Should I Stage Every Room?

I'm often asked by homeowners whether they should stage every room of their home when preparing for market.  While any staging is better than none at all, I recommend accessing every space, including the exterior when staging.  Doing so will paint a cohesive picture for those viewing your home which will ultimately bring a quicker sale.

Here's a quick guide to a comprehensive staging:

Starting with the curb appeal, take a look at the home's overall appearance.  Sprucing up around the front door with a a fresh doormat, large legible house numbers, and an updated front door will make the home a 'must see' for more prospective buyers.

Inside the front door consider items that could be done throughout the home.  These are larger ticket items such as fresh paint or new carpet.  Perhaps taking down dark or dated window treatments throughout the home will bring in more light; always a plus when staging.  Other factors to consider are the smell inside the home.  A subtle scent from a diffuser or plug-in can give the alluring aroma of fresh apple pie or a seaside retreat.  To freshen any home, open the windows daily, especially in bedrooms that have been slept in, to eliminate stale odors.

Next, each room, including closets and storage areas should be analyzed.  Walk through the home as if you were a prospective buyer.  Open each door and think about the first impression you receive. 

Apply these three principles to each space:

  1. lighten
  2. brighten
  3. de-clutter

Lighten and brighten any room by adding floor or table lamps and replacing bulbs in fixtures with the brightest bulb recommended by the manufacturer.  Removing dark accessories and furnishings will also help to lighten and brighten.  Store away personal photos, knick-knacks, and any item that can draw attention away from the home.  A good rule of thumb when de-cluttering is to store any item you wouldn't find in your home if it were a hotel suite.

Closets, cabinets, and storage spaces should contain only items that will be used within the coming 3 months.  Shoes and boots can be neatly arranged in boot trays.  Hanging clothing can be paired down and arranged by color on matching hangers.  Wherever possible, keep floor space clear.  This will make rooms, especially closets, appear larger.


Kitchens and bathrooms are key selling factors for any home.  Clear off counter tops except for a bowl of fresh apples in the kitchen and nice-looking soap on the bathroom vanity.  Keep in mind that buyers touring your home may look inside of the refrigerator, oven, pantry doors, and all closets.

Lastly, your staging efforts will be required in the garage and for exterior spaces.  In the garage, remove insect and rodent repellents from sight, remove vehicles for showings, and clear the floor space.  Outside, patios and decks can contain neatly arranged furnishings showing buyers how they can utilize each space.  Lawns should be trimmed and kept weed free and fresh flowers and mulch can make a tired exterior look fresh again.

For staging help to make any listing shine, Get Started with a Staging Report.  I'll tour your home and give you professional room-by-room guidance with shopping links to any recommended updates.



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