Staged remodeled white kitchen with floating bar and bar stools.

Home Staging: How To Stage A House For A Quick Sale

7-Minute Read
Published on September 29, 2022

Staging is nothing new. From department store window dressings to airbrushed food ads, it’s clear that what we see matters. That’s why staging your home can play a crucial role in the home selling process. In fact, the National Association of REALTORs® (NAR) found that 82% of home buyers find it easier to visualize a property as a future home when it’s staged. In the same study, 47% of buyers’ agents cited that home staging affected buyers’ view of a home. 

Not only can home staging affect your home’s time on the market, but it may even be able to boost your sales price. In fact, 23% of buyers’ agents said that home staging increased the dollar value offered between 1% – 5%, when compared with similar un-staged homes. If you’re currently selling your home, or if you plan to down the line, consider staging your home to make a lasting impression. 

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What Is Home Staging? 

Home staging is exactly what it sounds like: preparing, or “staging,” your home for potential buyers. This can include small things like rearranging furniture or decluttering. Home staging can also encompass larger projects like adding a fresh coat of paint or installing new flooring. 

We know the process of selling a house can be overwhelming, but home staging doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you decide what changes to make, how to make them and how much it could cost you – in some cases, far less than you might think. 

Home Staging Options

Just like any other home project, you have options when it comes to staging your home. Whether you work with the pros, your real estate agent or decide to go at it yourself, each approach brings something to the table. Let’s go over your home staging options. 


For sellers on a tight budget, DIY home staging could be the way to go. Given that you don’t have any complex repairs to tackle, taking on home staging responsibilities can save you some serious cash. 

But DIY staging still takes time, effort and sometimes, a little money. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if DIY staging works for you: 

  • Are you still living in your home during the selling process? Vacant houses are easier for home stagers to work with. 
  • Do you have friends or family who can help? When it comes to moving heavy furniture or tackling larger projects, you’ll want all the help you can get. 
  • What kind of condition is your home in? If you’re experiencing issues with electrical, plumbing or other home systems you should enlist expert help to ensure your safety and a job well done. 

Professional Home Stager 

Professional home staging firms can help you prepare your home for sale, at a price. We’ll explore the costs of hiring a professional stager later in the article. For now, here are some key tips to remember when hiring home staging help: 

  • Be mindful of credentials. While many real estate agents or REALTORs® have strict standards and licenses, there’s no formal accreditation body for home stagers. Be sure to take accreditations cited by prospective home stagers with a grain of salt and do your research to avoid false claims. 
  • Get references and examples of their work. Another way to safeguard yourself from fishy home stagers is by asking for references and a portfolio. References or previous clients can give you an idea of what it’d be like to work with a particular stager and the quality of their work. Home staging pros should also have examples of their work on-hand and no issue providing it. Plus, you’ll also get a sense of their unique vision and aesthetic. 
  • Make sure your stager has a clear vision. Home stagers are artists. That can mean some wildly creative ideas. Be sure that your stager knows the exact look and feel you’re going for. Be upfront and clear about your wants for any given space and don’t shy away from providing honest, regular and running feedback. Pairing yourself with a stager who shares your vision and is open to collaboration is vital. So too is hiring a stager who knows which features of a home to highlight and which flaws to downplay. 
  • Know your numbers. Home staging prices vary based on location and home size. That’s why it’s important to research your local market and get a sense of an appropriate price range. Comparison shop different home staging providers and research each one’s testimonials, social media pages and online forums for further guidance. 

Real Estate Agent

Knowledgeable real estate agents have a wealth of valuable information when it comes to making a home look its best. Speak with your agent or REALTOR® for help deciding where to concentrate your home staging efforts. 

Real estate professionals can help you pinpoint which features or rooms to highlight and what attributes home buyers will like most. Some real estate agents and REALTORs® may even offer to help you with staging themselves. 

How To Stage A Home For Sale: 7 Tips 

Home staging can look different for every home. Some home sellers may want to redo their entire house before listing and some may want to focus on cosmetic finishes. Whatever the case, here are some home staging tips that can help you make your home look its best. 

1. Clean The House 

No matter how extravagant your home staging, a clean house should be a priority. Go room by room to eliminate any dust, dirt or grime, paying extra care to nooks and crannies that may not get cleaned as often.

Here are some things to pay extra attention to when giving your home a deep clean: 


  • Clean backsplash and grout
  • Buff out smudges on stainless steel appliances with special cleaner or polish
  • Eliminate grease from your oven and stove top 
  • Sweep and mop 
  • Clean walls and baseboards 

Living Room 

  • Clean and dust window treatments
  • Wipe down windows/glass surfaces
  • Dust and clean any artwork 
  • Dust and wash ceiling fans or lighting fixtures
  • Vacuum out couch cushions and chairs
  • Consider shampooing carpet or rugs


  • Scrub grout
  • Wash or replace shower curtain
  • Wipe down mirrors
  • Unclog drains
  • Clean and disinfect toilet, sink, shower and tub
  • Clean and disinfect toilet brush
  • Mop floors
  • Organize/display towels/linens


  • Wash bedding and make bed
  • Vacuum and dust furniture
  • Wipe down windows and mirrors
  • Dust headboard, ceiling fan and light fixtures

2. Clear The Clutter 

Cluttered spaces can distract from a home’s unique details or visualizing potential. Home buyers don’t have the time or desire to move items around, dig behind furniture or otherwise tidy up rooms to spot and reviewer finer features. And bluntly put, home buyers can be prone to making snap impressions. 

Avoid the fuss by avoiding a crowded and busy space. Help prospective shoppers see the very best in your home by tidying up around your home. Make sure countertops are clear and open and that features like fireplaces, large windows or impressive molding are on display. Putting the best face on your property as possible is crucial before allowing home buyers onsite. 

