Home Staging Tips For 2021: Your Guide To “Attracting Qualified Home Buyers and The Highest And Best Offers Through Home Staging.”

So you’ve decided to sell your house and you want to attract potential buyers to your home and get a (or multiple) GREAT OFFER/S.

The more qualified buyers you get to your house AND ARE INTERESTED THE BETTER. 

Ideally you want to be in a multi-offer situation (more than one buyer at the same time making  offers on your home).

Below you'll find home staging ideas and tips for 2021 to help you during the home selling process.

Woman with pencil thinking says 17 best home staging tips that give you an edge get your highest and best offer
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What Is Home Staging?

Home staging is putting the best light on your home, your rooms, your home’s  exterior and what your home offers potential buyers. 

You reduce (or eliminate) distractions and you highlight the best features of your home and the lifestyle it can offer.

People are looking for the best home for themselves and their family. 

Often you're competing with others in the area selling their homes. 

These home staging ideas will help you when selling your home.

Staging your home helps set you apart from the other homes for sale and can help give you the needed edge.

It can be that edge in which buyers can't wait to make an offer (and a very good offer) on your house as opposed to other homes in your area for sale.

Is Staging Your Home Worth It?

That’s a resounding YES but staging your house to sell doesn’t have to be as difficult and costly as you may think.

Your return on your time and money spent can pay you back in dividends.

According to the National Association of Realtors “83% of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to ‘visualize’ the property as their future home.” 

Below you’ll find inexpensive and 5 absolute musts to get your home ready to sell and staging it well.

Home Staging Infographic that Shows the importance and percentages staging for buyers

Image and Infographic From The  National Association of Realtors

What Are The Best Home Staging Ideas For 2021?

That depends. 

There are absolute musts when it comes to home staging when you’re selling your home – such as cleaning your home, decluttering, paring down some of your furniture and accessories and working on the curbside appeal when selling your home.

You want to consider the time you have available and your budget. 

These home staging ideas are a start for you.

Have a frank discussion with your Realtor® so you can figure out the best use of your time and dollars that meets your objectives when selling your home.

Ideas For Staging An Occupied Home Video

Home Staging Tips And How To Prepare Your Home For Showings In 2021

This article gives you the best home staging tips and also goes over how to prepare your home for buyer showings.

Home staging is only one part of the equation when preparing your home to sell.

There are steps that must be taken through every part of your home selling process to attract the highest and best offers on your home.

Top 5 Absolute Musts In Home Staging

Curbside Front Of Home says 5 absolute musts to home staging

1. Start With Curbside Appeal

When a buyer approaches your home you want them to be excited about seeing your home. 

The first impression they have is your  home’s exterior.

I’ve had buyers who won’t go in the house when they arrive.

They tell me they  don’t want to waste their time if they’re turned off by a home’s exterior. 

And, many buyers first drive by a house for sale before they make an appointment to preview the home.

Working on your home’s curbside appeal is a must when selling your home.  

Make sure your front door is in tip top shape.  Paint it if needed to give it a fresh look. 

Ensure you have proper lighting outside and all your bulbs are working. Get rid of all clutter outside.

For excellent, low cost ideas to  improve your home’s curbside appeal when selling your house head HERE.

2. Declutter Your Home

Decuttering your home is essential when selling your house. 

Buyers need to feel the home is spacious, clean and they don’t want to see clutter.  

Often what goes through a buyer’s mind when previewing a home with a lot of clutter is “If this owner keeps their home like this with crap and clutter laying around…what are issues with the home I cannot see.”

They see an organized and clutter free home as an indication the owner has and is taking care of the house.

Don’t forget to declutter your yard, landscaped area, your driveway and garage.  These areas can be overlooked so make sure you take stock of these areas and declutter all of them!

It simply feels better too when touring a home that’s clutter free.

Remember, despite what people say…many  buy with emotion rather than logic.  Emotion typically leads the way.

3. Place Pets Out Of The Way

two cute small dogs on couch

Remove your pets for the listing photos and when a buyer is previewing your home. 

