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A Room by Room Guide to Staging a Home

Thursday, July 14, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

A Room by Room Guide to Staging a Home

If you intend to sell your property, you undoubtedly want to know how to achieve the highest price possible. In this situation, staging is used. Staging your home is a tried-and-true strategy to attract more buyers and help you reach or exceed your asking price. So what exactly is home staging, how effective is it likely to be, and what is the return on investment? All of your staging-related questions will be addressed in this post, along with a few more.

How to stage a house: A room-by-room breakdown
Staging with curb appeal
Because the outside of your home makes the first impression on buyers, curb appeal is important. Small tweaks can make a big impact. Some examples include:

- Removing dead plants or foliage
- Renovating your landscape  
- Adding complementary plants or planters
- Replacing your doormat
- Painting your front door
- Updating outdoor living spaces
- Power washing concrete and siding
- Installing a new mailbox and house numbers

Advice: Curb attractiveness is like wrapping presents. In order to pique potential buyers' interest in opening the front door for the ultimate revelation of living areas, it creates the first impression and "wow" effect. Other improvements to take into account for amazing curb appeal include lighting your area when potential buyers drive by at night, installing solar lighting for a touch of elegance along a pathway and entry, and adding an intriguing welcome mat. 

Setting up a doorway
Your entryway is one of the first areas potential homebuyers will see, so it is crucial that it is welcoming. The move from the outside to the inside can feel seamless with the addition of a potted plant or flower vase. The furnishings in your entryway should fit the area. Do your best to avoid crowds. Use a rug to delineate the area if your house lacks a defined entry.

Pro-Tip: Just as you wouldn't wear your grubby overalls to a first date, you shouldn't list your home for sale if it doesn't look its best. Making a solid first impression begins with the house's curb appeal and foyer, much like courting.

Kitchen staging
A newly renovated kitchen is a terrific way to draw buyers, but smaller adjustments also matter. Start by cleaning your appliances and counters. Put kitchen appliances in cupboards or other storage. To make an old kitchen look new again, repaint the cabinets and replace the hardware. Less is more in terms of styling. It only takes a little stack of cookbooks or a bouquet of fresh flowers to make the kitchen appear occupied yet spotless.

Everyone is aware that kitchens sell homes. A dated area may be given new life without breaking the budget with inexpensive improvements like new cabinet hardware and painting the walls, trim, and cabinets. On the list of simple DIY staging suggestions that promote the sale of the space, cleaning and tidying the area ranks highly. Setting the stage for a customer to see themselves using their new kitchen by placing a few essential accessories on the counters is a terrific idea.

Putting up a dinner party
If you have a dining room, you don't have to set the table with your finest china, but you should create the impression that it is a formal dining room. Use a neutral table runner to tie everything together, and make sure your table is dust-free.

Anything that doesn't belong in a dining area should be taken out. Although many homes use their dining table for purposes other than eating meals, you want the buyer to picture hosting parties here.

If your home doesn't already have a dining room, make sure to add one. In smaller rooms, a well-sized kitchen table or contemporary stools at a breakfast bar can do.

Pro Tip: Dining areas may transform a house from adequate to opulent. Before adding accessories, make sure your tables and chairs are the right sizes for the room. Mirrors, fine paintings, and buffet tables can all add light and grandeur to the room. 

Setting up a living room
You want to present your purchasers with a living area that is airy, tidy and inviting. That can entail getting rid of bulky furnishings. But you don't have to leave anything in the room. Throw cushions can add colorful accents and help purchasers see the room as a whole. The addition of some healthy houseplants will give the space a nurturing and living feeling. In order to brighten the space, you should also use warm, trendy lighting.

Pro tip: The focal point should be reached by moving through the living/bedroom. Buyers shouldn't be waiting at the door; instead, your art should entice them to enter the space. Therefore, to arrange furniture in the best way for your living room, consider the floor's shape, flow, and focal point.

Dressing up in a bedroom
If you are unable to stage every bedroom in your home, stage the master suite. Your color scheme needs to be composed of soothing neutral hues. The ideal colors for bedrooms tend to be soft blues, whites, and taupes. The area should have a few accessories, but soft lighting and a throw blanket will make the space look complete.

