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How to stage a home for sale

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

When you sell your home, you want it to look its best. You’d like as many people as possible to see its true potential. And you want it to sell for the best possible price. To achieve this goal, an increasing number of people choose to stage their home, either themselves or with the help of clever and creative professionals.

If you are looking to stage your home, learn a few tips on what to do and, just as importantly, what not to do.

What is home staging?

Home staging often refers to a professional interior designer or stylist dressing a show home to help potential buyers visualise what a new build could look like when the builders have finished their work. Many show home purchasers choose to buy the property furnished because they are sold on the dream that the staging has presented to them.

But staging isn't just for show homes. It's a technique designers, stylists, homeowners, or landlords use with rental properties or residential homes to entice new tenants or increase the marketability of a property for sale.

The goal of staging a home for sale is to ensure it appeals to the highest number of potential buyers and helps it sell quickly and ideally for a higher price. It's not about tricking potential buyers but highlighting a property's best features, downplaying any flaws and creating a perfectly packaged home.

Why is home staging important?

According to the UK Home Staging Association research staged properties sell on average twice as fast and for 8-10% more. So when the time comes to sell your home, staging is one of the easiest ways to add value to the sale. You'll be able to boast eye-catching imagery on your estate agents' websites and brochures and on Rightmove and other property selling sites. And as a result, you'll entice more potential buyers eager to book a viewing.

With a packed viewing schedule, a well-staged property then gives your prospective buyers the experience of viewing their future home in a way that helps them to visualise their new life.

Home staging tips

There are plenty of ways to improve the appeal of your home, and here we highlight the most important ones. You'll discover the tips that will have potential buyers wanting to view your home and, once they see it, fall in love with it.


Decluttering is the single most important investment of your time to get your home ready to sell. If there's clutter around, people will focus on it rather than seeing the potential of individual rooms and spaces. So put aside plenty of time to clear the surfaces. And where necessary, invest in storage: it shows how your home can accommodate other people's belongings.

Whilst decluttering is something you can do yourself; professionals will save you time. They’ll know where to focus, and they won’t get distracted by long-lost familymementoes!

Clean it like you mean it!

A clean home shows it’s been loved and cared for and creates the perfect setting for your home staging. And a good clean will replace unsightly dust and unpleasant odours with a fresh and welcoming feel. Pet hair and odours are a particular no-no for many potential buyers, as it will leave them wondering what else your family pet may have damaged or left behind. So consider how you’ll maintain a pet-free ambience when the viewings commence.

While home staging doesn't require any major renovations, it is the perfect opportunity to patch any cracks and tatty paintwork, so take the time to tackle minor repairs.

Rework room layouts

Good furniture placement is vital for a well-staged home, especially with the trend for open plan living. People need to easily visualize how large rooms can work in practice.

For your room layout changes, focus on the high impact rooms with flexible layout options such as living rooms, dining rooms and the main bedroom. Whilst bathrooms and kitchens can make or break a house sale, there isn’t always the option to change the layout.

Begin with rethinking the layout to make the room look larger. Easy ways to achieve this are to have furniture that creates a focal point because empty spaces make the walls the focal point, making it difficult to visualise what will fit and where. And bare walls draw attention to every tiny defect. And avoid pushing your furniture against the wall: it might feel like it makes the room feel bigger, but it actually has the opposite effect.


With all your personal belongings in place, it's harder for people to picture themselves living there. It can be tempting to want your home to look lived in, but lots of family portraits mean people view it as your house rather than theirs. So, it's good to replace family portraits and personal items with neutral art and a few carefully selected ornaments.


The most effective staged properties display neutral backgrounds, brought to life with carefully chosen accessories that provide pops of colour and pockets of gentle character.

But remember, accessorising your stage isn't just about adding new items; it's just as essential to get rid of tatty rugs, worn out furnishings and overbearing ornaments. You can then add a small

collection of colourful furnishings and accessories. And don't forget to add a breath of fresh air with real plants and flowers.

Make a great first impression

Following our home staging tips, backed up with high-quality professional photography, will have people clambering to view your property. But the job isn't over until the sale is made. And you never

get a second chance to make a first impression, so ensure the first two minutes of every viewing will leave potential buyers positive and excited about the home.

Before any viewings start, paint the door, weed the garden and clean the windows. And on viewing days, let the light shine on your newly staged home by opening the blinds and pulling back the curtain.

What shouldn’t you do when staging a home?

It can be tempting to get carried away when staging a home without any professional help. You've read the books, followed the tips, and embarked on a project that takes over your life and potentially creates more problems than it solves. So it's just as important to remember a few things to avoid when staging a home:

• Don’t over-stage. Over-staged homes can be off-putting, creating a dream that potential buyers worry they can’t maintain.

• Don’t over-ornament. Too many ornaments create a visual assault for your viewers. So, keep it classy and remember that less is usually more.

• Avoid major renovations. While tackling minor repairs is a good idea, undertaking major renovations just before a house sale isn't wise. Explaining the possibilities of an extension or remodelling can be just as powerful for your buyers and a lot less hassle for you.

How a professional can help to stage your home

Many busy homeowners choose professionals to stage their home in preparation for putting it on the market. They will be more focused and more objective, and they have the experience to know what works to reveal your home's true potential. As a result, they will work their magic in a fraction of the time. And remember that a well-executed staging can result in an extra 10% on the price of your house, so it is money well spent.

At Lauren Rose Interior Design, we offer a full and flexible range of home staging services, including de-cluttering, revamping room layouts and complete interior makeovers. We even provide a furniture, furnishings and accessory hire to create the perfectly designed home, with the option to buy anything you or your buyers fall in love with.

For more information about how we can transform your home, please take a look at our service list or contact us for an informal chat.

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