The Importance of Home Staging


The Importance of Home Staging

Written by Maggie Kreitlow


Most homeowners know it is important to keep a home clean, bright and smelling good while it is on the market for sale. But sometimes taking the extra step to professionally stage a home can make a difference in how a buyer values it. Statistics show most homes that are professionally staged will end up bringing in roughly 3% more than the anticipated price, and sell on average, 67% faster than vacant or un-staged, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging.

Selling your home requires an objective mindset. It's often difficult to remain unbiased, be careful not to let your personal attachment or emotions get in the way of successfully selling your property. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Only about 10% of home buyers can actually visualize the potential of a home, and most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves and their family living in the house and can become easily distracted by your personal items, family photos, etc. This is why staging is so important. You never get a second chance to make a 1st impression. 

Below is a list of basic room-by-room staging tips to help get you started, many of which will cost you little to no money and do not require bringing in extra furniture.  


The 5 Basic Rules: 

It is important to remember that not everyone has the same views and beliefs as you do, it is a good idea to tuck away items that may offend or scare potential buyers creating a neutral atmosphere so that your home appeals to all types of buyers regardless of their beliefs or background.

  1. Less is more
  2. Nothing Dead (skulls, Taxidermy, weapons etc.)
  3. Nothing Religious (Crosses, Angels etc.)
  4. Nothing Political
  5. Nothing with Nudity or Suggestive Material


Entire Interior of House:

  • Remove all family photos and other personalized items. (Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the house and can become easily distracted by photos)
  • Minimize items on shelves to 50%.
  • Remove all items from the tops of cabinets, hutches and window ledges.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs and replace broken outlet covers and switch plates
  • Clean off and wipe down all surfaces including ceiling fans and cobwebs on ceiling
  • Hide pet dishes, toys and beds

Living Room/Family Room:

  • Hide DVDs, video games, and Game controllers or electronics that have messy cords
  • Throw pillows are ok, but remove throw blankets
  • Remove at least 50% of knick-knacks and collectible items

Kitchen/Dining Room:

  • Remove/ lock up knives, guns and medications (Rx and over the counter)
  • Remove all items from the top and front of refrigerator (including magnets) and tops of cabinets.
  • Hide soaps, dish rags and cleaning products
  • Only 1 small appliance can stay on the counter
  • Do not hang towels on stove or fridge handles for from drawers
  • Mail and other clutter should be placed in baskets or in a drawer out of sight
  • Straighten and push in all chairs
  • Remove tablecloths (a table runner or placemats are ok)


  • Remove fuzzy toilet covers, no rugs in the bathrooms (hides the floors and will make it look small in pictures)
  • Set out “display only” towels and hide a usable hand towel in a drawer or out of sight.
  • Nothing on counter except a soap pump, basket of towels or small plant
  • Remove excess wall decor (1-2 pieces of artwork is ok either above toilet or above towel rack)
  • Remove all medications (people are nosy and might steal them)
  • Hide trash cans under sink if possible


  • Fluff pillows, Make beds
  • Turn all hangers facing the same direction
  • Put away all clothes and shoes
  • Clear off tops of dressers and nightstands except for lamps


For more staging tips and examples check out our Pinterest board


Maggie Kreitlow is Marketing Director at Necklen & Oakland- Professional Real Estate services in Maple Grove, MN.