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Article written by Khari Pressley and reprinted with permission by Cardinal Financial

The act of selling something usually involves at least a little bit of marketing. You want to make your product look as good as possible to potential buyers to make it easier to sell. Staging a home to be sold is no different. Staging a home involves putting your home’s best foot forward for prospective buyers in order to make it more attractive to them. Think of it as setting the stage for a buyer to picture themselves as the star of the show. The better the stage, the better your chances of selling your home quickly and for the right price. Follow these simple tips and you’ll have your home looking like a show house.

Knowing how to stage your home is the secret to a quick sell.


One of the first things you need to do when it comes time to stage your home is depersonalize. Take all your family pictures off the walls and remove any type of religious, political, or personal odds and ends that make your home feel lived in. Remember, we want a prospective buyer to be able to picture themselves living in your home, and they can’t do that with your family Christmas photos from 2003 hanging everywhere.

It goes without saying that you should clean your house before you show it. Decluttering can make your home appear bigger than it is. You want to show off every inch of your home so move any extra stuff from cabinets, closets, and pantries to a temporary storage unit so you can clear out some space and make your home look bigger and cleaner.


You may or may not be surprised to find out that the amount of light plays a big factor in whether somebody buys a home. If you really think about it, it makes sense. Nobody likes a dark house. A well-lit home can feel larger, cleaner, and more inviting when it’s being shown. Replace any old light bulbs with higher wattage bulbs, clean your windows, open the blinds, and let the sun shine in! Don’t forget to turn on all the lights before you show your home.


We all have that one room in our home that doesn’t serve its intended function. The guest room turned extra closet. The office turned makeshift workout space. When it comes time to stage your home, try turning these rooms back into what they were meant to be originally, or giving them one specific function. If you have any extra furniture that needs to be moved, place it strategically in these rooms. Give every room a specific purpose to give the viewer an idea of what their home will look like when they’re living there.


You’ve heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” right? Well I’m here to tell you that when it comes to house hunting, everyone throws that idiom right out the window. Curb appeal is essential to selling your home in a timely manner. Make sure your lawn is manicured and the exterior of your home is clean. Plant some flowers to add color and maybe even do some light painting. Need tips on how to improve your curb appeal on a budget? We’ve got you covered.


This one’s especially important if you have pets, but you never really know how your home smells until someone else tells you. I’m not saying your house stinks, but you’d rather be safe than sorry, right? If you’ve got old carpet that smells like pets, get it replaced or deep cleaned. You can sprinkle some baking soda to neutralize carpet odors as well. You’ll also want to go for an air-neutralizing spray to remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor.

Some people even go as far as to bake cookies before having a showing. This way, you get that amazing freshly-baked cookie smell, and potential buyers get something to snack on.


Keep it simple. If you have bright colors throughout your home, try toning them down when it comes time to show. You may love how they look, but you already bought your house. It’s somebody else’s turn now and they might not have the same taste in colors as you. It’s best to keep everything neutral and let them visualize colors on the walls themselves.


Setting the table is a nice finishing touch that can make your house feel more “homey” and help a potential buyer picture their own family living there. You can skip the cutlery, but a nice centerpiece on the dining room table adds a nice touch. For larger, luxury homes, many people stage their dining rooms for a dinner party. Depending on your clientele, this could be a good move, but don’t feel like you have to go all out. It doesn’t need to be complete, expensive, or elaborate, but table settings suggest good times entertaining, relaxing, eating, and enjoying a home.


If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you’re going to have to make a few light renovations and repairs in order to fetch the price you’re looking for. Leaky faucets, old screens, clogged drains. Anything that could deter a potential buyer from loving your home should be fixed. As for renovations, you can do them yourself or call in the professionals, but you stand to add a lot of value to your home if you make the right ones. Check out our list of the 5 Most Valuable Home Upgrades to see how you can add some major equity to your home before you sell it.

Do you have any tips to share about how to stage your home? Did any of these tips help you? Tell us on social media!

Brad Patshkowski

Preparing future home owners is paramount to our customer's success and the success of our industry. The dream of homeownership is closer than you think!