The Importance of Staging Your Home

Decluttering is a lot of work, so start your home-selling process early by focusing on the task.

Ana Piper
Making your house move-in ready can pay off. Homes that have been staged typically sell quicker or for more money.

The process of selling, packing and moving may seem like a daunting task, but what can you do to prepare your home for sale before it even hits the market? It’s no secret that homes that have been staged either professionally or in some respect by the sellers typically sell quicker or possibly sell for more money than originally anticipated. In a research report by the National Association of Realtors, 83 percent of buyer agents confirmed that staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.

After years of making your house a home, you’ve undoubtedly collected more furniture and accessories than you know what to do with, so where do you start?

The entire staging process most likely feels overwhelming. Lindsey Riemenschneider, a professional stager and owner of C&B Staging and Redesign in Columbus, notes that the first step to manage the staging process is to declutter and then declutter some more.

“Use this time to purge items you no longer use or need,” she says. “Plus it will be less you have to move when the house sells.”

Remember those bins of holiday decorations you haven’t used in the last three years? This is the time to throw them out. Make the process more manageable and rent a dumpster for a few days. The dumpster has dual purposes: to dispose and to give you a deadline for finishing the task.

We’ve probably all heard that removing personal photos is another key to selling your home but be sure to consider the surroundings after personal items are put away.

Riemenschneider suggests painting the walls a neutral color. “If they are already neutral, still put a fresh coat in the main living spaces,” she says. “It will help the house look fresh, bright and clean.” After creating a blank slate with the walls, it’s time to address furniture.

Typically, for staging purposes, we have too much of it in any room, so be sure to edit and keep pieces that serve a purpose in the overall layout of the room. Experts say there are key rooms to stage in your home. Focus your attention on the most lived-in spaces. According to the NAR’s staging report, the most important rooms to be staged are the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom and the dining room, in that order. 

Curb appeal is a weighted factor for potential buyers deciding to look at your home. The first photo they will see online is typically the exterior front of your home, and it takes just a few seconds to decide if they will look closer at interior photos which could lead to an in-person showing.

Be sure your landscaping, front porch and driveway are clean and tidy. A fresh coat of paint on the front door may be a good idea. “While the showing agent is unlocking the [lockbox] the buyers are looking at the exterior so you definitely want to make a good impression,” says Riemenschneider.