Home staging before you go on the market is an important item on that check list that will increase the net proceeds from the sale. First you should declutter your home. Second you should take photos of your home and then start moving furniture and decorations around to highlight the best features of your home. Finally, you should consider whether to hire a professional stager to bring in additional furniture to enhance your home! If it is empty, then you can have your home completely staged with gorgeous new furniture.

Step One — Declutter!

Home staging covers lots of different activities to get your property ready for interested buyers.  You don’t have to move all your furniture out and move new Crate and Barrel type furniture into your empty house.   First you should start to declutter.  After all, you are moving! You want to get rid of anything that you don’t plan to move to your new home.  You want to declutter because we all have too many things!  If your home looks crowded and has no storage, those potential buyers are going to realize that your home won’t have room for their things!  Another good reason to declutter is that all that stuff you are planning to get rid of is heavy.  It will cost A LOT of money to move!

Perhaps you are moving to a bigger home and you will have room for all your treasures, but you still need to declutter! Not sure where to put all your extra stuff? Consider getting a temporary storage unit.


While you are decluttering you will also want to depersonalize your home a bit.  I don’t believe that you have to remove all evidence that you are a real person living in your home.  A few pictures of your family are fine as long as they are not political or potentially controversial.  While you may be very proud of your political service with a past president, that buyer who is likely to buy your home might not share your political views.  Your buyer needs to be able to see himself or herself in your space.

Your collection of special trinkets may be your heart’s delight but if they are too interesting, they may distract the buyer from looking at your home.  It is better to put them away safely before photographing and listing your home for sale.  Of course, you also want to pack away any jewelry, family heirlooms and medications as these things have been known to develop legs and run away during open houses and showings.  It is important to remember that a big part of home staging can be done by you!

Highlight Your Home’s Best Features

The next step after you have decluttered your home is to try to stage it yourself.   Take photos of your home yourself on your phone.  Next, look carefully at the photos as a buyer would.  Is this how you want to present your home?  What is the first thing you see when you look at the room? Is it the large picture window or the inviting fireplace? Or is it the stained sofa blocking the picture window? Is the bookshelf overflowing with books and stuff?  Are the plants overgrown or too leggy?  Can you even see the room for all the toys overflowing their storage bins?

Now think about what you want a buyer to see when he or she walks into the room.   Can you rearrange your furniture to focus on the room’s best features?  Make sure that the furniture doesn’t block the sight line to the fireplace or the picture windows.  Put the dining room table under the dining room fixture rather than off center. Make sure the bulbs in all the light fixtures are at least 100 watts and come on immediately. It’s the little touches that make a difference.

Staging Doesn’t Mean Throwing Everything Away

We are glad to come by and help you decide what to keep and what to get rid of and what to rearrange.  It may be that with a few strategic purchases from HomeGoods (new throw pillows for a pop of color and new bed linens) and some neutral paint you will be set to go on the market.  Remember, not everyone gets rid of all their furniture to bring in new staging furniture and you don’t have to either.  Another possibility is to hire a stager to consult with you and help you rearrange and move furniture.

The Third Option in Staging

The third staging option is to hire a professional stager who will supplement your existing furniture with a few accent pieces or bring in all the needed furniture if your home is empty because you have already moved out.  Typically owners do not stage every room in an empty house.  Instead they focus on the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, den, master bedroom and bath, and rec room or home theater.   The cost of staging depends on the number of rooms you furnish plus the cost of moving the furniture in and out.  The length of the rental is usually two to three months.

Staging is Great for Empty Homes

If your home is empty, it is equally important to stage it. Many people can’t see the potential of a home without the furniture to guide them.  Sometimes they can’t see how various rooms interact with each other.  If the home is empty in the winter, the home will seem particularly cold and uninviting and the buyers will have no place to linger and consider how they would feel living in your home.   Homes which are staged sell more quickly and for a higher sales price than homes that are not staged.

Why Should You Stage Your Home?

That’s pretty easy to answer.  The way you live in a home is different than the way you sell it!  Your clutter and collectibles are comforting for you but distracting to a buyer.  Instead you want the home’s best attributes to shine through.  You want the buyers to see the same wonderful things about your home that made you fall in love with it years ago.   A staged home feels new and fresh.  It is like creating a dream world for the buyer to walk into!

I have some great stagers to recommend to you who have reasonable fees! Before that I am happy to meet with you and talk about next steps in getting your home decluttered and rearranged.  Maybe we don’t need to rent any additional furniture at all.

Please give us a call at 240-401-5577 and let us help you start getting your home ready to go on the market!

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