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The Best Home Staging Principles

Home staging is one of the most important things home sellers can do to successfully sell their homes to secure the highest price. As a homeowner you may wonder how home staging differs from simply cleaning the house, putting away personal items, and improving the curb appeal. 

The main difference is the impact you want your home to have on homebuyers. While making the house clean and neat is good, it’s not enough. It’s like doing the minimum and expecting maximum results.  With home staging, you’ll get maximum results because you’ll know the importance of each thing you do.  

A study performed at Duke University may hold some insights. For example, depersonalizing to most sellers means taking may have taking family photos off the wall, you may not realize the reason buyers don’t like the personal touch. Photos are a distraction, giving them something else to focus on besides the home. They may find it hard to imagine the home as theirs. Worse, they could be judgmental or prejudiced by what they see.  

Sellers should also remove personal items from the bathroom such as “used bars of soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc.” The reasons cited suggest these items are too intimate for buyers and that they’re “disgusting, distracting.” As a seller, you don’t want to remind buyers that the house is used, even if they already know it, but personal items can prevent buyers from imagining the home as theirs. 

The study even goes so far as to recommend removing art or accessories that are “attention-grabbing or personal because buyers “evaluate (and remember) art” rather than the home. A negative reaction to art can translate to a negative evaluation of the home. 

There’s also a tidbit about trashcans. They’re smelly, unattractive, and take up space. It also suggests there’s not no hidden i.e. cabinet space for it. And speaking of smells, the survey mentions removing all signs of pets, such as food bowls and litter boxes. Why? Buyers could worry about “lingering odors /contaminants / allergens / damage,” and may even cause buyers to imagine odors or allergic reactions whether they exist or not. Pets could be off-putting to people who don’t like animals.

The most essential home staging principles can be summed up in the following ways:

  1. Leave nothing out that’s personal.
  2. Leave nothing out that buyers can interpret as not enough storage.
  3. Because buyers may not be able to imagine the home as theirs, make it easier for them by using neutral paints and restoring rooms to their original purpose. Carefully staged furniture makes the home appear warmer and more welcoming.
  4. Allow lots of natural sunlight and turn on most or all the lights. Remove heavy window treatments. Lights make your space look bigger and shows there’s nothing to hide.
  5. Any staging should be designed to promote a positive emotional reaction.