How to Expertly Stage Your Home for Sale

Stephanie Oliver
Published on May 19, 2022

How to Expertly Stage Your Home for Sale

Trying to sell your home without getting it ready is like going on a first date in your pajamas. You wouldn’t show up to the restaurant in slippers because first impressions mean a lot. To pull off a good first impression for potential buyers, you have to put a bit of work into prepping the home.

It’s worth every bit of effort, too, since well-prepped and staged homes spend more than 70 percent less time on the market. Don’t let your home be the least presentable on the block, and spend some time decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging your home with these expert tips from Stephanie Oliver.

Remove Yourself

The first step is to take yourself out of the home by going room-to-room and removing any décor, furniture, or accessories that scream personality. Depersonalizing a space allows people to feel like they’re in a neutral space, not visiting your home. Buyers should visualize their own lives in the home, and it’s hard to do that when your family portraits surround them or your favorite sports team’s memorabilia jump out at them.

Go through the home and pack up these items for your next home, saving you some time in the long run. Additionally, the goal here is to stay as organized as possible. If you have trouble determining what should go and what should stay, attend a local open house to see how the owner of that property depersonalized their home. Take note of how little clutter they’ve left as well. That clutter-free vibe is what you’ll accomplish next.


With most of your personality packed away, you’ll see that what’s remaining is either practical or useless junk. Decluttering is much simpler when you’ve already removed most of what is important to you. Don’t let the freed-up space fill up with more clutter in the meantime.

Decluttering is healthy for your mental state, as well as your listing, and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Do the same thing you did when depersonalizing the home, and go through every room of the house, leaving no closet or drawer unopened. Potential buyers will look in every closet they can, so your goal is to get rid of clutter, not hide it.

If you’re tackling more than one room at a time, you might find that it’s easier to just temporarily box up everything and empty out much of what’s in the rooms, giving you more space to work. If so, avoid confusion by using this label maker to keep everything straight.  

Separate items for storage/keep, donation, and trash, and then get down to business. Get rid of any trash, such as outdated materials, notebooks, receipts and the like. Donate any duplicate items you have, as well as the things you haven’t used or touched for a year, and see how far you’ve come.

Your closet is probably filled with clothes you forgot you owned or are out of touch with today’s style, so go ahead and put them into the donation bin. Anything worn out should be trashed, including towels, dishcloths or oven mitts, where you’ll also find another heavily cluttered area.

The kitchen is full of clutter that can usually go. If you can’t fit more than two cookie sheets in your oven at a time, why do you need four or five? You don’t. You probably don’t need a handheld mixer and a stand mixer at the same time, either. Minimize the amount of storage you need to pay for by reducing your clutter and belongings. Then, start staging what remains.

Stage Your Home

Depersonalizing and decluttering your home costs you little to nothing, and your space is finally ready to be staged. You can go with a professional staging company, or you can get resourceful and DIY your home staging. If you can’t seem to find any ideas you like online for staging your home, do as you did before and attend nearby open houses to see what works and what’s currently in. And if you’re worried about the condition of your furniture, look for upholstery cleaning services online to help freshen up your existing pieces or consider renting some out for the next month or two for your listing photos and open houses.

Give your home a scrub down before staging it with neutral walls and décor. Keep things fresh and inviting with clean fabrics and linens, and don’t light any strongly scented candles. Let your home’s natural features do the heavy-lifting while you start taking offers. 

Stephanie Oliver has over 20 years in the real estate industry.  And what that looks like is not just driving clients around to homes, and opening doors, or just sticking a sign in the yard, and crossing fingers…but helping them to accomplish their goals. Call 310-773-1343.

Article kindly contributed by Jim Vogel, at, which provides tips, advice, wellness and preventative suggestions, as well as home care and family care for seniors. Check them out for referrals, information, and programs for your loved one!

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