Home Staging Secrets: How to Stage Your House for Sale

DIY home staging tips for making a positive impression and a more profitable sale.

September 27, 2023 min read

If you’re putting your home on the market, you may be wondering how to style it. Home staging is a popular house-selling strategy that presents your home in its best light.

Staging a house is meant to show off your home’s features, create a move-in-ready look and help potential buyers see themselves living in the space. From tidying up your space to redecorating, home staging can give your home a clean and inviting ambiance that welcomes buyers — and may even entice them to pay more.

When preparing a home for sale, many sellers hire professional home stagers to create a warm, inviting place that buyers will want to call home. But, there are many changes you can make on your own.

Declutter Your Space

Declutter, declutter, declutter. Staged homes shouldn't have piles of paper on the countertops. Take a moment to reassess your space and ask yourself, “Do I need this?” Determine which books, loose mail and magazines can be stored elsewhere to create a more spacious look.

Getting rid of clutter shows that your home is organized. Potential buyers may also infer that you take good care of your home and that it’s well-maintained.

Focus on a Neutral Color Palette

Home stagers always prefer neutral palettes to make a room look balanced and timeless. Colors such as beige, white or light gray are good choices. Then, add aesthetically pleasing decor, such as a black or green pillow for the couch. Try to create a fun look that’s not too matchy-matchy.

Find Long-Term Storage for Everything on the Counters

In the bathroom, find a long-term storage solution for items like cotton swabs and hair brushes so they’re not littering countertops. Add mirrors to walls to increase light in a small or dark bathroom. Even consider a new set of white, solid brown or light gray towels to give your bathroom a clean, seamless look.

Clear off your kitchen countertops by storing away small appliances, kitchen tools and knick-knacks. You want to accentuate the positives — cabinets for storage and plenty of countertop space for food prep. What can you keep on the table? A bowl of fresh fruit, like lemons or oranges, to add a pop of color and style.

Professionally Organize Your Closet

Show off your generous closet space by making each one neat and tidy. Remove everything from your closets and sort it into piles: keep, donate, sell and recycle.

If there are items you’d like to keep that you’re not currently using, store them away until you’re ready to move. You want potential homebuyers to see uncluttered closets with plenty of space. A bonus? Paring down your belongings means you’ll have less to pack.

Make Your Bedrooms Feel Hotel-Like and Inviting

Stick with one neutral color in the bedroom, perhaps all white, gray or beige, for example. To make your room hotel-like, tuck your comforter into the end of your mattress. Place two pillows on the bed, then add another three to five on top for a luxurious feel. For an attractive touch above the headboard, hang either one large piece of artwork or a set of three smaller ones.

Look to Odd Numbers

Group items in odd numbers, such as three or five. This classic design rule helps create visual interest and calming, naturally appealing displays. It’s a trick that makes a room look more luxurious versus symmetrical. On the dresser or bedside table, arrange a small vase of flowers with two books.

Use Glass for Small Dining Spaces

Make a tiny dining room’s layout appear larger with a glass-topped table. The more solid the furniture, the smaller a place looks.

Add a rug to “anchor” the room, even if you have an open-plan house. But keep in mind the room’s scale — in grander rooms, go big, and in smaller spaces, use a more petite rug that fits under the table. Place a generously sized centerpiece to draw the eye upward toward the room’s ceiling light.

Take Window Treatments to the Ceiling

To create height (even in small rooms), take window treatments as high to the ceiling as possible. Window treatments make the room look taller. And there’s no need to splurge on fancy panels; drapes are one way to use fun patterns in an otherwise neutral room.

Hang a Mirror in the Entryway

At the entryway, set up a sofa table or console with a lamp and accessories in sets of three. Above the console, hang a mirror or a larger piece of artwork to create a welcoming feel whether you’re coming or going.

Don’t Forget About the Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is all about making that beautiful first impression. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact. Fresh paint, a new mailbox, a healthy manicured lawn, a clean walkway and flower-filled containers are easy ways to improve your home’s exterior appearance. You may also want to consider investing in outdoor lighting to enhance both safety and aesthetic appeal and, potentially, even your appraisal.

Remove Bulky Furniture

When staging a home for sale, put oversized furniture in storage. Furniture that is too large for a space can make a room feel cramped. Rent or purchase some inexpensive pieces better scaled to the room to make the area appear more airy and comfortable.

Depersonalize Your Home

Your home may be filled with years of special memories, but you’ll want to remove personal photos, collectibles and keepsakes when selling. The goal is to eliminate distractions and help prospective buyers envision themselves living in the space. You want them to concentrate on your home’s unique features, not your personal memories.

Have a Pleasant Scent in the Home for Tours

A gentle, refreshing scent creates a cozy feel and can trigger pleasant emotions. When it’s time to show your home, think about spraying a dash of essential oils throughout your rooms or using a diffuser.

You’ll also want to make sure to remove any bad smells. Open the windows to let fresh air in and thoroughly clean your carpets, sinks, trash cans, bathrooms and pet areas.

With this advice, your home’s spacious, balanced and livable look will be ready to list and show off to potential buyers.

And if you’re selling your home and purchasing a new one, let Pennymac guide you in the mortgage loan process. Get a custom instant rate quote from Pennymac today.



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