Pro tip: If at all possible, use a queen-size bed since buyers prefer to see spacious rooms. Since the bed is typically the center of attention in the room, its placement is equally crucial. If possible, avoid placing the bed next to a window unless it is absolutely necessary. The wall opposite the door is the best spot for the bed to be placed. To hide the mattress, cover the bed with lovely linen, accent pillows, and a bed skirt. At the foot of the bed, place a seat or a chair in a corner with a small table presented as a reading nook. Add two nightstands with the existing lamps and lampshades.
While it should be clean, your bathroom shouldn't feel sterile. Think of the serene, pleasant bathroom at a spa for design ideas. Fresh, fluffy towels, a shower curtain with texture, and a brand-new bar of soap in a pristine dish are a few amenities that can go a long way.

If your vanity is broken or out of date, think about replacing it. An inexpensive mirror might give the impression that the space is more upscale. If your bathroom needs updating, think about replacing the showerhead or the tiles in the shower.

Pro Tip: A house's bathrooms might serve as a "timestamp" for the property. Your desire to replace the other bathrooms may become much more apparent if you renovate just one of them. The answer? With a well-thought-out staging plan, elevate all three. Start by performing a thorough cleaning, paying close attention to the caulking, grouting, and molding. Next, decide on new paint for the cabinets and walls. Update the light fixtures in the master bathroom with a little more glitz. Add a fresh spray of an odor-neutralizing product that has no aftertaste to finish. The final outcome? When entering the restrooms, the terms "crisp" and "clean" spring to mind.

The fundamentals of home staging
The goal of home staging is to create a setting that is neutral enough for potential buyers to see themselves residing there. Consider it as providing potential customers with a white canvas on which to paint their future lives.

Staging also aids customers in imagining where they would put their belongings. If a room is empty or has too much furniture, it might be challenging to determine whether there is enough space for a king-sized bed or a home office.

It all comes down to a few fundamental ideas in home staging. While most homebuyers will be able to abide by the fundamental guidelines, some may decide to seek professional assistance. It's crucial to present your house in the most desirable light when you're trying to sell it.
Staging begins with a few key tasks:

Decluttering
Cleaning
Depersonalizing
Highlighting

Decluttering
Although it's inevitable, clutter shouldn't be visible to potential buyers when they tour a house. Clutter can make your property appear smaller and could give potential buyers the impression that there is not enough room for their families.

It takes more than just clearing the mail pile to declutter. You should clean up the clutter from your closets, crawl space, and cabinets. During the viewing, buyers are welcome to and should investigate those places.

The best thing you can do as you get ready to move is to declutter. The first benefit of decluttering is that you'll have less to pack. Second, by selling your no longer required belongings at a garage sale or donating them in exchange for a tax deduction, you can earn some extra money.
Some easy ways to declutter your home include:

Removing kitchen appliances from countertops
Donating unused items
Editing your pantry
Cleaning out your closet
Creating zones for specific items

Pro Tips: Address visual clutter. The biggest reason people give for moving is a lack of space in their current home, so selectively prune anything that distracts buyers from seeing the great features of your home. Stacks, even if neat and straight, add weight and visual clutter to rooms. The Dezign Zoo motto is “when in doubt, take it out.”
Remove all small appliances, toys, magazines, and pet items.

Cleaning
Cleaning your property helps keep buyers interested in the features of your area rather than dirt and grime. Additionally, it makes your house smell wonderful. Use a deodorizer to eliminate pet scents; baking soda is an affordable and efficient option. With fragrant essential oils like lavender, you can also improve the aroma of your house.

Don't forget about your cupboards, doors, and walls. Pay attention to areas like doorknobs, locks, corners, and door frames where hands often land. The dirt from our hands accumulates on these surfaces over time.

Warm soapy water mixed with mild dish soap and degreaser works well to clean these spots. If stains are particularly difficult to remove, vinegar or a degreaser solution like Simple Green are frequently effective. But you could require more action if you have years' worth of filth to get rid of. It can make a significant impact, so don't be hesitant to spend money on neutral painting or a cleaning service.

Pro tip: A property needs to look, feel, and smell clean before you even start to put together a staging plan. Any additional staging will make a house glow.

Depersonalizing
It's more challenging for purchasers to relate to your property and see themselves living there because of your personal belongings. Remove family photos, souvenirs, and trinkets to depersonalize the space. You should also store essentials like toothbrushes and deodorant in a cupboard or storage bin and your clothes neatly in closets and drawers. Remove everything that supports a particular viewpoint before finishing. That includes symbols of religion and politics as well as signs and posters.

The home should be set to appeal to as many potential purchasers as possible when you decide to sell it. Remove the taxidermy animals from your purple walls, paint them a lovely neutral color, and conceal your personal belongings so that no one can locate them.

