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House Staging Tips: The Most Important Things You Should Do

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By Andrea

apartment-staging-by-andreasnilsson1976.jpg We tend to mention home staging often here on The Fun Times Guide, probably because it works.

For example, in Tips For Staging Your House To Get The Highest Selling Price, you can see why home staging is so important:

If the home you’re selling is brand new (or a flip), you should count on spending 1% of your home’s asking price on “staging”. In return, you can expect to get 10 times that back!

Still, house staging is quite an elusive creature.  How exactly do you stage a home?  What are all the items in the home you need to look at?  How much does it really cost to stage a house?


According to HGTV, there are 13 home staging secrets that you should address.

Check it out. They have lots of great photos to illustrate each point, plus some related articles for more info and additional perspectives.

Here are the nuts & bolts… the most important things you can do in the process of staging your home.

Make your entry more impressive.

This includes your yard, your walk, your door, and the entry of your home.  If people spot problems outside of your home, they may not even go in.

Eliminate clutter.

You don’t want anything to distract prospective home buyers.  Papers on the kitchen counter and in even on your desk will distract someone from admiring the actual room.  Moving boxes will be hard to see past.  Even a bunch of shoes in a bedroom will be seen as clutter.

Eliminate the excess.

Remove extra pieces of furniture from your rooms.  If a room is crowded with furniture, it will make the room seem smaller than it is.

Pull furniture away from the walls.

Most people place their furniture right up along the walls in each room. Instead, make a room seem cozy by making intimate arrangements with your furniture away from the walls.  Pulling furniture from the walls also allows shoppers to see the bones of the room.

Re-arrange your décor items.

Go around the house and collect all of your décor pieces.  Re-arrange them according to color and/or type and then decide which rooms each set will go into.  Since décor items are usually purchased one at a time, there tends to be problems with cohesiveness.  This will eliminate that problem.


Find purposes for unused rooms.

Just because you don’t use a room does not mean it should “look” unusable.  No one wants to see an empty unfurnished bedroom.  Instead, transform the room into a sewing room, an exercise room, or a home office.

Take advantage of natural light.

Take down those heavy drapes and let natural light flood the room. Don’t worry about privacy, you want to sell the house.  The only exception to this is if a window has a horrible view.  In that case, purchase very attractive window treatments instead.

Add more light.

Added light gives the illusion of a bigger space.  If a room is dark and dreary, add lamps, change your bulbs, and brighten that room up.

Be creative, but not outrageous with color.

Use color creatively to add architectural interest to the room.  However, be conservative with your color choices, remembering to keep the colors neutral but the impact dramatic.

black-furniture-by-ruth-l.jpg Paint accent furniture black.

Black furniture grounds the room and adds contrast that can be very striking.  If you have accent pieces that are all mis-matched, paint them all black.

Re-arrange your artwork and hang it at different levels.

If all the artwork on your walls is hung at one level, you need to take everything down and be more creative with your arrangements.  Hang some lower, to be viewed by a person sitting in a chair.  Hang a vertical stack of artwork.  Create a design on the wall with art pieces.

Use the rule of threes when accessorizing.

Too many accessories are translated as clutter.  Don’t get carried away when decorating.  And never use more than 3 of any one item.

Use seasonal greenery to bring the outside in.

Fresh flowers and foliage really make a staged home look great.  The best place to get them for cost savings and seasonal impact is from outside.  If at all possible, try to bring in flowers and foliage from your own yard to add to your home’s ambiance.


How Much Does Home Staging Cost?

exterior-house-landscaped-by-staged4more.jpgAs for how much money you should put toward staging your home, you need to be careful to not spend so much that you cannot recoup your expenses.

Most of your money should go toward paint, kitchen and bathroom facelifts if necessary, and a bit of landscaping.

If you purchase furniture that will be used to stage this home, you can always use it in our new home, so that is a bonus.

Keep in mind, you may also need to spend some money on storage costs, as you will be cleaning out the clutter before your stage your home.

In all, don’t spend more than between 0.5 and 1% of the property’s market price on fixing it up and staging it.