From embracing minimalist staging to utilizing inviting scents, eleven industry professionals, including Interior Designers and Real Estate Agents, share their single most effective home staging tip. Discover how these strategies have transformed properties and could enhance the saleability of your home. Here are 11 home staging tips to prepare a house for sale:

LEARN MORE: 3 things every seller needs to know right now about residential real estate

  • Embrace Minimalist Staging
  • Scale Furniture to Room Size
  • Stage Bedrooms Like Hotels
  • Accentuate Home Offices
  • Transform With Deep Cleaning
  • Appeal Broadly With Neutral Colors 
  • Update Fixtures for Modernity
  • Declutter for a Blank Canvas
  • Erase Personal Home Touches
  • Rearrange for Spacious Living
  • Utilize Inviting Scents

Embrace Minimalist Staging

A fundamental tip for successful home staging is the “less is more” approach. It’s all about decluttering and depersonalizing spaces to allow potential buyers to envision themselves in the home. For instance, in a recent high-end residential project, I minimized personal items and opted for neutral, yet sophisticated, decor. 

This approach not only highlighted the property’s features but also created a welcoming, aspirational space. The transformation was remarkable—the property sold within a week, significantly over the asking price. It’s clear evidence that strategic staging can dramatically impact a property’s market appeal.

Brad Smith, Lead Interior Designer, Omni Home Ideas

Scale Furniture to Room Size

When preparing a house for sale, it’s important to choose furniture that is appropriately scaled for each room. Oversized or undersized pieces can make a space feel awkward, which can be a deciding factor for home buyers as they envision themselves living there. 

From my experience, when there are awkward pieces that don’t fit the living space, it looks staged, making the home feel less lived-in. This is not ideal when you want potential buyers to feel at home.

It’s crucial to hire the right people to stage the home, or to seek inspiration online for what items to keep in the home and what to avoid.

Burak Uslanmaz, Marketing Manager, The Rugs

Stage Bedrooms Like Hotels

One of the best ways to prepare your room for viewing is to stage your bedroom. Your bed is a central feature in one of the most important rooms in the house. Take inspiration from hotel beds; they are made to look as inviting, comfortable, and broadly appealing as possible. 

Use plain white sheets, get fresh new pillows, and consider an accented cushion to add a little color. Add mattress toppers and comforters to achieve a clean and comfortable look. Video tutorials on YouTube can easily guide you through the process.

Jasen Edwards, Licensed Real Estate Agent, and Coach, Agent Advice

Accentuate Home Offices

Home offices are less of a nice-to-have nowadays and much more of an essential. With that in mind, think of how you stage this room in particular. What kind of desk, chair, file cabinet, and decorations are you using? Can you bring in something exotic, like a fish tank, to draw the visitor’s attention? Don’t just point to an empty room and say, “Here would make an excellent home office!” Bring that idea to reality to drive your next sale.

Mark Varnas, Principal Sql Server Dba and Consultant, Red9

Transform With Deep Cleaning

I’ve learned that a deep clean before showing a house can be a complete game-changer. It’s not just about making the place look tidy; it’s about presenting a home that feels cared for and welcoming.

I recall a specific instance where we were prepping a house that had been sitting empty. It seemed fine at first glance, but our deep clean made a world of difference. We cleaned every nook and cranny, from baseboards to ceiling fans. The transformation was astounding—the house went from looking simply “not lived in” to feeling almost brand new.

This thorough cleaning brought out the property’s potential, allowing prospective buyers to envision themselves in a fresh, well-maintained space. It’s a small investment that can significantly impact how quickly a home sells and at what price.

John White, MBA – Owner, White Fox Cleaning Services

Appeal Broadly With Neutral Colors 

One home staging tip  I’ve found incredibly effective in preparing a house for sale is the strategic use of neutral colors to create a clean and inviting atmosphere. In one instance, I had a property with vibrant and bold wall colors in several rooms. 

While the previous owner had a unique sense of style, I recognized that these colors might not appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. To address this, I decided to repaint the walls in neutral tones, such as light beige and soft gray.

The transformation was remarkable. The neutral colors not only made the rooms feel more spacious and airy but also provided a blank canvas for potential buyers to envision their own décor and personal style. It created a cohesive and harmonious flow throughout the house, allowing the architectural features and natural light to take center stage.

Ritika Asrani, Owner and Head Broker, St Maarten Real Estate

Update Fixtures for Modernity

Last-minute, strategic updates before showcasing a property can significantly enhance its appeal to potential buyers. Focusing on specific visual aesthetics, such as modernizing lighting fixtures, imparts a fresh ambiance, catching the eye of prospective buyers. 

In a recent case, replacing outdated fixtures with sleek, energy-efficient alternatives brightened rooms and conveyed modernity. Addressing minor issues like worn cabinet hardware and outdated faucets offers a cost-effective means of refining overall impressions. 

These upgrades underscore attention to detail, reinforcing a property’s value and leaving a favorable first impression. This approach aligns with swiftly enhancing marketability without extensive renovations, providing a pragmatic strategy in a competitive real estate landscape.

Travis Willis, Director of Customer Success, Aspire

Declutter for a Blank Canvas

Decluttering is one of the most effective home staging tips when preparing a house for sale. By removing excess items and personal belongings, potential buyers can envision themselves living in the space. For example, I recently worked with a client who had many family photos and knick-knacks displayed throughout their living room. 

After explaining the importance of decluttering for home staging, we removed these items and replaced them with simple, neutral decor. The change was significant and allowed potential buyers to focus on the space itself rather than being distracted by personal belongings. 

This tip transformed the living room, making it more appealing and inviting. It also created a blank canvas for potential buyers to envision their style and belongings in the room. In the end, this decluttering tip played a key role in selling the house quickly and for a higher price than expected.

Keith Sant, Founder and CEO, Kind House Buyers

Erase Personal Home Touches

Removing all traces of the previous owners can do wonders for a property. The psychology is simple—buyers want a blank slate they can project their own ideal home onto. If the previous owners’ family photos or idiosyncratic tastes are all over the place, that makes it harder for them to imagine themselves in the space. That’s why it’s beneficial to get rid of everything that may express taste or personality.

I worked on a house once that had every room painted a different color, in rainbow order. It was beautiful but so very specific to that family and their tastes. They couldn’t sell. The minute they painted over it with white, buyers were suddenly interested. Is it silly that people can’t see beyond a little paint or some family pictures? Perhaps, but getting rid of these things works.

Rick Berres, Owner, Honey-Doers

Rearrange for Spacious Living

In a smaller home I staged, the layout made the living spaces feel cramped. I rearranged the furniture to create open walkways and defined areas, such as a distinct dining space and a cozy living area. 

This strategic placement demonstrated the functionality of each room, making the home feel larger and more practical. The rearranged space appealed to buyers who could easily imagine living and entertaining in the home, leading to a successful sale.

Alexander Capozzolo, CEO, SD House Guys

Utilize Inviting Scents

The power of scent should not be underestimated. In a property with a neutral but slightly musty odor, I used subtle, pleasant scents to create a more inviting atmosphere. A simple investment in scented candles and air fresheners made a significant impact. 

Buyers commented on how refreshing the house smelled, which contributed to a positive perception and a faster sale.

Jeremy Resmer, CEO, Value Land Buyers