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20 Tips for Staging a Home for Sale

And example of staging a home with a beautifully staged living room for Home staging is the key to selling your home quickly and for top dollar

Staging a home for sale is one of the most important things I do – or recommend my clients do. For some, the idea of staging their home can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Just appeal to the greatest possible pool of potential buyers by highlighting your home’s strengths and downplaying its weaknesses. From creating curb appeal to cleaning and styling, here are 20 things you can do yourself that will increase your chances of success.

  • Curb Appeal
    As I wrote about in a previous blog post, curb appeal is very important when it comes to staging a home for sale. You only have one chance to make a first impression with prospective buyers and the power of curb appeal is something to take seriously. Many buyers will drive by a home first to decide if it’s worth a look. At the very least, make sure you power wash your home’s siding and walkways, plant fresh flowers and greenery, mow the lawn and wash your windows.
  • Create an inviting entryway
    You want to create a space that says, “Welcome Home.” Repaint or stain your porch floor to welcome buyers. Need a new front door? At least add a new doormat and some blooming potted plants. If there’s room, include a piece of outside furniture. Keep your porch light on in case a buyer does a drive-by at night, and add solar lights to your front walkway.
  • Clean every inch
    Put your best foot forward with shiny floors, clean windows, scrubbed grout and sparking counters. Even closets and drawers need to be considered. Hire the pros to do the dirty work, especially if you have a large home. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on this step.
  • Get rid of the clutter
    I’ve also blogged about the importance of getting rid of clutter. This step is not easy, but it can make or break a sale. Get off-site storage if you need to, but, whatever you do, “move it or lose it.”
  • Create a balance vase of Various types of flowers in modern Cream living room - staging a home
    You want your home to look super clean but also lived in. Use vases of cut flowers from your garden for that special touch, and keep a basket filled with local products on your kitchen counter. (We do have amazing local produce so why not show it off?) Even adding a simple bowl of fresh lemons gives your kitchen that lived-in look.
  • Don’t overlook your dining room table
    Go ahead and set the dining room table with your finest. Otherwise, the entire space will look empty and uninviting.
  • Do your floors need help?
    Take a look at your floors and give them a thorough cleaning. I’m talking area rugs, too. If you need to, have the floors refinished.
  • Arrange your furniture to highlight the space
    Do you need to rearrange your furniture? If you have too much stuff, take some items out and decorate in pairs to create an inviting space.
  • Gender Neutral Bedrooms
    Think gender neutral when it comes to bedrooms; especially your master. You’ll never be in the wrong if you have clean, crisp linens, tasteful art and a cozy blanket at the foot of each bed; all in neutral colors.
  • Clean up the kid’s toys
    If you have children, try your best to keep their toys organized. Most likely, potential buyers will also have kids, so there’s a little wiggle room here, but it’s best to have everything neatly put away when staging a home for sale and potential buyers come through.
  • Make sure extra rooms are not dumping places
    Pay attention to each space. Even if you normally use an extra room or your garage for storage, don’t do it when staging a home for sale. You want to leave space for potential buyers to see themselves in your home and what they could do in every room.
  • Add a pedestal sink
    Buyers love pedestal sinks. I love them too, especially in a small bathroom because they make space look larger.
  • Personal accents
    I know I said to get rid of everything personal, but a few accents here and there are a nice touch, especially in the bathroom. Think white fluffy robes, new lush towels, bars of fresh soap and be sure to empty the garbage.
  • Pique curiosity
    Just by placing something at the top of the stairs (like a plant), or in corners and halls can keep potential buyers interested in seeing the whole house. A beautiful piece of artwork, a cozy window seat, fresh flowers, a chandelier are all good ways to pique curiosity.
  • Put awkward areas to good use
    You know that area under the stairs that usually sits empty? Get creative and find a way to make it useful. Maybe create a workstation, add some shelving, or use it for your home command center.
  • Get rid of pet odors Young woman cleaning big cute dog to show staging a home
    I’m a dog lover, but it’s a turn-off when my pet-loving clients leave their home smelly when I bring prospective buyers through. Get your furniture steam cleaned and be vigilant about vacuuming and washing your pet’s bedding. Don’t leave your pet at home alone when you have potential buyers coming through.
  • Showcase the Santa Barbara lifestyle
    We all love our Santa Barbara indoor-outdoor lifestyle, so why not show it off? Open your windows, let the sunshine in, hang a hammock in your backyard. There’s so much to love about living here, so go ahead and show it off.
  • Stage your backyard, too
    Whatever features you have in your backyard, whether it’s a fountain or an outdoor kitchen, show it off. You want prospective buyers to see themselves enjoying the space.
  • Celebrate the season
    I said season, not holiday. You don’t want to put up lots of holiday decorations, but you do want to celebrate the season. In the spring and summer, make sure your garden is in beautiful shape and that your pool and fire pit are both clean. In the fall and winter, build a fire in the fireplace and have some hot apple cider simmering on your stove.
  • Go neutral
    When it comes to paint colors, go with rich mid-tone neutrals. Make sure everything looks pulled together; even your throw pillows.

Considering a move? I hope these staging tips help you get started if you’re staging a home for sale. If you want to hire a professional, get quotes from the professionals at houzz. I would be happy to help, too. If you haven’t already done so, check out the buyers and sellers sections of my website, then give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at We can tour homes for sale while we’re staging and selling your property.


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