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5 Tips for Staging Your Home Like a Pro

Megan West - @the.westnest on Instagram

Buyers form an opinion of your home in the first few clicks through your online listing, or first 7-10 seconds upon entering your home in-person. With such a small window to make a positive impression on potential buyers, staging your home is key.

Staging your home prior to listing allows you to accentuate the positive features of your home, correct as many negative features or issues as you can, and gives you the opportunity to create a setting that buyers can personally and emotionally connect to.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 report, agents reported that 83% of buyers were better able to visualize themselves living in a home that had been staged, and 25% of agents said a staged home increased the value of the offer price by 1-5% in comparison to homes not staged in the market.

Staging your home doesn’t have to be a large, outsourced expense - there are many little things you can do personally to get your home ready for buyers to walk through!


Although it is difficult to start packing up your personal items and memories of your home, buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the space. When a prospective buyer walks through the door, you want them to be able to envision themselves there. The best way to accomplish this is to highlight the character and charm your home offers but remove personal touches or trinkets that could prevent buyers from viewing themselves in the home. This includes things like:

- Removing framed photos from walls, shelves, dressers

- Clearing your bathrooms of personal items like toothbrushes and makeup

- Removing clothing, laundry baskets and jackets from plain sight including from the laundry room/mudroom

- Putting away religious or political items


Buyers are looking for spacious rooms, plenty of storage, and a home that fits their family. Removing clutter from your home makes your rooms and storage space appear larger and more functional. Consider removing bulky furniture pieces like oversized dressers or accent chairs from bedrooms and living rooms. Slim out the number of items on your bookshelves and in your closets. One of my favorite tips is to reduce the clothing on your closet shelves and hangers by two-thirds. Leave space between hangers; nicely fold your towels and washcloths on shelves. Reduce the number of shoes on the floor.

- Slim out the clothing in your closets – significantly!

- Reduce the number of items on your bookshelves, coffee tables, shelving

- Remove small appliances or trinkets from your kitchen counters


Although the pink walls in your baby room and the red accent wall in your living room were favorites of yours, you will appeal to more buyers if you transition to neutral tones for the sale of your home. Neutral tones like grey, greige, whites and tans will make your space feel larger and more inviting to your potential buyers. A neutral color palate allows them to walk into the home and picture their furniture and personal items (and better yet, no work to be done!). For a reasonable price, or by investing some sweat equity, you can make a big impact by refreshing any of your bold paint colors before you list.

Some of my favorite neutral colors right now:

- Sherwin Williams Wordly Gray: A light, warm gray perfect for any part of the house including large open concept living areas

- Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray: Slightly darker tone than the Wordly Gray but a beautiful warm gray great for any part of the home

- Benjamin Moore Cloud Nine: A neutral white that looks great with black accents

- Benjamin Moore Simply White: A neutral warm white that makes a room feel cozy, yet crisp

- Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige: Light beige with taupe undertones, great if you are looking for warmer tones in any part of the home

- Hallman Lindsay Hearthstone: For those Wisconsinsites – Hallman Lindsay makes a custom color for Veridian Homes called Hearthstone – it is a soft greige tone that looks great in any space. Brings out cool and warm tones depending on what you pair it with. (I have this color in my house right now and LOVE it!)


We all have furniture or décor pieces that have been handed down through generations, or are a comfortable favorite we can’t live without, however, bulky, worn, or oversized pieces can make your rooms appear smaller or more dated than they are. Go room by room and evaluate if the room might feel bigger or more complete if you adjust a piece or two.

- Select your best pieces – remove any worn or “just okay” pieces for staging

- Create effortless walkways – make sure a buyer can easily and smoothly walk through the home – don’t cut off walkways with furniture

- Ensure each room has a focal point - center a living room on a fireplace, a bedroom on a headboard, etc.

- Remove bulky furniture - Pull a bulky dresser out of a bedroom to make the room feel much larger

- Float your living room furniture versus pushing it against the wall to make your space feel larger and more functional

- Minimize wall hangings and instead focus on one larger décor piece

- Use area rugs to help define spaces, especially in open concept homes


Last, but certainly not least, think of the little things that wow you when you walk into a resort, or watch the reveal on an HGTV Fixer Upper episode. What makes the space feel extra homey, relaxing or luxurious? Give those same vibes to your potential buyers.

- Add baskets with rolled towels to your bathroom

- Add candles to kitchens and bathrooms

- Make your beds like a pro – here’s a great tutorial that I follow for styling my beds

- Add greenery to the space – fresh floral, indoor plants and greenery make a big impact on adding life and texture to the home

- Leave wine or cookies out for showings

Good luck on your home staging and sale! Check out more décor ideas, tips and trends by following me on Instagram - @the.westnest.

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