with art and décor that is neutral in taste. Any rooms that aren’t utilized for their intended use, such as an exercise machine in a spare bedroom, should be staged for what they’re intended for. Worn or out of style curtains or draperies should be replaced with newer ones and ensure that bedding in the bedrooms is fresh. If your walls are overly dominant or the colour is dated, consider a coat of neutral coloured paint.

2) De-clutter 
De-clutter throughout your home and ensure that counters are free from clutter, including the removal of kitchen counter appliances. Replace with a few vases of flowers. I have seen kitchens staged with a table set or refreshments out and can make a space welcoming. The general rule of thumb otherwise is a maximum of three pieces of décor per tabletop.
When de-cluttering, you also want to look at your furniture and typically if there is major wear, it’s too big for the space, or the matching is off, consider storing away some of it and maybe renting or borrowing a few pieces. Small wear can be covered with a few stylish throw blankets or pillows. 

3) Maximize space
Home staging could also be said to be selling a lifestyle and you’re instilling a degree of emotion with the architectural features of your home. A great way to make a space appear bigger and brighter is to add a coat of white or light-coloured paint. Minimizing window treatments and maximizing natural light can enhance a room. If you have a smaller space, it is said that area rugs can help to define and divide areas and show functionality.
Under-utilized nooks and corners can be staged with light furniture such as a musical chair, décor or plant to highlight architectural features and present possibilities to buyers. Flooring can also add character to a space, ensure though that it is in good condition and keep the use of rugs to a minimum when staging.

4) Bathrooms and Entryways as two under-rated areas
Bathrooms are only a small part of a home however they can have a major influence on a purchasing decision. Avoid worn or dated towels and opt instead to have clean white ones, plus some neatly rolled-up wash towels, a small plant and even some luxurious soap on display to create a spa-like feeling. Replace shower curtains with new stylist ones. Generally sinks and tubs and that show wear and/or are dated, can be replaced at a reasonable cost and have a high return on investment.
Entryways are also a commonly neglected area of a home but in reality, it’s the place where a first and final impressions are made. Ensure that there is adequate lighting and consider bringing in a few plants and a nice doormat to make it welcoming. While you’re de-cluttering that area, it’s also your chance to showcase creative storage solutions that the home has for jackets, footwear and even sports equipment.

5) Attention to detail with cleaning 
Most home sellers are going to put in a decent cleaning and staging effort however time is not always on our side and small details can be missed. In the mind of prospective buyers however they’ll often look for what’s hidden and it’s not uncommon during showings for cupboards to be opened, closets to be checked and even looking in behind things. A lack of detail in hidden areas can leave prospective buyers wondering about deeper problems and it’s therefore crucial to be organized and maintain a list.

A professional home stager can also be a great investment, even if it’s just for a consultation to do the staging yourself, they can save you time and money and help you prioritize your efforts. If your budget is limited, at the very least, enlist the help of a friend or family member to look at your cleaning and staging efforts from another angle.
There are many more valuable tips but those are my top five to get you started.