There is an art form to selling a home for the best possible price. It takes a special effort to transform the place you have lived in and loved for years into a place that beckons a new family to enjoy living within those familiar walls. Somehow, you must preserve all the charm and love that has existed in the home for you while also making room for future buyers to imagine their own lives in the home you are putting on the market. This process is known as staging.

It’s called staging because the goal is to set your home as the stage for the next buyer’s wonderful new life. Here in the Briargate community, the scenery is already perfect. Beautiful neighborhoods, inviting shopping centers, and a great school district. There’s no denying that Briargate has its own unique allure but your home also has to become a part of that scene. Today we’re here to talk about how to easily stage your Briargate home to attract new buyers and win the best possible price when the sale is finally completed.

What is Home Staging?

Staging is the art of making your home look and feel like something you’d see in a magazine spread or on HGTV. You want to show off your house in the best light, emphasizing how spacious the rooms are, how lovely the garden is, and how enjoyable it would be to cook in your kitchen. To do this, you need more than an empty house or your old family furniture. In fact, staging often means arranging a home to be more beautiful than it is functional.

Empty rooms lack charm and personality, but rooms furnished normally will seem cluttered or too personal. What you need is strategic home decoration, and that’s what staging is. The good news is that staging is easier than you think. You don’t need to be a professional decorator, or even hire one. A few small changes with your own furniture can make a huge difference in how home buyers will feel when they walk through your home.

Make Room for the Buyer’s Imagination

The first step to any staging process is to make room for the buyer to imagine their own future life in your home for sale. This step is as simple as packing away a few things and clearing your surfaces. If the house is still decorated with your family photos and personal items, potential buyers will feel like they are trespassing in your family home. Instead, you want to create a scene with enough room for buyers to ‘fill in the blanks’ with their own personal items and the lifestyle they will be bringing to the home if they choose to buy.

If you’ve already moved out, clearing the way is easy but you’ll need to find furniture to serve as props in your staging process. This can be minimal and is called vignette staging. A few small decorative items may be all you need. If your furniture is still in place, staging is an art of careful selection and placement Here’s how to get started:

Eliminate Clutter

Start with a mental image of your home like a magazine spread. See the clean lines and elegant decor in your mind and then compare it to reality. Start eliminating clutter by creating those clean lines and packing away the majority of your personal items. Collections should be wrapped carefully in paper and boxed. Surfaces should be cleared Books can be kept on the shelves only if you remove the shabby ones and organize by height and color. Consider renting a storage space to hold your boxed items so that every room of the house is available to be toured.

Pack Away Family Photos and Personal Items

Next, make sure that you remove all signs that the house belongs to a specific family. Family photos, heirlooms, trophies, and other similar things will make it impossible for buyers to imagine their own lives filling the home. Taking down your personal items will also ensure that strangers aren’t poking through your private life while touring the home.

Clear Out Bulky Furniture

Bulky furniture may be useful, but it also makes your rooms look smaller than necessary. Dressers and televisions in bedrooms, for example, can be removed to highlight the space around beautifully made beds. Any large cabinetry like an armoire, china cabinet, or large entertainment centers should also be removed to emphasize space. Let the buyer imagine what they would use the space for instead.

Hide Your Cars

Cars in the driveway or in front of the house are also a subtle way of saying ‘someone already lives here’. Be careful where you park when offering tours and taking pictures for the online listing. Park your cars away from the home or, ideally, around the back if that’s an option.

woman making a bed and staging house

Stage With Purpose and Follow the Rules

Once you’ve made plenty of room for staging by packing up personal items and bulky furniture, it’s time to think about your staging plan. Stage with a purpose, know the impression you’re trying to create and create it. Do you want to give off the air of a vacation home, a welcoming place to raise children, or a luxurious place for an older couple to retire? This purpose may influence the choices you make.

No matter what purpose you choose, there are a few simple staging rules that will help you create an elegant and inviting open house experience for potential buyers. Don’t worry if you’re not a staging expert. Staging isn’t all that complicated and if you want a consultation, The Johnson Team will be happy to send someone out to give you free staging advice at any time.

Rule 1: The More Floor, The Better

Floor space is the key ingredient to any good staging design. In a functional, lived-in home, you use your space efficiently and pack furniture in where you need it. For staging, you want to show off your beautiful floors instead. Pull furniture away from the walls, remove anything that takes up too much floor space, and look for ways to make your rooms look larger.

A special note for area rugs: Don’t. Area rugs make rooms look smaller and hide your lovely floors. Area rugs are only useful if you are hiding an area of floor that is not so attractive, like stains or outdated tile.

Rule 2: Minimal Furniture

Because floor space is your primary goal, furniture should be opt-in. Carefully choose the furniture you will use to stage with to be as minimal as possible, and is often best presented when pulled away from the walls to create an impression of extra space. You will probably want to remove extra seating, tables and shelves, and anything that isn’t necessary to create a minimal impression of a welcoming home.

Rule 3: One Decoration Per Wall or Surface

Next is the one-decoration rule. Bare walls and tables will make a house look inhuman, but too much will make it seem cluttered or personal. Choose one compelling accent piece for each wall, table, or countertop space. A beautiful painting on a wall, a centerpiece for your dining room table, a single elegant lamp beside the couch. This will create warmth and detail to the home without clutter.

Rule 4: Colorful Towels

This might surprise you, but towels are an important touch when staging a home. A towel in the right place suggests that a home is ready for new owners to move right in and start their lives the moment they purchase your house. Pick colorful accent towels and place them on the towel racks and shelves throughout the house. Don’t forget one on the oven door as well.

Rule 5: Staging Items Add Life and Color

Finally, staging items can be used to add both life and color to your home. A bowl of fruit (real or not) can make a home seem more welcoming and subtly suggest a healthy life for new owners. A pair of cocktail glasses on the patio table, on the other hand, suggest a life of leisure. From fuzzy slippers by the bed to strategic throw-pillows, there are a number of staging tricks that will enhance the welcoming impression of your house for sale.

Staging is a simple process that many homeowners do on their own with their own furniture, which is a great way to save money on seller services. But you also don’t have to rely solely on your own sense of style and understanding of local buyers. Call The Johnson Team for a free staging consultation and we’ll send an expert stager to your home to give tips and help you finalize your staging plan. With the right staging, you can notably increase the sale price of your Briargate home.