July 3, 2018

You've decided to sell a property. It could be your home, a rental, or a house flip.

So, you contact your real estate agent, snap a few pics, write a catchy description, and done.

Some people come look, but it isn't really getting the traction you want. So, you go take a look at the competition.

You tour a property or two and love the warmth as you enter on a cold autumn day. The rooms are arranged in a thoughtful and inviting manner, and....

You realize you forgot to stage your house for sale!

Face, palm.

The idea behind staging a property is to highlight a home’s strongest features, downplay its weaknesses, and sell your home for your asking price (or more) in the shortest time possible.

Home buyers are often not an imaginative bunch. They often cannot see beyond the smallest flaws up front.

If your property is former rental property or a house flip it might be empty. Home buyers won't get past the cold feeling as the enter, the echoes, and the emptiness.

If you are living there, home buyers may not have the ability to see beyond the clutter and questionable artwork.

So, you need to create an inviting, clean space that will allow buyers to envision their family living in the home. It is a great option rather than cleaning, painting, and renovating it.

To bring in the best bids, use these home staging tips.


Whether it’s a pile of shoes in the mudroom or office files and a laptop that have taken over the dining room table...

Clear out the clutter. 

Too much stuff not only distracts from the strong elements of the home, but it can also give house hunters the perception that the space is small and doesn’t have adequate storage.

Pro Tip:

House hunters will want to see the closet space, so avoid tossing the piles of clutter into the closet for hiding.


The best staged homes allow the buyer to see their family living in the house, which can be difficult with reminders of another family at every turn.

Groupings of family photos and the personal collection of bowling league trophies need to be removed. 

Tuck toys away, remove refrigerator art, and pack away medicines usually left on the kitchen counter.

The home should feel comfortable with neutral colors and décor that make it difficult to tell who currently lives in the home.

Deep Clean

Everything in the home may not be new, but it can certainly look it!

The kitchen appliances should shine and reminders of last night’s dinner – splattered sauce on the backsplash or crumbs on the counter – should be eliminated.

The bathrooms need to be spotless with a welcoming fragrance. From the showerhead to the corner behind the door you think no one will notice…every spot needs to be cleaned.

Cleaning the windows allows for more natural light to seep in and a commercial carpet cleaner can be rented to remove stains and odors.

Rearrange or Eliminate Furniture

Showcase the home’s space by using appropriately sized furniture in the right arrangements. 

Create conversational seating by positioning the chairs toward one another rather than lining all the furniture along the walls.

On that note, if any of the furniture is too large for the room, or blocks a walkway, remove it completely. Appropriately sized furniture will accent the space in the room while also giving buyers a realistic feel for what can fit.


Whether the lime green kitchen walls need to be hidden or the marks and scrapes from, well…just life need to be concealed, a fresh coat of paint can do the trick. Here are some color tips for rooms of the house:

  • Living room: If the living room is a smaller size, use a light color to create an illusion of more space. For properties with segmented spaces, stick with a uniform color so the rooms flow seamlessly.
  • Master bedroom: Appeal to all buyers with a neutral tone. Avoid the gender specific décor by using a taupe or gray shade.
  • Bathroom: Create a relaxing vibe in the home’s bathroom with a soft white, light gray, or cream.

Pro Tip:

Replace or add towel holders with a modern style. The change is inexpensive but creates a spa-like experience, especially with new, white towels.

Interior design experts suggest these paint colors will help you get a higher asking price.

Throw A Party…

Or at least set up the dining space to mimic a dinner party.

The space will look inviting and give home buyers an idea of how they can use the space to host guests.

Place dinner settings at each seat and insert small fresh-flower arrangements down the center of the table for a comfortable, informal look.

Window Treatments

Remove the dusty blinds and replace them with light-colored drapes that hang to the floor to create an elongated, spacious feel.

Hang the drapes on the outside of the windows, opening them as wide as possible to make the window appear much larger.

Pro Tip:

For a seamless look that makes a room feel even bigger, match your drapes to the wall color.

Use Awkward Space

For the space under the stairs or the nook in the living room that’s always just hosted throw pillows, give it a defined use.

Consider if that awkward area can be used as a work space, reading nook, or if adding shelves can give it more purpose.

Stage a home for a quick sale with our tips and suggestions. What are some inexpensive, easy ways you’ve transformed a room?


Staging your house is imperative to selling for top dollar, in the shortest time frame possible, and reducing your stress level. 

These are just some simple and low cost ways to help you stage and improve your chances. By implementing these, you're on your way to quickly selling your house!

About the author 

Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew is the Content Director at Clever Real Estate, a St. Louis based startup offering to sell your home with flat fee real estate agents. Most of his work can be found on the Clever Real Estate Blog and other real estate publications.

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