3. Complete Last-Minute Upgrades 

Generally speaking, home improvements are a good way to add value to your home. Small improvements can also make your home more buyer-friendly, by making spaces seem larger or more inviting. 

Upgrades like getting rid of wallpaper and replacing it with a neutral coat of paint or installing new lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, window treatments or doors are great additions if you have the time. Some more last-minute upgrades to take care of can include fixing leaky faucets and covering any dents, dings or scratches with spackling and paint. 

4. Arrange Furniture 

Rearranging your furniture can play a huge role in repurposing or refreshing a space. When it comes to arranging furniture for home staging, here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Prioritize big pieces. Things like beds, couches and bookcases are great pieces to keep when staging your home. Remember, you’re showing off the house, so you don’t need to keep every end table or armchair. The last thing you want is to make your space feel cramped with too much furniture. 
  • Furnish empty spaces. While you don’t want a crowded room, a barren room can also give prospective buyers some uneasiness. Fill empty rooms with those larger furnishings and an area rug to avoid a cold, unlived in energy. 
  • Be mindful of access. Home buyers will want to check out your house, so make sure your furniture arrangement is wanderer-friendly. We all know how dreadful banging your knee on a coffee table or awkwardly shuffling behind some furniture can be - don’t let any home buyers run into the same problems. 
  • Give rooms purpose. It’s easy to use rooms for something they’re not meant for. Dining rooms can turn into offices, bedrooms can turn into playrooms. But when it comes to home staging, it’s best to show buyers what the intended purpose of each room is. Living rooms should have comfortable seating and bedrooms should have beds. 

5. Freshen Up The Space

You want your home to ooze newness. Adding charming touches in the form of fresh flowers, lightly-scented candles and open windows during warm seasons can do just that. While home staging does highlight the importance of visuals, a home that smells and feels cool, fresh and clean can go a long way in impressing buyers. 

6. Add Final Touches 

Final touches can include filling blank walls with sleek artwork or adding a pop off color via fruit bowl or potted plants. Adding some decor can do wonders for brightening up a space, which is exactly what you want your home to feel like: light, bright and breezy. 

7. Update Curb Appeal

Curb appeal usually means your home’s exterior. Not only should your lawn be mowed and hedges trimmed, but consider going a few steps further. Power wash your walkways. Clean or repaint your garage door. Clear out the gutters and weed any flower boxes or garden areas. 

Your front door is the first thing home buyers will see. Put your best foot forward with a clean, new welcome mat, some potted flowers and a clean or even brand-new front door. 

How Much Does Home Staging Cost? 

The average cost for home staging is $1,728 with things like your home’s size, location and your occupation status all playing a role in the final price tag. Save some money by figuring out what you can DIY or by focusing efforts on a few key rooms. Primary bedrooms, kitchens and your home’s entryway are usually most important in making a good impression. 

You could also pick and choose what aspects of a home stager’s services you need the most help with, saving money where you can. For example, decluttering and cleaning yourself but using a stager to help with furniture rental and placement. 

Here’s an estimation of these home staging costs: 

  • 2-hour consultation: $150 – $600
  • Rearranging and decluttering: $800 
  • Furniture rental: $500 – $600 per room per month 
  • Staging fees: $400 – $700 per room
  • Service fees: $800 – $1,000 per project 

Benefits Of Home Staging 

Even in a seller’s market, staging your home plays an important role in the home selling process. Creating a comfortable, welcoming space not only helps prospective buyers feel good, but you may even be able to fetch a higher asking price

Home staging can also distract from any blemishes or aging, while also highlighting the features or nice-to-haves your home offers. For vacant homes, staging helps buyers imagine living there more easily, which can make them feel more inclined to make an offer. 

Staging your home will also make your property more photogenic, which is of the utmost importance for online listings and drumming up interest. In fact, according to the NAR, nearly 99% of millennial home buyers start their home search online. 

Is Home Staging Worth It? 

Still on the fence about whether home staging is worth it? Consider the following factors for a better idea of which home staging approach will work best for you. 

  • The total costs of home staging. Home staging can cost as little as $150 and as much as $5,000. Look over your budget, speak with your real estate agent and comparison shop home staging firms for the best understanding as to how much it will cost. 
  • Your timeline for selling the property. The amount of time you have to sell a house can affect your home staging process. For sellers with shorter timelines, you’ll likely have to forgo bigger improvements, like new flooring or top-to-bottom paint jobs. 
  • The potential value staging could add to your home. The improvements you make when staging, like new floors, doors or window treatments, may be able to add value to your home. Taking home value into consideration may be able to help you decide what kind of improvements you want to make. 
  • Current real estate market trends. Current real estate market trends can play a role in how much energy you want to put into home staging. While staging is generally a good idea, splurging on fancy rentals or projects may not need to be as much of a priority in an already thriving seller’s market. 

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for cash-out refinance.

Start My Approval

The Bottom Line

Home staging, or getting your house ready for prospective home buyers, is a great way to make a lasting impression. Whether your home staging plan consists of larger improvement projects or is as simple as a thorough cleaning, creating an inviting and open space is key to selling fast and at a higher price. 

Home staging can be done DIY, as a collaboration with your real estate agent or by a professional home staging firm. Whichever avenue you choose, research should come first to ensure a job well done. 

Ready to list? .Consider some other ways to get your house ready to sell


Holly Shuffett

Holly Shuffett is a staff writer who writes with a focus on homeownership and personal finance. She has a B.A. in public relations from Oakland University and enjoys creative writing and reading in her free time.