Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

Hi, Welcome to Our School of Home Staging!

After a successful, 12+ years run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

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How to Attractively Stage your Home for Sale

How to Attractively Stage your Home for Sale

There are two main types of home staging, occupied and vacant. In each, the idea is to place furniture and accent items strategically to make small spaces look larger and other areas of the home look functional. When you are staging a home, you want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in the space and what any awkward rooms can be used for. Below are a few tips to help you with this process to sell your home faster. In today’s market, homes are sitting for sale for longer periods of time. Proper staging can help a home appear more attractive to potential buyers to help yours get sold faster.

Occupied Home Staging

When you are still living in your home and it has been placed for sale, it is a tough balance. It is ideal to obtain a storage unit and put any items that add clutter to the home into it. The idea is to only keep what is absolutely necessary for your everyday living within the home. The home must also be kept absolutely clean and decluttered at all times. That being said, it’s also time to organize cupboards and closets. Potential buyers are going to look in every drawer, cupboard and closet to see what fits where best.

Remove Personal Items

Every family has items of importance; this includes photos, heirlooms and/or special pieces that have sentimental value. While they are a part of your family’s history it acts as a deterrent for potential buyers. Completely removing the photos from the home is not necessary though. Consider getting an ottoman or cedar chest as an item of décor for the home. Simply put personal items into those. Buyers are likely to leave those alone and not snoop. As soon as the showing is over, you can put them back up. Bedrooms should also be designed impersonally, meaning that themes should be put away and solid colors or simple patterns should be used. If you have children and they have themed rooms in colors such as pink or blue, or a distinctly painted theme, it is best to repaint.

Clear Clutter

Put clutter away. Everything in the home has to have its own place. If you have far many more items than your family really needs, consider a yard sale. This will help to give you a little money for landscaping or other minor improvements to help the home show better. You should organize closet spaces and put excess items into storage with other items in your home.


The rule of thumb used to be to paint every room in the home a neutral color. Times have changed a bit. Buyers are not afraid of color anymore and are happy to repaint if they don’t like your choices. It is ideal to make the home look warm and inviting without using bright colors on the walls. You can add pops of color elsewhere. This does not mean that you have to repaint every room in the home, just freshen up dull walls in rooms that are a common color and repaint rooms that may be unappealing to potential buyers.

Vacant Home Staging

When you have already moved out of your home, empty spaces are unattractive. If you are unable to leave some of the furnishings in the empty home for staging purposes, you have four options. You can use a rental service to furnish complete rooms or use a staging company. Another option is to purchase items from thrift stores or yard sales to use for staging purposes. Of course, you could leave the home empty if you really have no other options but it will be hard for potential buyers to imagine their items in a home sometimes.

Hire a Staging Service

The concept of staging is to place furniture and accessories in rooms so that they look open and inviting. If you are unsure as to how to properly arrange furniture in a space, hire a staging company. These professionals are well aware of the tricks of the trade to make small spaces look bigger and how to properly place furniture so a room looks open, inviting and comfortable. Sometimes they may offer to bring in items to help the overall look of the home if your items are not sufficient. When it comes to sitting furniture, it should look clean and new, not old and worn. The staging company may suggest that slip covers be put over some of the furniture if it looks dated or overused in any way. It is their job to properly showcase each room in the home so that potential buyers can see what a good arrangement for furniture is and can replace your items with theirs in their minds.

Hire a Cleaning Service

Hiring a cleaning service is a good idea. If you have already moved out of the home, it will still need to be cleaned once per week. Even with heating and cooling systems turned off and all of the windows closed, dust can still settle on surfaces. A home can also get a “closed up” smell that can be a turn off. If you need more extensive cleaning such as duct cleaning, carpet cleaning or other items that a general maid service cannot provide, you can view a good option (click here) to ensure that the home’s interior systems and main components are as clean as possible.

Staging a home can be a hard thing to do. If you live there, you don’t want to be without your favorite things. If you’ve already moved out, you don’t want to leave things behind. It is best to discuss the best solution for your situation with your realtor. Realtors often have items available that they can bring in to help stage the home also. Keep in mind that the exterior of a home must also look clean and presentable, this includes keeping the grass cut, flower beds maintained and touch up paint as best as you can.

*This is a guest post by Christopher Wayne

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