Staging the “Make or Break” Areas, Part 3: The Master Bedroom

The “make or break” areas of a house are the specific rooms that rank highest on buyers’ must-have lists and will often make or break their interest in placing an offer. Because of their importance, I’ve been covering the top three areas over three blog posts with 10 tips for staging each one. These rooms include the kitchen, living area, and master bedroom. When you’re staging your home for sale it is vital that these rooms are as attractive as possible to a wide spectrum of buyers so you maximize your chances for an offer. This doesn’t always have to mean spending a lot of money on renovations; sometimes, you just need to do a little redesign!

In this final post in the make or break areas staging series, we’re focusing on staging the master bedroom. This is the room in which buyers will be expecting to find peace and serenity. They want a space they can come to after a long day to unwind and relax. Try these 10 master bedroom staging tips to create a master bedroom worth making an offer for…

1) As always, declutter! One of the #1 turn-offs for buyers will always be clutter. Some sellers think, “Well, they aren’t buying what’s in the house, so why do they care?” But very few buyers can actually see past it. It makes every space seem smaller, cramped, and dirty. (Three words you do NOT want used to describe your house.) Make sure laundry and any other miscellaneous items are kept out of sight.

2) Keep the bed made. Take a little extra time to make the bed look as neat as though it were in a hotel room. Flatten out any unsightly creases in the bedspread, make sure it’s even on both sides, and keep the pillows straight.

3) Trade out a “loud” bedspread for a neutral one. You don’t want buyers distracted by the bedspread when they should be appreciating the room. Neutral colors always ensure that buyers will be able to imagine their own decorating sense in the space and they also make a room look larger and more relaxing. If you want to bring in a pop of color, do it in the accent pillows.

4) Decorate for both sexes. Keep the color palette and design choices neutral so that both men and women will be able to imagine themselves living there. You don’t want men to be turned off by too “feminine” a space and start calculating in their mind how much it will cost to redecorate.

5) Center the bed in the middle of a wall. Place an end table and a lamp on either side of the bed to create a balanced space. It’s best to match the items exactly but if that’s not possible, at least make sure that they are equal heights and have a style that compliment each other.

6) Make the bed the focal point of the room. Once the bed is centered and framed properly (as suggested in tip 5), you can add some interest behind the bed to really bring a buyer’s focus to it. The best way to do this is with either a nice headboard, a large piece of art, or 2-3 smaller pieces of art that when put together make a larger statement.

7) Consider window treatments to soften the windows. If you don’t have any window treatments up or if they are two taste-specific or outdated, you could consider framing them with some neutral curtains. It’s important to allow light into every room in the house while it’s on the market, so don’t look to cover them with dark panels. Curtains aren’t necessary and in fact should be avoided if your windows have nice wood work around them or shutters. In those cases, you want to showcase them.

8) Clear off all furniture tops. It’s best to leave only a few necessary pieces on the surface of furniture. For example: It’s ok to leave an alarm clock on nightstand with a lamp, but more than that and you risk it looking too cluttered.

9) De-personalize the space. This goes beyond just neutralizing the decorating. You should also remove family photos and any other personal objects that show that the space is lived in. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there and if they see the current homeowner’s personal items around, it can be distracting and off-putting because they feel like they are invading someone’s personal space.

10) Organize the closet. Closet space is very valuable to buyers and an unorganized, cluttered closet can lead buyers to believe that there isn’t enough space to hold everything. Invest some time in donating anything you don’t want (this will save you time and space later when you pack to move) and organizing the rest by style and color. Keep the floor cleared, especially if it’s a walk-in closet and keep anything highly personal out of view.

I hope you have found all the staging tips from the last few posts about staging the “make or break” areas helpful. For a comprehensive guide to staging your whole house, check out my book Stageology: How to Stage to Sell which is available through all major booksellers nationwide. Good luck and happy selling!

Warm regards,

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