10 Home Staging Tips to Help Sell (or Rent) Your Property FAST!

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You’ve done everything you can to get your property ready for sale or rental. You’ve renovated, rehabbed, upgraded and created what you think is the perfect home for prospective buyers or renters.

But before you list it and stick that “open house” sign on the front lawn, there’s one final thing you need to do to make sure all your hard work pays off: staging.

Staging is the art of presenting your property in the most attractive and positive light possible. Done right, staging turns a property into a home and allows people to envision themselves living there.

While factors like location and number of bedrooms can get people in the door, it’s the way that the property captures their imagination that will ultimately influence whether or not they decide to sign on the dotted line.

Here are 10 simple but powerful steps to stage your home successfully.

10 Home Staging Tips to Help Sell (or Rent) Your Property FAST!

Keep it Simple

To appeal to the largest number of people possible, keep the decor understated and neutral. Cream-colored or beige furniture, linens, curtains and bedspreads are always a safe bet, although you can also evoke a mood by using certain colors in certain rooms. Bathrooms, for example, show nicely with spa-like colors like soft blues, greens and lavenders. (Imagine soft blue towels, neatly folded and stacked, next to a matching blue soap bottle and a matching toothbrush holder.)

Keep it Bright

Well-lit rooms look bigger, newer and more inviting, so let there be light whenever possible. Open up curtains and blinds to show off how much natural light each room gets, and use lamps to brighten up any dim corners.

stage-house

Related: How to Stage a House on a Budget to Sell FAST

Keep it Comfortable

Be mindful of potential buyers’ and renters’ physical comfort as they tour your property. If it’s summertime, make sure your rooms are cool. If it’s winter, keep the furnace high enough to keep out the chill and take advantage of the opportunity to show off fireplaces with a cozy fire. The more physically comfortable people are, the more likely they are to linger and take in all the great features your property has to offer.

Make it Look “Lived In”

Empty rooms don’t look more spacious; they actually look smaller because buyers have a hard time telling at a glance how much furniture the space can accommodate. They also come across as stark and uninviting. Adding a few key pieces of furniture and accessories can help people feel at home and allow them to really picture themselves living in each room.

You don’t need to fill up each room completely, just enough to create a welcoming scene. In the living room, add a couch, coffee table and some side chairs, along with accessories like an area rug (if you have hardwood floors) and complimentary curtains. In the bedroom, a bed, nightstand and dresser will do the trick. (Pro tip: Stack two mattresses on top of each other and neatly make the bed in order to avoid the hassle of moving an actual box spring into the space.)

Additional touches like fresh fruit in the kitchen and scented candles in the bathroom can up the “homey” factor. Just stay away from cheesy props like fake food and artificial flowers; people can spot them a mile away.

Highlight Each Room’s Purpose

A wasted, “catch-all” space impresses no one. If a room doesn’t have a clearly defined purpose, define one yourself based on what your target market is looking for. That spare room could become an office, extra bedroom, craft room or playroom, depending on how you stage it. Don’t force people to brainstorm ways they could use an extra space; help paint a picture for them.

If you have any odd corners or “dead spaces” in your property, you can also stage these to make them look like positive features. A random nook in the hallway could be turned into a reading area with a comfy armchair and an open book, for instance.

Know Your Market

Think about your buyers’ (specific) needs.

If you’re flipping a home in a mid-range suburb where buyers are largely families, turning that tiny spare room into a kid’s bedroom may net you great positive feedback.

If you’re renting a Class A home or luxury condo in a high-end neighborhood, turning that tiny extra bedroom into a home office or a walk-in closet complete with shelves, mirrors and a plush seating area might get you more “wow” factor than staging it as a cramped, small bedroom.

Accent Selling Points

Draw people’s eyes to the best features in your property. Painting an accent wall, placing a large plant or arranging accessories in groups of threes are all easy ways you can highlight features like fireplaces, window seats and built-in shelving.

Make Sure it “Flows”

Walk through your property as though you were touring it yourself to see if any objects interrupt the natural flow of traffic from one room to another. You may need to rearrange a piece of furniture here or there. Poor flow distracts people from your property’s great features and can also make rooms feel smaller than they really are.

Related: Home Staging 101 For House Flippers

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Create the Illusion of Extra Space

Make ceilings look higher by hanging curtains several inches above existing window frames and letting them pool to the ground. Unite a small kitchen with the adjacent living room by using a continuous color scheme that makes them feel like one cohesive space. Be mindful of the scale of furniture in each room; a few smaller pieces can make a space look larger than one or two oversized pieces.

Make Sure to Stage Outdoor Areas, Too

Don’t forget to stage any outside areas as well. Whether you’re trying to sell a single-family home with a large backyard or a condo with a small patio, use strategically chosen plants, furniture and accessories to help people see how they can use the space to relax and unwind.

What tips would you add to my list? Has staging helped you sell your properties fast?

Be sure to leave a comment below!

About Author

Joshua Keen

Joshua and his brothers have worked as Atlanta real estate brokers for more than 15 years. As real estate investors themselves, they are experts in helping investors navigate the dynamic real estate landscape of the metro Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia area, particularly the Intown Atlanta neighborhoods. When Josh isn't following the Atlanta real estate market, you'll find him running, playing with his dogs, or hanging out with his family.

16 Comments

  1. Great tips Joshua!

    Staging a home definitely makes a difference when selling or renting. I can relate to the “Keeping it Bright” tip.
    In the past, I’ve noticed prospective homeowners respond positively to lighter colors than darker ones. I think the darkness just makes it look smaller and less appealing.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Pingback: 10 Home Staging Tips for your Atlanta Condo - My Midtown Mojo

  3. Pingback: How to Stage Your Home Like the Pros

  4. Austin Davis

    Great post, Joshua.

    I am looking for an easy strategy to stage my 4 plex units as they go vacant. I have some towels, a shower curtain hung and some scent pods in a couple rooms. However, I don’t think I have the time or resources (truck, people, storage) to do actual furniture in the apartments. Would a fold up table with a cloth on it and blow up furniture (bed couch, chair) fulfill the goals you talk about above, or would it just make it look cheap and turn people away.

    Any opinions or tips are welcome.

    Thanks!

  5. I especially enjoyed your comments about making it looked \”lived in\”, and keeping it bright with natural light. One of the most successful real estate salesmen I\’ve ever known would toast an oil solution on the stove that smelled like homemade bread. The feeling of furniture, of happy families, and of homemaking can be a powerful influence on a buyer\’s mind!

  6. It’s interesting that when you are staging a home for rent, you should create the illusion of space. I see a lot of houses for rent lately, and was curious about how you would get them rented out. It’s interesting what little things you need to do in order to create that spacey look.

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