Congratulations, you’ve completed some important steps toward selling your home. First you selected an experienced local agent, then you worked with that agent to define the updates that will maximize your profit and finally you selected the best list price.

While it may seem like you are ready to list, there is one more action item that remains. Although often missed, it is the single most important step toward helping potential buyers make a connection with your home.

That step is properly staging your home for sale. Staging sets the tone for every showing, open house and opportunity. Getting it right is key to first sparking interest and ultimately converting that interest into action.


  • Staging your home is crucial to making an emotional connection with buyers

  • A properly staged home will sell sooner and for more money than one that is not

  • Five best practices can help you get started 

1- Build the Right First Impression

When staging it helps to remember that a first impression may be the only one that matters. Within moments of arriving at your home potential buyers will have built that impression and will interpret events that follow accordingly. This means the exterior of your home and entryways should appear tidy and well-maintained.

  • Give careful attention to your lawn and landscaping
  • Power wash your siding, patio, deck, driveway and walkways
  • Use planters to frame your front door and add color to your porch area
  • Paint your front door and clear your entryway thoroughly

2- Know that Less is More

Perhaps the largest enemy to highlighting the potential of any home is clutter. Even the most stylish furniture and high-end decor can overpower a sense for the size and usability of a room. This makes decluttering crucial. A good rule of thumb is to remove roughly ½ of all furniture and 90% of everything else from a room.

  • Use furniture strategically to highlight the utility of a space
  • Consider renting a storage unit, or filling your in-law’s garage with unneeded furniture & furnishings
  • Carefully consider which wall-hangings, bookcases and other decor to keep
  • Clear kitchen counters of small appliances and clutter

3- Focus on Lighting

The first thing selling agents do when showing a home is open curtains and turn on lights in every room. This is because proper lighting can dramatically impact buyer perceptions. While natural light is preferred, lamps and overhead lighting can and should be utilized as well to highlight your space.

  • Replace bulbs in all lamps with the maximum allowable wattage
  • Thick draperies and curtains should be peeled back or replaced by sheer window coverings
  • Wash all windows thoroughly

4- Depersonalize

The home that sells for top dollar is warm, inviting and welcoming to every type of buyer. Buyers need to build an emotional connection to your home and begin to imagine it as their home. Your personal items can break this illusion.

  • Remove all photos, mementos and personal items
  • Replace outdated wall coverings and paint walls a neutral color
  • Don’t forget the bathrooms. Begin by removing everything-- replace only the basics.

5- Give Every Room and Space a Purpose

While there may be rooms in your home that you rarely utilize, visitors to your open house shouldn’t be able to discern this. Every room in your house has a role to play in selling it. So whether that extra room becomes a spare bedroom, an office, a workout or a craft room, in order to feature it you must give it a purpose.

  • Rooms used for storage should be cleaned and repurposed
  • A desk or a bed is likely the easiest way to suggest a purpose to a room
  • A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color is a must for seldom-used space

The Bottom Line

Properly staging a home need not be onerous or expensive, but it is crucial to conveying to buyers the potential of your home. A seasoned real estate agent will have ideas and a plan to stage any home to maximize profits. Zachary Adams and Associates are experienced professionals who have listed, staged and sold hundreds of homes in the west metro of Minneapolis. They’d love to put the wisdom of experience to work for you. Contact Zach today at 612-845-7890.