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How to Get More Bang for Your Buck through Staging

by Megan Morris

In real estate, we've all seen homes that sit on the market for months due to clutter and other aesthetic issues. After over a decade as a home stager, I have seen countless homes like this that sold within weeks after professional staging.

It's proven time and time again: staging a home can have a huge impact on its salability. It greatly improves your chances of selling faster and for top dollar. That's why it is one of the fastest growing techniques in real estate.


Staging is all about putting a home's best face forward and making it more desirable to buyers. With the amount of inventory out there, it's crucial that a home stand out from the rest and create a powerful first impression. Just like product designers who invest time and money in the right packaging to attract buyers, the same concept works with selling a home.

Every home is different, and staging is about more than just tidying up, painting the walls and opening the drapes. It's all about accentuating your home's best features and bringing them front and center, while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. There are some tried and true tricks, however, that work great for any property. The best strategy is to mix these with attention to a home's unique needs.

Here are some helpful hints to share with your clients when it's time to sell. 

5 Staging Tips for Any House

1. "Wow" with curb appeal. The front yard is the first thing buyers will see, so you want to make sure it inspires them to continue on inside instead of passing on it before they even get in the door. To do this, make sure the lawn is green, weeds and dead plants are removed and the home, driveway and pathways are pressure-washed. If the exterior paint has seen better days, consider investing in getting it repainted and fix any cracks in the concrete. Take a walk around your home and look for anything that needs to be repaired or could be improved.

2. Spruce up the entryway. The foyer is another important spot because it will be the first impression of the interior of your home. Walk through the front door and think about how buyers will see it. Replace any unattractive light fixtures and, if the space is bare, incorporate a console table that fits the scale of the space with some simple decor. If the space is dark or cramped, consider hanging a mirror to reflect light and make the space feel larger.

3. De-clutter and de-personalize. One of the most important parts of staging is making everything neutral. You want buyers to be focusing on the house, not the decor and whether or not it speaks to their taste. Unfortunately, many people can’t see past the decor, so if it isn't what they personally like, it can distract them from the home's real attributes. Paint any boldly colored walls and thin out the clutter and decor for a very clean look. Also, remove family photos and anything too personal.

4. Don't forget about the backyard. If you have any outdoor space, even if it's just a balcony or a courtyard, turn it into a space buyers will be excited to imagine themselves enjoying. Add some colorful potted plants, nice seating and maybe even some décor to bring it to life. If you have a large outdoor area, help potential buyers imagine entertaining out there by incorporating a living area, dining area and even a fire pit. Get creative and use your imagination.

5. Set the stage. Small details can have some of the most impact. Things like a white robe hanging in the bathroom, an open cookbook in the kitchen or a hammock in the backyard can speak to a buyer's imagination. They may seem frivolous, but these little luxuries can speak to their psychology and make them see the home as a more desirable place to be. And the best part is that these small things are inexpensive and easy to incorporate.

These tips will increase the perceived value of any home.

Megan Morris_thumbnailMegan Morris is the founder and CEO of MHM Professional Staging, LLC, an esteemed home staging, design and event styling company in Orlando, FL. She has worked in home staging and design for more than 10 years and is a best-selling author. To learn more about staging a property to sell faster and for top dollar, check out Megan's book, Stageology: How to Stage to Sell, which is available at all major booksellers online. Facebook | Twitter

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