Tips to Stage a Home for Sale and Attract Buyers

Upgraded kitchen, staged and ready for viewing by homebuyers
Want to sell your home? Consider potential buyers’ preferences, update appliances and keep colors neutral.

Staging a home is more complex than you might think.

Homeowners are often told to tidy up when they’re staging their home, and most think that decluttering their rooms will be enough to wow a prospective buyer.

Unfortunately, buyers can be hard to please, and they’re not quick to dismiss issues we may think of as small.

Most home buyers aren’t experts in home design, so they’ll have a hard time visualizing how their possessions will fit in a new home.

It’s on the seller to set a scene that makes it easier for the potential buyer to visualize their new home.

If you’re looking to stage your home, here’s what you need to know to make an impact with prospective buyers.


This home has curb appeal, but it's also at risk of flooding.
Curb appeal instantly captures a homebuyer’s attention. (DepositPhotos)

1. Create Curb Appeal

The first part of a home someone sees is the outside — this is known as curb appeal in the real estate market. You should boost the appeal of the exterior of your home to get people to fall in love from the first moment they see it.

Start by power-washing the driveway, porches, sidewalks and exterior of your home. This will provide a nice, clean appearance.

Potential buyers should be able to find your home effortlessly, so ensure your house numbers are large enough and placed correctly so they’re easy to read.

Maintaining good curb appeal also involves keeping a manicured lawn and groomed trees.


Living room with wainscoting, wooden floors, an area rug, a coffee table, plant wallpaper, potted plants and a flat-screen TV above a console.
Make your living room look cozy, but leave out personal items.

2. Find a Balance

You need to strike a balance between presenting a homey atmosphere and one that’s conservative enough that the average buyer can easily picture their possessions fitting in.

Potential buyers need to feel as if the home is comfortable, but they shouldn’t feel as if they’re intruding in your home. Striking this balance involves removing personal items from the home.

Pack your personal belongings for storage and only leave key items that will help potential buyers envision themselves in your home.

Decorate each room with a few neutral items that give off a homey appeal. Put a throw over your couch and lay out your dining set. Add vases with flowers to spruce up your home so it feels inviting for the potential buyer.


Paint with no volatile organic compounds opened. The paintbrush is on top of the can.
Planning on painting a room? First, make sure the paint has no volatile organic compounds.

3. Keep Colors Neutral

When done properly and by consulting an interior decorator, a striking wall color can be a massive selling point for prospective buyers. But such a bold choice also could come back to bite you if it’s not done properly.

Using neutral colors — lighter colors such as gray, tan and white — are airy and provide a more spacious feel to the home.

Even better, they allow potential buyers to see a blank canvas on which their picture frames and paintings can hang, and they’re more likely to match a buyer’s décor.

Take a look at your wall colors. If you have vibrant colors, paint the walls before listing your home.


Paver patio with pergola and picnic bench
This backyard once was bare, but now it has a paver patio with a pergola, swing set, picnic table and lush landscaping.

4. Create a Backyard Paradise

The backyard is one area that potential homebuyers will really be evaluating. Most people want to have a porch and some space to enjoy cookouts and parties.

Decorating your backyard with minimal items can go a long way in making your home seem appealing to a potential buyer. Add patio furniture and a firepit. Make your backyard seem as if it’s a backyard paradise, perfect for relaxation.

Staging your home before listing it for sale is a big deal. When you get it right, you can get top dollar for your home. When you get it wrong, it can detract from the value of your home and have your house sitting on the market for a while.

What are some of your home staging tips? Share them in the comments!

AnnaBeth Rouse is a freelance writer.

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