Home Moving Buying, Selling & Renting 7 Pro Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale

7 Pro Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale


By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Whenever you’re changing homes, you have a lot to think about. Let Storage.com help you navigate the process with tips on buying, selling, or renting, or with some additional space to help along the way.

How do you stage your home? This is an important question you’ll need to answer when looking to list your property and sell your house at the price you need. Storage.com spoke with Karen Otto, owner and chief staging officer at Home Star Staging, to learn how to best prepare a home for showing.

Home Star Staging is a company in Plano, TX with a mission to help home sellers maximize the equity in their homes, create buyer-ready properties, and achieve profitable sales for nearly a decade.

Otto recommends basic home staging tips on her website that include easy-to-do steps such as decluttering and cleaning, but also include steps such as better organizing and rearranging your furniture, updating items, and creating curb appeal. While these tips are basic, Otto also gave Storage.com her top expert tips for creating an attractive environment when staging your home for sale.

1. Take a photo of each room.

“A lot can be determined by viewing the small screen of your phone or your laptop, and it can really help identify what to edit for maximum appeal,” says Otto. She adds that an important thing to look out for is “stuff”—excess decor, furniture, and other personal items that can clutter up a room.

clean living room

“When selling a home, it’s about the house itself; the architectural details, great upgrades, wood floors, flow, counter tops, high ended appliances,” she says. “So anything that distracts or detracts the eyes from the prize of the home itself is best to remove.”

As far as what do with with the “stuff,” Otto says it’s best to use an offsite self storage unit to store the decor, furniture, and other personal items you don’t want to part ways with. This will maximize the floor space of your house and create a fresh, clean feeling in your home and in your photos.

2. Clear out small items.

“Remove everything smaller than a cantaloupe—yes, the fruit—from the space,” says Otto. To give some perspective, the average cantaloupe can be anywhere between five and seven inches in diameter. Items ripe for removal can include small, personal knickknacks, books, and photos.

clean bookshelves with large decor items
Photo courtesy of Unique Exposure Photography

While it may be difficult to store away items that you think are cool or hold personal value, it’s important to remember to view the house through the eyes of potential buyers, not as your home.

“Small items appear as visual clutter,” Otto says, “especially in photos.” Clutter can distract buyers and make a space seem smaller than it really is, which can both be turn-offs.

3. Remove kitchen decor.

“If the area above your kitchen cabinets is not at least 18 inches from the ceiling, remove all decor from the top of the cabinets,” Otto says.

clean kitchen with minimal decor
Photo courtesy of Unique Exposure Photography

Again, keeping decor in this space will make your kitchen appear crowded and small. Home buyers enjoy the idea of an open and inviting cooking and eating space, which is why it’s important to remove any decor that may clutter the kitchen.

4. Use large-scale decor.

“Find the focal point in a room and accent with a large-scale piece of art or decor,” says Otto.

dining room with large mirror
Photo courtesy of Unique Exposure Photography

She says these areas can include a fireplace mantel, the area over the headboard in the master bedroom, or an area in the dining room. While pieces of art can make for great eye-catchers, the use of a decorative mirror can also help the space to appear more open and inviting to any potential buyers.

5. Buy new bedding and linens.

Otto says it’s a good choice to replace any bedding and bathroom linens that have seen their life expectancy. While these items won’t be staying in the home, it creates a pleasing image to those viewing your home.

bed with new linens
Photo courtesy of Unique Exposure Photography

“Think about how you feel when you walk into a hotel room, and you’re greeted by crisp, steamed bed linens and fluffy towels,” she says. Such rooms are designed to make you feel at home, and will produce similar results for buyers.

6. Make the outdoors great.

“Don’t overlook outdoor entertaining areas,” says Otto, “especially when listing during better weather months.”

upscale patio furniture on a deck

This may include basic steps such as sweeping and sprucing up a patio area to restaining your deck. She says you may also have to go as far as purchasing new outdoor furnishings to create the feeling of a fun and modern space.

“Take comfort in that it will be moving with you to your next home!” she adds.

7. Hire a cleaner.

“A clean house says, ‘I’ve been well cared for,'” explains Otto. Most buyers will notice any odd stains or smells that you have become used to over the years. If these aren’t enough to detract the buyer, they may use it as a way to bargain a cheaper price.

housekeeper cleaning a window

She says that if you’ve never considered hiring a professional cleaning company, the time to do so is when selling your home to ensure it has a deep clean.

“Consider what you would pay to have your car detailed prior to selling,” says Otto, “it’s well worth the investment!”

Why Home Staging Matters

Ultimately, Otto says that it’s important to follow these tips and other basic home-staging practices to prevent price erosion, as the list price can be reduced by buyers who find any objection to the condition of the home. They may also account for any repairs or updates they’d have to make when moving in and factor that into their offer.

