7 Can't Miss Steps for Staging Your Own Home To Sell

Posted by Kansas City Homes on Friday, June 21st, 2019 at 1:14pm.

Professional home stagerWhy are professional home stagers so expensive? Because they’re worth it!!! Experienced and skilled home stagers can make your home look like a million bucks! And while it may not sell for quite that much, a well-staged home can fetch a substantially higher price than an empty, bare-walled, plain-looking home would.

But you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make money on your home. Believe it or not, with a little hard work and a clear plan, you can stage your home almost as well as the pros and achieve similar results! Follow these 7 can’t miss tips for making your home look it’s best so it can sell for more!

1. Free up some space by employing the TDDS (Toss, Declutter, Depersonalize, and Store) method

Haul Away DumpsterToss - It’s time to get rid of - once and for all - all the random junk, trinkets, unused items and forgotten frocks that have accumulated around your home over the years. If you haven’t worn it, used, played with it or thought about it in at least two years - and it’s not in good enough shape to sell or donate - it’s gotta go. This might be a good time to think about renting a portable dumpster so you can toss out the old stuff and have it hauled away.

Declutter - This isn’t just for homeowners who are less than stellar housekeepers. Your home can be clean and still be cluttered, especially in terms of staging it to sell. The No. 1 home improvement recommendation agents have for sellers is to declutter, according to the National Association of REALTORS® home staging report.

The idea of decluttering is to highlight the amount of space your home has. Shelves sprinkled with knick-knacks, pantries overstuffed with food, closets overflowing with coats, and rooms with lots of furniture are not a good look for a staged home. Reduce, remove and relocate the items that are hogging space to present a more clean and attractive home view to potential buyers. It’s not at all uncommon for potential buyers to sneak a peek inside cabinets, cupboards, and closets, so be sure their contents are paired back to emphasize space.

Depersonalize - When potential buyers view a home they want to be able to picture themselves living in it. It’s really hard to do that when they’re surrounded by your family photos, personal memorabilia, and keepsakes. To tone down your home’s personal touch - and this might be hard, and even a little emotional - you need to take a walk through your house and remove all the special items that make the house “you”.

Storage PODStore - This goes hand-in-hand with decluttering and depersonalizing. Now that you’re moving out everything to make room for staging, where does it go? Unless you’re Superman staging your own Fortress of Solitude, you likely don’t have the speed, stamina or strength to move it from room to room as potential buyers tour your home. The smart and practical option is to rent a storage room at a facility or fill a POD and have it hauled away. This will cost a little money, but spending a couple of hundred up front to get a few thousand more when your home sells is well worth it.

2. Give your home a lighter, brighter look

Buyers are turned off when they walk into a home that’s dimly lit and depressing. That makes lighting a crucial part of successfully staging your home. There are several steps you can take to ensure your homes looks its best and brightest.

  • Open your blinds and pull back all the curtains before an open house or showing
  • Clean all windows to maximize light infiltration
  • Make sure all your fixtures and lampshades are clean/dusted and presentable
  • Consider replacing bulbs with ones that project a whiter, more natural light
  • Keep interior doors open so light comes in from all directions

Ideas for a brighter House

3. Neutralize bright and boldly painted walls

Neutral Walls

Colored accent walls have become very popular over the years. They add visual interest and a pop of color to otherwise plain rooms. However, depending on the shade or hue, they can be a real turn off to potential buyers. You may be a big fan of teal, but those who tour your home may not appreciate a wall with such an overwhelming tone.

Your best bet is to repaint your accent walls or areas with striking colors with a more neutral color. Neutrals are your friend.

Buyers want to see your home as a blank canvas, and toned down wall colors like warm white, cream and beige help them do exactly that. If you can’t bring yourself to cover your color with those traditional tones, consider at least turning down the volume on your color. Instead of the bright teal, tone it down to a soft pastel robin’s egg shade. This will make it more palatable to buyers while still letting you have that touch of color you love so much.

4. Set the stage for a memorable first impression

Compelling entryway

Hook buyers from the beginning. Whether you have a small entryway, a large foyer or stairs, you need to draw buyers further in, the moment they walk through the door. Once you get rid of the clutter, take further steps to make this space more inviting


  • Add a little color with some small accent furniture, art or colorful flowers
  • Replace old, contractor-grade blinds with higher-quality treatments
  • Give the front door a fresh coat of paint
  • Get rid of that grungy, old welcome mat and replace it
  • Refresh old and faded house numbers

5. Odd numbers make your decor even better

Professional home stagers swear by the effectiveness of arranging decor items and accents in groups of three’s, five’s and seven’s. Whether you’re showcasing throw pillows, artwork or accents pieces, groupings of odd numbers provide much visual interest than the other symmetrical spaces throughout your home.

6. Arrange your furniture for conversational flow

Conversational  Furniture Flow

Play around with the furniture in each room to create more conversational spaces. Move your couches, loveseats and chairs away from the wall and arrange them so they face each other. This is called “floating” and it actually increases the amount of space in rooms. You can anchor this arrangement with an area rug - yes, even if you have wall-to-wall carpet. This creates a cozier space for congregating and socializing. Even though this may seem or look odd to you, remember that staging is about selling your home not living in it.

7. Make your outdoors great

Great Curb Appeal

With all this attention on making sure the inside of your house is clean and decorated just right to impress potential buyers, it’s easy to forget the exterior of your home. That would be a mistake. Your home’s curb appeal - how your home looks on the outside at first glance - is a big deal and can often determine whether or not buyers want to come in and see more. Address these outside issues to get more people through the door.

  • Power wash your home’s exterior, driveway, walkways, and windows
  • If you have a porch, stage it with clean, nice-looking patio furniture
  • Plant flowers to add bursts of color and visual interest to your yard
  • Trim overgrown, trees, bushes and other greenery
  • Mow and trim your lawn
  • Give your mailbox a fresh coat of paint
  • Spritz your landscaping and flowers before showings to keep it fresh and glowing

The Bottom Line

Just because you can’t afford a professional stager doesn't mean you can’t make your home look stunning enough to sell fast and for the price you want. You can use these tips to guide you through a DIY staging process. You should even consider calling a professional stager to pick their brain. Many Kansas City Homes agents have a background in staging, so consider asking their advice.

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