Here is the general step-by-step process for how to stage a home. This is the process for working with occupied homes. More detailed instructions will follow — this is your basic outline for the staging process. Whether you’re a homeowner, a new home stager, or a real estate agent, these steps can serve as your overall staging plan. More in-depth articles are linked and available for free on the site.
If a home is vacant, some of these steps won’t apply. For a vacant home staging you’ll either be bringing in rented furniture or pieces from your own inventory. You won’t have to worry about depersonalizing or dealing with clutter.
How to Stage a Home
- Remove extraneous furniture and deal with clutter. Edit and organize furniture and other items. Home sellers should take this opportunity to pack items that aren’t needed while the home is listed for sale. I always like to tell sellers that staging is the first step in the moving process, and it really is. It’s the first step in detaching from the home and moving on to the next one.
- Work on your curb appeal. Use these curb appeal ideas and get started two to three weeks before your expected listing date. Curb appeal is one of the key components of how to stage a home.
- Depersonalize. Do a thorough job and remove family photos, etc., as well as any other personal items and mementos. In addition, I encourage sellers at this point to paint over personalizations like names painted in kids’ bedrooms. I know it’s a little sad, and sellers may not be thrilled about the idea. But you want buyers to picture their own child in the room, and it can be a little bit of a mental obstacle when it says “Madison” in giant letters. This depersonalization is a very important part of the staging process.
- Deep clean. Make sure the home gets a thorough cleaning. Have the sellers hire a service to do a deep cleaning if they don’t want to do it. It will be well worth the money. Everything needs to be deep cleaned — we want a fresh and sparkly vibe.
- Paint. If any painting is being done, make sure it is completed before you move forward. Make sure the painters understand your time constraints and keep them to the schedule that you’ve agreed on.
- Add some home staging psychology. Use your knowledge of home staging psychology to go over the home carefully. Make any changes you feel are necessary in order to create the kind of good vibes we’re after.
- Rearrange and replace. Switch furniture, make changes to décor, create better flow by moving furniture, add new throw rugs, towels, shower curtains, mirrors, or other items you’re adding/updating/replacing.
- Make it pop. Add accents like fresh flowers, plants, a bowl of fruit, a wreath for the door, etc. and create any vignettes you may be using. We’ll discuss home staging vignettes in another article.
Good luck with your staging project. I hope this guide helps you get started, and remember, there’s plenty of free information available on the site that can give you pro-level results.