The real estate market has been rebounding significantly in the last year, so now is a great time to sell. If you do decide that now is the time to move your family you’re going to want to get the best price possible for your old home.

Some homes stay on the market for months while others are gone in a flash. How do the quick selling homes stand out from the competition? Home Staging. When done properly, staging your home can be the difference between sitting on your home for a few months, and selling for the top price.

What is home staging?

At its simplest, staging your home is when you furnish your home with nice furniture and décor so that when families come to tour your home, they aren’t simply looking in on empty rooms.

On a deeper level, staging your home is “preparing a home for sale so that the buyer can mentally move in.” – Barb Schwarz

By furnishing your home, when a family comes to tour it they are able to really imagine what it would feel like to live in the home. Seeing a well decorated living room can make a space look much nicer than a white wall and some carpet.

Hiring a professional is a good idea because they have the expertise to ensure your homes’ staged interior design will make your home look its best and appeal to a broad range of tastes.

Is staging your home worth the cost?

A well-staged home can cause buyers to overlook things that are otherwise wrong with the home. In fact, often a buyer will pay more for a staged home than they would otherwise pay! Take a look at this report conducted by The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents.  (

Here are a couple of noteworthy statistics from this report;

“Barb Schwarz of Staged Homes ( reports that staging a home typically allows the home to sell for about 6% more money than an unstaged home.”

“Calie Waterhouse ( reported that spending $2,000 on staging a home netted the seller a $31,000 increase in sales price.”

So, while the initial cost of staging your home may seem high, in the end if you can sell your home faster and for more than if you hadn’t staged your home, there really is no question.

Should you hire professional home staging services or DIY?

Like most tasks when buying a new home, as well as selling your old one, the main question to ask yourself is; is it worth my time? If your home is well furnished already, you have an eye for decorating, and you don’t mind purchasing a few more items to round the design out, then you may want to consider tackling the task yourself, and save the professional fee (typically in the thousands).

Even in a well-furnished home, staging a home may involve choosing new paint colors, finding the perfect display dining set, and purchasing a new area rug. Hiring a professional allows you to sit back and let them do the work while you focus on moving into your new home.

Here is what a home stager will likely do once hired;

Examine – The home stager will walk through your home, examining it from top to bottom in order to create a detailed list of what should be done in order to get the home ready. With this report you and the professional stager can determine the best course of action and establish a budget.

Find the Emotional Highlights – The designer will determine what décor and accent colors would be best used in order to garner an emotional response from families touring your home. This could include removing curtains from windows that have great views, or adding flowers or candles to a room.

Recommend Furniture – The designer will recommend which items of your furniture and household items should stay in the house, and which should be removed before showing. The more of your furniture they use, the less they will charge for bringing in their own. Be prepared to take out most of your belongings, you’ll either need to rent out a storage unit, or hopefully already have a start on moving into your new home.

Recommend any Last Minute Repairs – They will help you determine what should be fixed in your home in order to achieve a higher selling point. They will help to line up contractors, carpenters, painters, cleaners, landscapers, etc.

Bring in Additional Furniture – Once your home has received a thorough cleaning and any last minute repairs, the designer will bring in furniture, art work, curtains, carpets, pillows, and other household goods. They will decorate your home to make it feel like a place where a family can settle down and create their dream home.

If you do decide to DIY here are a few keys to learning how to stage like a pro;

Color – Be sure to repaint the interior of your home. Try to paint in soothing / light colors, they are more attractive to the eye and helps a buyer to imagine their own items in your home.

Clean – Be sure to complete a thorough cleaning of your home. Areas to focus on are the bathroom and the kitchen. You can considering hiring a professional home cleaner to do the job for you, they are often fairly inexpensive for a one time cleaning.

Depersonalization and Decluttering – While you may love the taxidermy deer head on your wall, other families may not enjoy it quite as much. Be sure to remove family photos and other personal items. This will allow buyers to picture themselves in your home, instead of being distracted by your things.

Furniture Placement – Try to highlight the architectural features of your home and use furniture minimally to showcase the scale of the home.

Emotional Cues – This is what the professionals are best at. Intentionally decorate the space to help buyers picture how their new life would look in your home. Artful details can help buyers connect with the house.

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you want to hire a professional home stager or not. If you do decide to go the professional route, be sure to interview several before you make your decision. You don’t want to miss out on the benefits of staging your home simply because the person you hired wasn’t fit for the task.