By taking care to present your home in the best light, you can ensure that your property will make a good impression on prospective buyers. These thoughtful changes can protect your real estate investment as you work to sell your house for the best price the market will support.


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  1. Thank you for the opportunity to share these staging tips with your readers Vince! Staging is a super important marketing tool regardless of the market or price point of the home. Every other product we purchase has a marketing team behind it, staging a home is no different but who wouldn’t want the best price for their biggest investment? It doesn’t have to take a lot of money to get a home ready either as these tips show in order to get a great return on your investment in staging it. Many Realtors are also offering the services of a stager for the initial home staging consultation as part of their listing packages. Hiring the right Realtor is key for the success of the sale of your home too. Look for Realtors who offer staging and professional photography as a standard part of their marketing!


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Home Moving Buying, Selling & Renting Use Self Storage to Stage Your Home for Sale

Use Self Storage to Stage Your Home for Sale


By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com

Whenever you’re changing homes, you have a lot to think about. Let Storage.com help you navigate the process with tips on buying, selling, or renting, or with some additional space to help along the way.

Many factors play into successfully selling a house: price, the quality of the surrounding neighborhood, and local job opportunities, for example. Equally important is the house itself and its condition. Obviously, presenting the property in the best light is every homeowner’s goal when working toward a successful sale.

Staging a home for sale can be a complicated process involving many preparations to make the household as appealing as possible to potential buyers. This includes organizing and decluttering your home, as well as reading into how buyers will perceive what they see. Whether you’re preparing your home on your own or hiring a team to do it for you, you’ll also need to decide where to keep your extraneous belongings while staging a house.

Self storage can be a perfect solution when you need a temporary place to keep your belongings while your house is on the market. When selling a home through a realtor, sometimes you get notice of a visit just a few hours in advance and need to have everything cleared out and ready to make a good impression. Keep your home in tip-top shape for showing with the help of self storage.

Declutter Your Household

In staging a home for sale, you always want to give potential buyers an accurate perception of the amount of space they will be purchasing, and this is much more difficult to accomplish if your rooms are cluttered up with personal belongings. In particular, you want to create space in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom, as these are the parts of the house they will most likely to be looking at the longest and most closely. Good examples of items to consider removing when home staging include extra furniture, personal collections, boxes of packed belongings, photographs, and toys for children. Make sure the foyer is especially clear, as this will be the first part of the house the buyers see. Remember, the first impression must be a good one!

clean and clutter-free foyer

Clear as much floor space throughout the house as you can. Avoid storing in your closets or basement, for buyers will naturally want to look in there, too. You can’t leave your possessions outside (in addition to risking damage, piles of items stacked outside your house will reduce curb appeal) nor do you want to sell them.

This is where it’s helpful to have a self storage unit when home staging. Now you can clear out your household space, make it look more appealing to potential buyers, and provide comfortable and secure storage conditions for your belongings.

Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Self storage can also be helpful when giving the house’s exterior a good appearance, which is also very important to making a good impression—buyers are less likely to pick up a pamphlet if the house looks unattractive. An empty driveway and garage will give them a better impression of the home they are considering buying.

curb appeal when selling a house

Don’t forget about pictures, too! People are more likely to stop by if they see photos online or in brochures showing a house that is already staged for them to view.

For both pictures and home showings, remove any automobiles, RVs, trailers, boats, ATVs, and other large outdoor or garage equipment if possible when staging for a move. Anything large or impeding—unless you are selling it with the house—should be out of the way.

Many self storage facilities offer parking spaces and units reserved for the purpose of storing vehicles, even massive ones such as RVs. What’s more, you can keep your vehicles there as long as necessary, whether just for a few days, a couple of hours, or until your home is sold.

Repaint and Repair as Necessary

The newer the house looks, the better. In addition to refreshing the space, you also need to make any necessary repairs. You might also have to make some adjustments for the sake of selling. For instance, if you have any rooms with dark paint, you might want to consider repainting with a more neutral tone. These lighter shades give the impression that the room is larger and will make it more visually appealing for the buyer.

repainting a house for sale

However, in touching up these rooms, you’ll naturally want to avoid getting paint on your personal belongings, such as furniture and hanging artwork. The same applies if you need to make any renovations. You wouldn’t want your sofa to become coated with sawdust. This is another advantage to moving extra belongings out of the house and into storage when staging a home. Now you will have total peace of mind when touching up the place.

Ready to Sell

By renting a storage unit and moving a large amount of your personal belongings out of your home, you will have the space to properly stage your home. As you remove clutter, repaint, and complete repairs, your home will naturally gain that fresh feeling that homebuyers seek. Best of all, when your home does sell, you will be that much closer to completing your relocation and moving on to your next phase in life.

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