5 Staging Moves Real Estate Agents Will Do to Every Home (No Matter How Pretty It Already Is)

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

First impressions are important. So, just as you might primp before a first date, it makes sense to glam up your home before introducing it to potential buyers. In fact, home staging has become an industry unto itself. But that doesn’t mean you can’t implement some simple techniques to make your home look picture perfect yourself (even if you’re not even moving!) Here, two real estate agents share five of their tried-and-true home staging strategies.

Declutter all rooms.

When it comes to staging your home, less is more. So try to declutter as much as possible, says agent Lisa Larson of Warburg Realty in New York City. She recommends, for example, removing a superfluous side table that might be taking up space in a high-traffic area or paring down the visible collection of antique vases to just one or two.

“Careful editing opens up rooms and makes the home appear larger,” she says.

Agent Michelle Ficarra at The Agency Real Estate in Los Angeles agrees, suggesting that you also hide family photos and knickknacks. When personal items like this are removed, it’s easier for a potential buyer to imagine the home as theirs.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Add a fresh coat of paint.

Adding a coat of paint in a neutral color will freshen up your space and give it an instant facelift, says Larson. She likes neutral colors, like super white or white dove, because bold hues might turn people off. Likewise, a neutral palette allows buyers to picture their own furnishings in the space.

Remove window treatments.

It might seem counterintuitive, but Larson recommends removing all window treatments from the home.

“We all love window treatments,” she says. “They add instant style to a room, but, when trying to sell, it is better to bring the maximum amount of light and airiness into the space.”

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Add accessories for interest.

Our experts agree that strategically adding accessories will quickly and inexpensively add style, texture, and drama to your home. Larson suggests dolling up a beige sofa or bedroom with a few colorful throw pillows and a blanket.

“This is an easy and inexpensive way to bring some personality to a room without overpowering the space,” she says.

Ficarra enjoys creating ambience by adding artwork, flowers, candles, and other well-chosen accessories that match the lifestyle they want the home to convey. For example, she points to a current listing of hers that is being sold fully furnished. Her team used a stager and an art curator to add extra layers of visual interest to the already gorgeous furnishings.

“The overall effect is the ‘wow’ factor that buyers feel at every turn as they tour the home,” she says.

Use correctly scaled furniture.

Take a close look at your current furnishings and decide if they’re helping or hurting your chances of selling. If you need to swap some things out, consider renting furniture; there are many home-staging services that provide stylish furniture for short-term rental.

Updated August 16, 2019 — LS

Chelsea Greenwood


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