8 DIY Home Staging Tips

Walking into a well-staged home can be like stepping into a dream; it captures the imagination and allows potential buyers to envision a new chapter of their lives unfolding in that very space. This powerful visualization process can be the tipping point for many homebuyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, 58% of buyers' agents cited that home staging affected most buyers' view of the home most of the time. With these significant numbers in mind, let's delve into the DIY home staging tips that can transform the sign in your yard from "for sale" to "sold."

Understanding the magic behind home staging

Home staging, at its core, is the art of preparing and presenting a home for sale. But it's more than just cleaning up and decluttering. It's about creating an environment where potential buyers can see themselves living, laughing, and making memories. From rearranging furniture to adding touches of neutral décor, home staging crafts an inviting atmosphere that appeals to a wide range of tastes.

The real essence of home staging lies in its ability to tap into the emotions of prospective buyers. A well-staged home whispers tales of cozy family dinners, sunlit mornings with coffee in hand, and relaxing evenings with loved ones. It speaks of potential and paints a canvas where the buyer becomes the artist, adding their personal touches to the story.

Expert home staging tips

Stepping into an expertly staged home feels like a comforting embrace. Staging is a delicate balance between showcasing a home's potential and allowing buyers to weave their dreams and aspirations into the spaces they see. Here are some expert home staging tips to create that perfect balance.


Decluttering is a fundamental step before staging a home for sale. A clutter-free environment showcases the actual space and features of the house, allowing potential buyers to easily visualize their own belongings and lifestyle in the space. Areas overcrowded with personal items can make rooms appear smaller and distract from the home's inherent beauty.

To begin the decluttering process, start with one room at a time. Sort items into categories: keep, donate, sell, or discard. This simplifies decision-making and helps in maintaining a systematic approach. Remember, less is often more when presenting a home to potential buyers. Personal items, especially family photographs or niche collections, should be minimized to help buyers picture their own life in the house.

Once the decluttering is done, the question arises: Where to store the belongings? Consider renting a storage unit. This provides a secure place for items and keeps them out of sight. Alternatively, utilizing space in a garage or basement can be effective as long as these areas are kept tidy. Temporary solutions like pod storage can also be helpful.

Deep clean

Deep cleaning before staging is essential. A spotless environment highlights the care and maintenance the property has received over the years, increasing its appeal to potential buyers. When a house sparkles, it feels fresh, inviting, and ready for new occupants.

To effectively deep clean, start by tackling often overlooked areas. Ceiling fans, air vents, window sills, and baseboards accumulate dust and need thorough attention. Carpets and rugs benefit from professional cleaning, reviving their colors and eliminating potential odors. Kitchens and bathrooms are focal points, so make sure counters, sinks, tiles, and grouts are pristine. Appliances should shine inside and out, and don't forget the oven — a common oversight.

Windows should also be a top focus. When cleaned inside and out, windows let in more light and enhance the view from within the house. Outside, pressure washing the facade, driveway, and walkways can work wonders, making everything look refreshed.

Lastly, closets and storage areas should be neat and smell fresh. Buyers will open cabinets and doors, so ensure every nook and cranny exudes cleanliness. A deep-cleaned home not only looks attractive but also assures buyers they're making a worthy investment.

Patch and repair

Repairing or patching minor issues in a home is a vital step before staging it for sale. These small imperfections, though often inexpensive to fix, can stand out to potential buyers and create an impression of neglect. Addressing these matters not only elevates the home's aesthetic appeal but also sends a strong message about the care for the property.

Cracks in the walls, chipped paint, broken handles, leaky faucets, or creaky floorboards are all minor issues that can detract from a home's overall allure. Fixing them can make a significant difference. Patch any holes or cracks in walls and ceilings and give them a fresh coat of paint. Replace faulty hardware in kitchens or bathrooms and ensure all doors, including cabinets, open and close smoothly. If tiles are chipped or cracked, consider replacing them or, at the very least, re-grouting to refresh the look.

Pay attention to outdoor spaces. Fix any broken fence panels, replace missing roof shingles, and ensure the mailbox and house number are in good condition. Making these minor repairs ensures potential buyers see a home ready for move-in, reducing any bargaining points they might bring up during negotiations.

Depersonalize the space

When potential buyers walk through a property, they aim to envision their life, their decor, and their memories unfolding within those walls. A home filled with personal artifacts, family photos, and specific tastes can make that vision difficult for them. By creating a neutral space, sellers allow buyers to mentally "move in" and begin planning their life in the home. Replacing or storing unique art pieces, removing fridge magnets, and clearing personal care items from bathrooms is advisable. Neutral decor and colors enhance this effect, offering a blank canvas that appeals to a wide range of tastes. The goal is to strike a balance where the house feels warm and inviting yet open to all potential buyers' individual interpretations and desires.

Choose neutral colors

Using neutral colors when staging a home for sale offers numerous benefits. Neutral palettes, including shades of beige, gray, and off-white, appeal to a broad audience, ensuring the property resonates with diverse buyer tastes. These colors create a calm and inviting ambiance, allowing buyers to easily visualize incorporating their own personal style into the space. Vibrant or overly specific color choices can be distracting and might even alienate some buyers. On the other hand, neutral tones serve as a versatile backdrop, complementing various furniture styles and decors. They also help rooms appear more spacious and illuminated, enhancing the perception of natural light. By opting for a neutral color scheme, sellers maximize the home's appeal, making it a welcoming environment that encourages buyers to imagine their future within its walls.

Make use of natural lighting

Natural light elevates a home's appeal during staging. Bright spaces appear larger, more inviting, and exude warmth. Drawing back curtains and cleaning windows allows sunlight to flood interiors, showcasing the home's best features and creating a positive, uplifting ambiance.

Rearrange your furniture

Rearranging furniture can significantly impact a home's appeal during staging. It helps showcase the space's functionality and flow, making rooms feel larger and more inviting. Proper furniture placement directs buyers effortlessly through the home, highlighting its potential and ensuring each area is easily accessible and well-defined.

Improve curb appeal

A manicured lawn, fresh paint, and tidy landscaping create a solid first impression. This initial allure draws potential buyers in, signaling a well-maintained property and setting a positive tone for the entire viewing experience.

Stephen MacFarlane should be your top choice for all things Santa Barbara real estate

Stephen MacFarlane is a dedicated broker passionate about guiding individuals to their real estate dreams. From the first consultation to well after the move, Stephen remains a steadfast advocate for his clients, showcasing his expertise, honesty, and patience. He consistently prioritizes client satisfaction, ensuring their needs and interests are met at every turn. Whether assisting a client in acquiring their first home, seeking an upgrade, investing in an income property, or downsizing, Stephen is the go-to expert. He proudly serves a range of locations, including Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria, always ready to navigate clients through their next real estate endeavor. Contact Stephen today to get started.

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