Some people have allergies and they won’t even consider a home that has pets.  They don’t realize there are many ways to clean a home and remove pet  allergens.

I’ve shown homes to buyers and the seller leaves a note on the door “Be sure fluffy doesn’t get out.” 

This has happened on more than one occasion.  Which leaves myself and the buyer stressed as I’m trying to open the door and keep the seller’s pet inside.

Oh, and not to mention the stress that ensues once we’re inside and that large dog is barking loudly at us and we wonder if it’s going to attack.

Just remove your pets (take them for a walk or kennel them in a room or garage if you can't remove them from your home) and remove all pet scents.

4. Depersonalize

Buyers want to  envision themselves living in your house. 

There’s a line between stark empty with a cold feeling and too much of your own items with your personality that can be overwhelming and a buyer can’t see past some of your *unusual* collectibles, wall hangings, wallpaper and other personal knick knacks.

Head over here for tips on depersonalizing your home when selling.

5. Clean

Clean everything thoroughly.  Clean and organize your kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry, refrigerator and microwave.

Make your house spotless.

Prospective buyers open everything. 

They open the closets, the storage areas, the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Make sure you thoroughly clean these areas.

More Home Staging Tips For 2021

elegant streamlined staged kitchen modern

6. Staging Your Kitchen

Based on buyers’ focus the kitchen is one of the most looked at areas.   Clear the clutter off your kitchen countertops and the kitchen island.

Reduce the number of appliances you have out.

Make those cabinets and countertops shine!   

Clean the kitchen cupboards, cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, stove, oven and microwave.

Don't miss these simple, inexpensive kitchen updates when selling your home.

How To Stage Your Kitchen Video

7. Pare Down Furniture

One of the turn-offs to buyers is too much clutter and not the ability to move around seamlessly in a home.

Too much furniture, pillows and home accessories can make a home look smaller and cumbersome.

Lighten your home by minimizing the number of furniture pieces and accessories in your living spaces.

8. Brighten Your Rooms

Allow natural light to flow through your living spaces.  Make sure the blinds and curtains are open.

Have lights and lamps on.

Add more lighting where possible to enhance and light up living and bedroom areas.

Make sure there’s plenty of light flowing in the kitchen and you may want to consider updating light fixtures in your kitchen.

9. Give Your Bathrooms A Fresh, New Look

staged bathroom countertop with fancy soaps and hand towels

Ensure all the bathrooms are spotless.  Use CLR to clean toilets and other hard to clean plumbing areas that may have rust or other unsightly issues.

If you have old lighting fixtures update them

Update the hardware on your bathroom cabinetry if they’re dated.  Updating the hardware is an inexpensive and easy way to give a bathroom a facelift.

Consider painting the bathroom cabinetry too.  This is a simple, inexpensive way to give a bathroom a fresh, new look.

Clean out all bathroom cabinets and drawers.  Declutter these areas.

Invest in new shower curtains, rugs and bathmats.

Create a *spa-like* look in the bathrooms.  Include these fluffy towels, candles and fancy soaps.  

Add some flameless candles for soft lighting.

Look into bathroom accessories that can up level your bathroom's look.

gorgeous modern wood bathroom

10. Touch Up and Repair Where Needed

Those small knicks along your floor trim and door jams?  Get some  wall and door fillers and touch them up.

Go through every room in your home and scan for those areas that need a touch up or need to be repaired.

List them on a notepad or take a video with your phone and prioritize which touch ups and repairs are an absolute must and then tackle the smaller ones as time permits.

11. Stage Your Living Room

staged well lit beautiful living room with coffee table and rug

The living room is often the first room the buyers go through when touring your home.  It's also the place they want to envision themselves relaxing and often entertaining.

Use these tips when staging your living room:

1. Clean up the coffee table: Remove all clutter from your coffee table.  Have an accessory tray and place accessories (use rule of 3…see below) on the tray.  

2. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter:  Remove excess pillows and accessories.  Those magazines and books piled up…remove them.  Have an eagle eye and look for ways to declutter your living room.

3. Use a mirror: A mirror is a great way to brighten a room (from light reflections) and also to help your area look larger.

4.  Pare down furniture:  Those large pieces of furniture that take up most of the living room space?  Remove them or replace them with smaller pieces and furniture.  Remember, the buyers need to be able to move seamlessly around the area and visualize a relaxed, uncluttered space for them to live in. 

5. Use Lighting: Use a combination of natural light, lamps and dimmers to set the mood and make your living room a comfortable, relaxed place where people will want to sit down and stay awhile.

6. Have A Rug: A rug adds warmth and texture to a room.  It adds dimension and a nice touch to a room. 

7. Keep It Neutral:  Inserting too much personality in your living room’s design may make it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living there.

Instead of personal elements, like family photos, religious accessories and other personal items use neutral hangings and accessories with varied textures and colors to add a *pop* to the living room space. 

12. Clean Your Carpets

Have your carpets professionally cleaned.  Professionals have the tools to remove those tough stains and odors.

If your carpet is on it's last leg consider recarpeting certain areas or all of the carpeting.  Discuss these options with your Realtor®.

13. Stage Your Master Bedroom

staged master bedroom

1. Clear the clutter and depersonalize your master bedroom.

2. Have fresh duvets or bed covers.  Update these to give your master bedroom a fresh look

3. Review the lighting and add standing lamps and bedside lamps if there's room.

4. Add new curtains for added depth and texture.

5. Add a rug for dimension, color and texture.

Head over here for master bedroom staging photos to give you ideas.

14. Don't Forget Your Garage

Your garage leaves an impression on buyers.  Clean it, organize it and use these tips to help you.

Some sellers use the garage to store excess items and boxed items to declutter their home and begin the process of moving.

You may want to consider storing your items in a pod or other storage unit.

15. Show Off Your Closets, Pantry and Other Storage Areas

staged organized closet

Storage areas are not something that's talked about much but they leave an impression on buyers.

If you haven't done so, take time to clear out these areas and organize them.

The buyer is looking at EVERYTHING.  They want to see inside your closets, cabinets, drawers and other storage areas.

Well organized storage areas leave an indelible and very FAVORABLE IMPRESSION on buyers.

Remember, home staging is about giving you the best edge (and the best offers) you want.

Prepare Buyers For Your Home Showings

buyers walking up to a home for sale

16. Give Instructions To Turn Your Home Alarm System Off

Ensure your home alarm system is off at the time of the showing or give instructions to turn it off.

The last thing you want is the Realtor® and the buyers to hear the alarm system blaring in their ears as they enter the home and cannot turn it off.

If they can't get a hold of someone to turn this off they'll head out the door and may never get a chance to see your incredible home.

Plan ahead of time and make sure the alarm system is off.

17. Renters In Your Home

This can make for a difficult situation – Renters In Your Home.

In many cases they don't want to move (if the home is sold) and they can make it difficult to show your home by not allowing people in the home or making your home (or the space they're occupying) unsightly.

I did show a home in which the basement was rented…they had shrunken heads in jars as part of their *decor*…I kid you not.  I'm not sure if they were real or not, certainly looked *real* but that one is toward the top of the list as one of the most bizarre witnessed while showing homes.

To this day, my clients and I still laugh (who are now dear friends of mine) when we recall that.

I've seen, and heard about, many occasions where renters have sabotaged showings.

This is the reality.

I understand you may think they're the best renters in the world and would never do such a thing – but it happens. Yes, some are amazing…but many DO SABATOGE.

Be prepared for this.

You may want to terminate the contract (legally) and help them to move elsewhere before you list your home.

staged living room says staging tips attract high offers

This home staging article is just a start to give you the best edge you need when selling your home.

Discuss other home staging ideas with your real estate agent.

Feel free to share your home staging tips below…would love to hear them!

17 Home Staging Tips For 2021- Get The Best Offers