5 Staging Tips That Will Help Buyers Imagine Themselves Living There

Evoking a sense of home, which I covered in a small post last year, is a great asset to selling a home. Think back on your experiences of walking through a model home or staying in a hotel room. Visiting an empty home has a completely different effect on most potential buyers than a staged one. But staging goes beyond just adding furniture, some artwork and a rug. (A lot more, actually, which you can read all about in my book Stageology: How to Stage to Sell.) There are details, much like the ones you find in a hotel room, that go the extra mile to make buyers feel at home. It’s these extra details, although small and maybe seemingly superfluous, that have a huge psychological effect on buyers. While they are more optional than other staging tips, these details offer an emotional pull that could give your home a competitive edge over others on the market and are both easy and inexpensive to do.

1. Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers have a natural, universally appealing beauty that makes a space feel fresher. You don’t have to buy an expensive bouquet to make a statement, either. Simply placing a few pretty fresh flowers in a clear vase with some water will do the trick. You can pick up a simple glass vase for a few dollars at a number of places, even Walmart and the Dollar Store. Fresh flowers look great on a kitchen counter, or you can go for a romantic look and cut the stems off of some flowers and let them float in a clear or colorful dish with a bit of water on a bathroom counter or by the tub. (Check out my last post to learn more about choosing the right flowers for your home.Photo via All Posters

2. Set out a cookbook
You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your home, so little details like setting out a cookbook opened to a colorful page with a delicious treat on it can whet their appetite for an experience in that kitchen. It’s easy to find a cookbook stand at places like HomeGoods or Target. They come in an array of styles from simple to elaborate. I would suggest choosing one that isn’t too style-specific, as a bit part of staging your home is depersonalizing it. Photo via The Kitchen Designer

3. Hang a white robe or two in the master suite
If you have been to a hotel before, you more than likely have seen a white robe or two hanging somewhere in the room. It’s a little luxury that makes you feel special and think of relaxation and comfort, two things that you definitely want buyers thinking of while walking through your home. If you have a large master suite with two sinks, two robes would be even better. You can hang the robe(s) on a door somewhere in the bedroom or bathroom. They don’t have to be expensive, but make sure they at least look nice and new. You can always use them for yourself once it’s sold! Photo via Houzz

4. Set the dining room table
A table set with dishes, cutlery, glasses and a centerpiece makes a home look full and happy. When do you see a table set? When family and friends are coming over! A set table is warm and inviting. It also looks beautiful, so it adds aesthetic value to your home too. You don’t have to put out your best china. (In fact, I would recommend against it.) Some simple white plates atop neutral chargers or place mats will look great. Feel free to include a pop of color if it matches the home and wrap napkins in some cute napkin rings for some extra pizzazz. Photo via Style Me Pretty

5. Put out some books
Really show off a relaxing sitting area where buyers can imagine themselves unwinding after a long day with a good book. You can lay out an open book with throw blanket over the chair, or a few books with a candle as seen in the photo above. The addition of books turns a chair and an ottoman into a spot with a story. The homeowner will instantly visualize the possibilities and a stronger emotion will be evoked. Photo via IBB Design

These staging tips go beyond the basics and really show you how to set a stage that will have your buyers imagining all the possibilities your house has to offer. Evoking emotion is one of the strongest ways to entice a buyer and get them invested in the idea of living in a house, so keep that in mind when staging a home to sell. Good luck!

Warm regards,
Megan