The Dos and Don’ts of Home Staging: A Guide for Sellers

When you decide to sell your home, staging it correctly can be the key to making a great impression on potential buyers. Here are some detailed tips and common mistakes to avoid to help you stage your home like a pro.


The Do’s of Home Staging:

1. Focus on Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is your home’s first chance to make a good impression. Ensure your lawn is neatly mowed, hedges are trimmed, and the pathway to your front door is inviting. Adding a few potted plants or a new doormat can also contribute positively to potential buyers’ first views of your home.

2. Declutter and Neutralize

Buyers need to envision themselves living in your space, which is hard to do if your personal items are everywhere. Declutter surfaces and remove personal items like family photos and eccentric decorations. Neutralizing your space with soft, neutral wall colors helps create a blank slate that appeals to a broader audience.

3. Refresh Walls, Rugs, and Window Treatments

A fresh coat of paint can rejuvenate a space and make it feel new. Consider updating any worn-out rugs and cleaning window treatments to enhance natural lighting. Bright, airy rooms are more inviting and can make spaces appear larger.

4. Brighten and Add Warmth

Proper lighting is essential. Open all curtains and blinds to maximize natural light, and replace any outdated or dim lighting fixtures with bright, modern ones. Adding elements like soft throw blankets or a vase of fresh flowers can also add warmth and make the space more welcoming.

5. Make It Shine

Thoroughly clean your entire home, especially high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. Floors should be spotless, surfaces gleaming, and it should smell fresh. This level of detail shows buyers that the home is well-cared for and move-in ready.

6. Make Updates Before Listing

Small updates can lead to a big return. Consider simple changes like updating cabinet knobs or light fixtures, or installing a new backsplash in the kitchen. These minor tweaks can modernize your space without requiring a significant investment.

7. Use Soft White Lighting

Soft white bulbs create a warm, inviting glow throughout your home. This lighting is flattering to both your decor and potential buyers’ perceptions of the space.

8. Get Professional Photos Taken

Once your home is staged, professional photos can capture it in the best light. These photos are crucial for your online listings and can be the difference between someone deciding to visit your home or skipping it.


The Don’ts of Home Staging:

1. Don’t Be Emotionally Attached

It can be challenging to let go, but remember, you need to detach from your home to present it as a product on the market. Try to see it through potential buyers’ eyes, focusing on what will make it most appealing, not your personal attachment.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Team Up

Sometimes, bringing in a professional stager or asking for help from a friend with an eye for design can provide new perspectives that enhance your staging efforts.

3. Don’t Leave Anything Broken

Complete all necessary repairs before listing your home. Functional issues can turn buyers off or lead them to request concessions during negotiations.

4. Don’t Invest in Major Renovations

Now is not the time for significant overhauls, which might not return their full cost. Focus instead on cosmetic improvements that boost your home’s appeal.

5. Don’t Buy All New Furniture

Instead of purchasing new items, consider renting key pieces to improve the look of your space. This approach is cost-effective and can be tailored to create the aesthetic that appeals to buyers.

6. Don’t Overstage

Avoid going overboard with staging elements that can make the home feel impersonal or like a showroom. Overstaging can be as off-putting as not staging at all, making it hard for buyers to envision living in the space. Keep decorations tasteful and minimal to enhance rather than overwhelm the space.

7. Don’t Ignore the Backyard

The backyard is often an overlooked area in home staging, but it is just as important as the interior. A neatly mowed lawn, some simple landscaping, and tidy, comfortable outdoor furniture can transform an outdoor space into an appealing feature that potential buyers can envision enjoying.

8. Don’t Use Bold Personal Colors

While you might love bold colors, they might not appeal to the average buyer. Painting over walls with neutral tones is a common staging tip because it universally appeals more and allows buyers to easily paint over it with their preferred colors after purchase.


By following these dos and don’ts, you’ll be well on your way to staging a home that sells not just a building, but a lifestyle. Staging isn’t just about decorating; it’s about strategic presentation that maximizes your home’s strengths and minimizes its weaknesses.

Bonnie Visentin – Sales Representative

Contact Bonnie



Visentin Real Estate

Be sure to watch David Visentin on the popular long-running HGTV program LOVE IT OR LIST IT

In each episode designer Hilary Farr and realtor David Visentin compete for the homeowners’ final real estate decision on whether to stay in their newly renovated home or to sell it and move on to another home better suited to their current needs.


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