Because of your personal possessions, it is harder for potential buyers to attach to your property and see themselves living there. To depersonalize the room, take out any family photos, mementos, and trinkets. Additionally, keep necessities like deodorant and toothbrushes in a cabinet or storage container, and arrange your clothing neatly in drawers and closets. Before finishing, eliminate everything that supports a certain point of view. Along with signs and posters, this also contains political and religious symbols.

When you decide to sell the house, it should be decorated to appeal to as many potential buyers as you can. Your purple walls should be painted a wonderful neutral hue, the taxidermy animals removed, and your personal items hidden so that no one can find them.

Lacking in focus? There are many affordable methods to add distinctive architectural characteristics to a building. Just keep in mind that remaining impartial is essential. You need something that can fit a variety of tastes and sensitivities.

Pro tip: Highlight the reasons why you fell in love with the home. When deciding whether to sell, consider the reasons you fell in love with your home. Those items will probably be the ones that draw customers. Ensure that those areas are organized, decluttered, and highlighted so they stand out and impress customers.

Highlight the aspects of the house that made you fall in love with it. Think about the aspects of your home that made you fall in love with it before determining whether to sell. Those products are likely to be the ones that draw buyers. Organize, clean up, and highlight certain areas to make them stand out and attract clients.

90 percent of home buyers start their search online. To make sure your photos look great, take a picture of your exterior and every room – this is what potential buyers will see. Add and edit your belongings until the photos look worthy of a compelling listing photo.

How much does staging your home cost?
The tactics you employ, the size of your home, and the type of buyer you hope to attract will all affect the cost of staging your home. The typical ranges, depending on your situation, are listed below.

Professional staging for the seller of a luxury home
You should stage your property with a high-end design if you're selling a luxury home or attempting to attract a high-end buyer. That entails spotless walls and floors, first-rate finishings, and posh furniture.

Working with a pro is preferable when trying to appeal to this group. Your home's size and ideal sales price will affect the pricing. However, staging at this level ought to pay off well for you.

Staging for the ordinary house seller using professionals
The typical seller does not deal in luxury. Your house is still a good one, despite everything. Professional staging removes all of the uncertainty for the typical home sale.

NAR estimates that the average cost to stage a home is $1,500, but there are numerous other elements that can affect the cost of staging, including location, house size, inventory needs, and the furnishings you plan to utilize in the living areas, and if the home is vacant. In the US, staging services might cost a seller.4 percent and 1 percent of the advertised price. You can get a more precise estimate by speaking with a staging specialist nearby.

DIY home staging
If you’ve got an eye for detail, basic design sense, and like taking on projects, DIY home staging may be a great fit. Depending on the work that needs to be done, DIY home staging can cost less than $1,000 if done effectively.

However, be ready to invest some time and elbow grease. But, don’t be afraid to hire out. Bringing in professional cleaners, for example, can lighten your burden for a small fee.

How staging a house affects the sale price
Home staging has been around for decades, but the rise of home decorating television has increased the need for showing a staged home.

The good news is that it pays off. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2021 Profile of Home Staging, 47% of buyers' agents indicated that staged homes had an effect on most buyers’ views of a home. And 38% said that home staging increased the offer amount by 1 to 10%.

With the median home sales price currently at $375,639, that can mean a few thousand to tens of thousands more in net proceeds from your home sale.

Pro Tip: Staging is actually one of the best short-term investments a seller can make. Statistics show that an investment of 1-3% of the listing price can increase the final price by up to 8-10% – usually in just a few months. Not staging is leaving money on the table. 

How to save money on home staging costs
Whether you’re hiring a professional or going full DIY, there are some tips and tricks you can use to lower your costs.

When hiring a professional:

Speak with your real estate agent first about how much work should be done
Compare costs from several services in your area and be sure to read reviews
Look for a referral discount through your realtor, friends, or coworkers
Take on some (manageable) projects yourself, like minor landscaping and paint touch-ups
Stage key rooms — living room, kitchen, and master suite are a must.
When DIY home staging:

If you’re painting, purchase several gallons of premixed paint in the same neutral color family  
If your furnishings need an upgrade, shop thrift stores, Facebook marketplace, and garage sales— you can get higher quality items for major discounts
Consider getting a consultation from a professional. For $100 to $600, you can get the right guidance on how to maximize your staging investment

Pro Tip: Only stage the key rooms. The key to saving money with staging is to only stage the key rooms. If it’s an occupied home try to use as much of what you already have, then throw in what’s needed to complete the job.
When it comes to staging your house, it is important to create a space that potential buyers can envision themselves living in. By following these simple steps, you can create a great first impression and get one step closer to selling your home.