Home Staging Tips to Make Your Listings Sell Faster

March 18, 2024
New Real Estate Agents

In the competitive world of real estate, every edge counts when it comes to selling properties quickly and at the right price. Home staging is one of the most powerful tools in a real estate agent's arsenal. In this guide, we'll explore what home staging is, why it's essential, and provide a comprehensive set of staging essentials to help your listings stand out in a crowded market.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the strategic process of preparing a property for sale by enhancing its appeal to potential buyers. It involves arranging furniture, décor, and other elements in a way that highlights the property's best features and allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Why is Home Staging Important?

The importance of home staging cannot be overstated. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, 83% of buyers' agents agree that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home. Additionally, according to a 2021 report, 85% of staged homes sold for 5% to 23% over the listing price. These numbers show that not staging a home can leave money on the table for sellers.

The Staging Essentials

There are different levels to staging. Some agents may choose to hire a home staging company, bring in furniture, or even recommend renovations. But not every listing will need that level of service. However, there are certain essentials that should be considered for each listing. These don’t only have minimal costs, but they also make the biggest impact on buyers’ perceptions. Here are the top staging essentials that every seller should consider:


A clean home is essential for making a positive first impression on potential buyers. Ensure that the property is spotless, paying special attention to high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Consider hiring professional cleaners to deep clean the property before listing it.


Clutter can make a space feel small and cramped, which is the last thing you want when trying to sell a property. Encourage sellers to declutter their home by removing personal items, excess furniture, and knick-knacks. Aim for a minimalist look that allows buyers to focus on the property's features, not its belongings. By packing away clutter, sellers can also get a head start on their packing.


Similarly, depersonalizing the space is crucial for helping potential buyers envision themselves living in the home. Remove family photos, any personalized décor, and anything else that reflects the current occupants' tastes and preferences. The goal is to create a neutral canvas that appeals to a wide range of buyers. Keep in mind that some people may be surprised by this recommendation and even resist taking their beloved family pictures and team memorabilia off of the walls. Explaining the reasoning behind depersonalization in an empathetic way will help convey the message to sellers.

Improve Functionality of Spaces

Examine each space to figure out the best and most functional use. For example, the sellers may be using their formal dining room as a playroom but most buyers may want to see that room staged as a dining room instead. Or they may have lots of seating in their living room to accommodate their large family, but eliminating some of those chairs may make the room look more spacious and pleasant. Arrange furniture in a way that maximizes the functionality of each room. Create clear pathways and ensure that each space serves a distinct purpose. As an example, you can transform an underutilized corner into a cozy reading nook or a spare room into a home office.

Focus on Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, so don't neglect the exterior of the property. Enhance curb appeal by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, planting flowers, and adding tasteful outdoor décor. A well-maintained exterior sets the stage for a positive viewing experience.

Accentuate Lighting

Good lighting can make a world of difference in how a property is perceived. Maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds, and supplement with artificial lighting where necessary. Replace outdated light fixtures with modern, energy-efficient alternatives to brighten up the space. Also, make sure that all light fixtures have functional bulbs in them and that none of them are burned out.

By following these staging essentials, real estate agents can significantly increase the likelihood of selling their listings quickly and for top dollar. Remember, the goal of home staging is to create a welcoming and inviting environment that resonates with potential buyers. In addition to these simpler changes, the sellers may also choose to make larger renovations. Here are some of additional staging options to consider: 

Going Above and Beyond

Painting and Wallpaper Removal

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in revitalizing a space and making it feel modern and inviting. Opt for neutral tones like beige, gray, or white, which appeal to a wide range of tastes and allow buyers to envision their own décor in the space. Additionally, consider removing outdated wallpaper, as it can make a home feel dated and cramped. Smooth, freshly painted walls create a blank canvas for buyers to imagine their dream home.

Adding Solid Countertops

Sometimes the lack of a feature in a home can cause sellers to leave money on the table. Many buyers nowadays expect the kitchen and primary bathroom counters to have a solid countertop material such as granite or quartz. The lack of this feature can cause potential buyers to deduct any renovation estimate costs from the listing price. Kitchen and bathroom countertops are focal points in any home. Upgrading to solid countertops can instantly elevate the perceived value of the property. Solid countertops not only look luxurious but also offer durability and timeless appeal. Even if a full kitchen remodel isn't feasible, investing in new countertops can provide a high return on investment and make a significant impact on buyers.

Updating Light and Plumbing Fixtures

Outdated light fixtures and plumbing fixtures can drag down the overall aesthetic of a home. Consider replacing old fixtures with modern, energy-efficient alternatives to give the space a contemporary feel. Sleek pendant lights, stylish faucets, and chic door handles can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. These relatively simple upgrades can make a big difference in how buyers perceive the property's value and desirability.

Replace Curtains

Window treatments play a crucial role in controlling light and enhancing privacy, but outdated or mismatched curtains can detract from a home's appeal. Replace heavy drapes with light, airy curtains or sleek blinds to let natural light flood the space and create an open, inviting atmosphere. Choose neutral colors and simple designs that complement the overall décor and allow potential buyers to focus on the view and architectural features of the home. In cases where the budget doesn’t allow for replacement, even removing dated and heavy drapery can make the house look a lot fresher.

Other Renovations

In addition to the aforementioned tips, there are several other renovations that real estate agents can recommend to maximize a property's potential. These may include updating flooring, refreshing landscaping, or adding built-in storage solutions. While more extensive renovations require careful consideration of budget and time constraints, even small updates can make a big impact on a home's perceived value and marketability. When recommending renovations, always make sure to support your suggestions with comps. For example, is there a similar house down the street with an updated kitchen that sold for more than one that’s in the same condition as your listing? Share that with the sellers and have them make the decision.

In conclusion, home staging is a powerful tool that real estate agents can leverage to attract buyers and maximize the value of their listings. Every listing agent should view the home from a buyer’s perspective and have a list of recommendations to improve their clients’ bottom line.

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