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How to Stage a Home to Sell: Tips from the Experts

Your guide to simple, easy, and chic staging tips from top staging and real estate experts.

Photo: The Inside

Lighten It Up

Focus on off-white walls and as much lighting as possible, taking care to add ceiling, table, and floor lamps.

Photo: The Inside

Sid Pinkerton of Manhattan Staging recommends making the space as light as possible. How? Give the place a fresh coat of off-white paint and be strategic about your lighting. "Try to have three points of light in each room," Pinkerton says. Angles matter. Make sure you have a ceiling lamp, a table lamp, and a floor lamp to "lighten the space as much as possible."

Less Is More

Declutter and remove personal memorabilia so potential buyers can imagine themselves in the space.

Photo: The Inside

Don't be afraid to throw things out. "Less is definitely more," says David Christopher Salvatore, the Creative Director of Edge Mid-Century Home Staging. He recommends creating "a bit of zen" for potential buyers. "Leaving calm, open spaces in your presentation acts as a palette cleanser for the buyer, who is taking in an awful lot of information and mental images in a relatively short amount of time." A few blank walls and open spaces also helps the potential buyer imagine living there. "It is always a good idea to leave some walls naked of art so the buyers can imagine their own possessions in the space," Salvatore explains. Danielle Walish, Senior Design Director at The Inside, agrees. From her past work as an interior designer and professional stager, she recommends removing any personal photos. "Buyers want to picture themselves living in the space and making their own memories," Walish says. Pinkerton simplifies even further: "declutter." Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist, is the Founder/President of the Expert Psychological Staging™ certification training program. From her experience training over 200 professional stagers, she recommends that "anything that distracts a buyer from the selling points of a property should be removed, including family photos and overly personal decor."

Add a Little Luxe

A cashmere throw, gold objet, or a beautiful orchid in bloom can transform a room from lifeless to luxe.

Photo: The Inside

"It is so important to use quality items," advises Nahila Chianale of staging firm NCC Luxe. "This creates a feeling of luxury. Everyones loves a luxurious space." Accessories can be the seller's friend: cashmere throws, marble or gold objects, beautiful blooming orchids, and scented candles can make a space feel considered, inviting, and aspirational. This is particularly important in the often forgotten bathroom. "Don't overlook your bathroom," advises Joni Rentz of The StylHaus. "Create a luxury spa effect by using lots of white towels, beautiful soaps, and a sprig of eucalyptus."

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