How to Stage a Home for Sale

Decorative table settings help buyers see what dinner could be like in that home.
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Fulfill the buyer's dream about inhabiting that space through home staging. This technique is used by home sellers, real estate agents and professional home stagers to give each room its maximum appeal. Starting with a thorough cleansing and decluttering, homeowners can create the final look of a staged room with decorative accents.

Clean Things Up

Home staging starts with a deep cleaning of the property from top to the very bottom. Clean all of those areas normally ignored in day-to-day upkeep, including the basement, cupboards, closets, walls and windows. Get up on the ladder to dust light fixtures and ceiling fans. Consider deep cleaning the carpets to give them a fresh appearance, and polishing the hardwood floors so they shine like new.

Reduce Clutter and Select Furniture

According to HGTV's FrontDoor, a big part of decluttering is removing all personal effects. These items, like photographs, most knick-knacks, used candles and even medications, are distracting and make it harder for buyers to really see the home. Open up the space more by removing extra furniture and decorative items. Think less is more, and choose only furniture in the best possible condition to remain in the home. Put everything else in storage.

Finishing Touches Make it Pop

Finishing touches give the home a showroom finish. Add a fresh coat of paint over walls that look dingy or on walls covered in bright, unusual colors. Neutral tones are most appealing and inoffensive. Spruce up the front yard and entryway with fresh landscaping. Brightly colored flowers help the home look inviting. Select a few stylish accessories to place in each room, from cookbooks to fresh flowers.

Professional Home Stagers

Homeowners with large homes, little free time or homes that have been on the market a while may want to look at hiring a professional home stager. Some real estate agents have training in this area and offer their services as home stagers. To find someone reputable and established, check with the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. Members of this association must accept credit cards, have accreditation as a staging professional and have staging insurance, among other requirements.