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If you’re ready to put your home on the market, you’ll want to create a space that’s appealing to buyers. If someone can imagine themselves living in your curated space, they may be more likely to buy it.

But how much time and money should you spend staging your home? And do you have to renovate every room? We’re here to help answer your questions as you prep your home for sale. When it comes to staging your home, you’ll want to know:

  • The basics: How and why people stage their homes
  • Home staging tips for each room in your house
  • Should I hire a stager or can I do it myself?
  • How can I find the best local home stager?
  • All things considered, should I stage my home when selling?

The basics: How and why to stage your home

Over the years, your family has created a home that perfectly suits you. Maybe the traditional living room has transformed into a TV room for your video-game-obsessed kids and the basement is your at-home fitness studio.

Everyone develops a home flow that works best for them. But when it comes time to sell, you don’t want to show buyers how you live. You want to showcase the features of your space and offer potential homebuyers a peek into how their lives can fit into your house.

Read: 7 Ways to Find Your First Home

Staging your home is a process that highlights the property’s potential and minimizes its weaknesses. To stage a home, you’ll want to present the space as a clean slate so that any buyer can picture themselves living there.

White sign with the word SOLD in red.

The process of staging a home typically includes:

  • Getting rid of clutter. No more baskets of mail to shred or clothes on “that chair” in the bedroom. Follow these tips if you’re not sure where to start.
  • Neutralizing the space. Paint over bright rooms and rent furniture that doesn’t make a statement.
  • Returning rooms to a more common purpose. The Xbox needs to leave the living room and the space should be reappointed to a more traditional setup.
  • Creating more space. Get rid of bulky furniture, which can make rooms look smaller. Follow these tips on how to make a small room look larger.

And remember, experts, advise sellers to stage their homes because it works. Buyers greatly prefer staged homes. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 83% of buyers’ agents said “staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Home staging tips by room

Although staging a home is important, it’s not necessary to completely redo every nook and cranny. Not every room needs to be completely staged; per the NAR, the most popular rooms to stage are the:

  • Living room (93%)
  • Kitchen (84%)
  • Master bedroom (78%)
  • Dining room (72%)

In your case, you’ll want to stage the most highly-trafficked rooms, and the spaces that have the most potential for “web appeal” to online buyers. Here’s how to transform various areas in your home to appeal to a broader set of buyers:

Living room

  • Remove bulky furniture.
  • Put photos and knick-knacks into storage.
  • Remove outdated decor.
  • Use a subtle wall color (re-paint if necessary) and neutral furniture.
  • Add small pops of color for charm — throw pillows, blankets and baskets work well.
  • Emphasize natural light by opening shades and utilizing side lamps.

Dining room

  • Set up an appropriately-sized table.
  • Select four or six chairs to place around the table.
  • Hang a single pendant-style light over the table.
  • Set the table with chic and simple table settings.

Owner’s suite or main bedroom

  • Make the bed, which should have a bed frame and headboard. Use fresh, neutral bedding.
  • Create texture with plush throw pillows.
  • Make the space look and feel open.
  • Remove all furniture in the room except the bed, side table and dresser. Desks and couches are not necessary unless the room has more than enough space to accommodate the extra pieces.

Other bedrooms

  • Follow the same “less is more” theme as the main bedroom, keeping the space well-decorated, bright and airy.
  • Refrain from putting a queen-sized bed in a tiny room.
  • When staging a kid’s room, minimize the number of toys and books that are present.

Kitchen

  • Clean it until it sparkles — inside and out.
  • Pay special attention to cabinets, the top of the fridge and stove, inside the oven and more!
  • Remove clutter and appliances from counters so all surfaces appear spacious.
  • Keep four to six place settings in your cupboards, including cups, mugs, bowls, napkins, etc. Remove extras and mismatched sets.
  • Add a plant or some other decorative charm, like a bowl of lemons or apples.

Bathrooms

  • Clean, clean, clean, including the shower, counters, toilet, fixtures and floors.
  • Consider upgrading the vanity or at least the hardware to something more trendy.
  • Revisit the light fixture if outdated.
  • Reconsider your trays, soaps, towels, rugs and bath mats. Display items that are new and matching.
  • Add candles and other bath items around a soaking tub to remind the buyers of how they could end each day.

Should I hire a stager, or can I do it myself?

It’s important to stage your home for sale. But, when deciding whether to hire a stager:

  • Consult with your agent.
  • Assess the amount of work the space will need.
  • Consider the cost of staging.

Throughout the home sale process, even when staging, your agent will have your best interests in mind. They’ll consider how much effort will need to go into the home in order to have it ready for listing and home tours.

In some cases, a home may only require basic cleaning and reorganizing to be market-ready; in others, the space may need all new furniture and decor. Here, a stager’s discretion could come in handy.

Cost is another consideration when determining whether or not to stage a home. Stagers can cost around 150 dollars per hour, in addition to the cost of renting the staged furniture. Is this something that will fit in your budget?

Keep in mind, some agents might cover the cost of staging. So, ask your real estate agent if they’ll foot the bill or if you’ll be expected to pay to stage your home as part of your selling costs.

Consult with your Edina Realty agent as you determine who to stage your home. Your Realtor can help you find the right staging professional, just be sure that you first agree upon a budget, and whether you’ll be paying for the stager. If you choose to hire a stager yourself, interview multiple stagers to determine one who:

  • Fits your style and budget.
  • Maintains positive online reviews.
  • Has furniture or staging items that match your house style.
  • Has experience working with private sellers.

Should I stage my home when selling?

In short, absolutely. Fifty-three percent of listing agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, because it increases buyer interest and in-person traffic to the property.

To stage a house perfectly, a home seller or stager must:

  • Neutralize the property so buyers can picture living (and thriving) in the space.
  • Use smaller furniture so that rooms feel more open.
  • Add pops of color and accent walls for an extra punch of cheer and charm.
  • Emphasize the rooms with the most potential.
  • Focus on tidying up the bathroom.
  • Return rooms to their most natural purpose.
  • Use special considerations based on the season.
  • Eliminate potential odors that will hamper the home tour experience.

Moving forward with a staged home

Ready to bring your home to life? Staging is an important part of selling your home, and you’ll want to get the best sale price for the current market.  Reach out to the Betty Most Agency for more information.  Call (715) 821-6491 today!