What is home staging?

Household 3 min read

Staging a home to sell highlights a property’s best features and allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the space. It involves removing clutter, rearranging furniture, swapping out decor, and changing paint colors to give the home a clean, composed look, appealing to a broad audience. We spoke with Kati Baker, a luxury home staging specialist for Downtown Apartment Company, to get her best home staging tips.

What are the benefits of staging a home?

A 2021 survey from the National Association of Realtors® reveals that home staging is a significant part of the home buying and selling process. While many buyers create a budget when buying a home, sellers often forget to budget for selling. Even if you are thinking about selling your home as-is, staging could help you get a higher offer. Potential buyers want to envision themselves in the home. According to the survey, “82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.” A few more benefits of staging a home include:

Faster sale and higher sales price

Staged homes appeal to a broader audience, leading to more foot traffic and a potentially quicker sale. Homes that have been staged spend between 30-50% less time on the market compared to non-staged homes. More than half of seller’s agents reported an increase of the dollar value offered by buyers compared to similar homes that weren’t staged.

De-clutters your home

Staging your home encourages you to eliminate things you don’t use or want anymore.

Helps home features stand out

Features buyers might miss come into clear view after making needed changes to de-clutter and freshen up the house.

How does home staging work?

There are typically three options on staging a home to sell, : through your real estate agent, through a professional, or by yourself.

Through your real estate agent

Some real estate agents and brokers include home staging costs in their fees and will assist with home staging tips and ideas.

Hire a professional home stager

A home stager will evaluate the condition of your home, offer suggestions on how to improve its appeal to a wider group of potential buyers, and then make the recommended changes. Stagers often have an inventory of furniture, decor, artwork, and other items to help your home look its best; however, using a stager’s inventory may come with an extra fee.


You can also opt to do it yourself. If you choose not to work with a professional, Baker recommends getting a friend or family member to help. They may identify things you’ve gotten used to that aren’t attractive to others.

How much does home staging cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, home staging costs between $774 and $2,847, with an average cost of $1,774 as of August 2022. There are also additional factors that influence home staging cost, such as the size of your home, where you live, and move-out cleaning costs.

Home staging tips

If you decide to stage your home yourself, follow these home staging tips to help you showcase what your home offers.

  • Declutter your home: Work on decluttering your home so buyers can focus on your home’s features instead of your belongings.
  • Make repairs: Change out light bulbs, fix leaky faucets, and make important repairs before selling your house.
  • Deep clean your home: Clean your house from top to bottom before listing it and learn how to clean before your next open house.
  • Go neutral: When staging a house for sale, swap rooms with bold paint colors to something neutral and remove items that may be offensive or appeal to only a small pool of buyers.
  • Avoid overdecorating: It will make your home feel cramped.
  • Highlight features: Add extra touches to highlight noteworthy features.
  • Revive the exterior: Remove clutter from the yard, paint your front door, add a welcome mat, flowerpots, window boxes, and touch up chipping paint.

Other considerations for staging a home to sell

Making a home maintenance checklist — and following it — will help you be ready when you prepare to sell your home. You can also do small upgrades to make a big difference, like updating your blinds and window treatments.

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