Dos and Don’ts of Staging a Home Before Selling: A Detailed Guide

The Dos and Don'ts of Staging a Home Before Selling A Detailed Guide

Staging a home for sale is a crucial step in the real estate process, involving more than just making a house look presentable. It’s a strategic approach to highlight a property’s strengths and appeal to potential buyers’ emotions. While effective, good staging can be overwhelming and costly to tackle alone. Recognizing this, we offer complimentary staging services, ensuring your home is professionally presented. Additionally, for homes needing more than just staging, our services often extend to include access to experienced contractors and designers, ready to assist with any necessary renovations. This integrated approach simplifies the process, ensuring your property is optimally prepared for the market.

Table of Contents

The Dos of Home Staging

  1. Declutter and Depersonalize
Home Staging - Elevating Perceived Value

Removing personal items and clutter is the first step in staging a home. This process involves more than just tidying up; it’s about creating a blank canvas where buyers can envision their own lives. Store away family photos, personal collections, and any clutter that has accumulated over time. The less clutter, the larger and more inviting the space appears.

For condo owners, staging can be uniquely challenging due to space considerations. Get insights on effectively staging your Toronto condo to sell with our specialized guide.

  1. Repair and Refresh

Every home has its share of wear and tear, but when selling, these small flaws can become focal points for potential buyers. Addressing all minor repairs is essential. This includes fixing leaky faucets, repairing any damage to walls, and ensuring all appliances are in working order. A fresh coat of neutral paint not only covers up any blemishes but also revitalizes the entire space.

Homes that require little to no work sell 73% faster. Minor repairs and a fresh coat of neutral paint can significantly improve the perception of your home.

  1. Enhance Curb Appeal:
Dos and Don'ts of Staging a Home Before Selling: A Detailed Guide

The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers see. Its appearance sets the tone for the entire viewing. Simple actions like mowing the lawn, planting flowers, and painting the front door can significantly boost curb appeal. Ensure the walkways are clear and add a new doormat to welcome visitors.

A well-landscaped home can add between 5.5% to 12.7% in value. The exterior is the first thing buyers see, and its appearance can set the tone for the entire viewing experience.

  1. Focus on Key Areas
Dos and Don'ts of Staging a Home Before Selling: A Detailed Guide

Prioritize the rooms that buyers care about most: the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. These spaces should be the focal points of your staging efforts. In the kitchen, clear the countertops and organize the cabinets. In the living room, arrange furniture to create an open and inviting space. For bedrooms, ensure they feel relaxing and spacious.

  1. Optimize Lighting
Home Staging - Depersonalization for Broader Appeal

Good lighting is essential in staging. It can transform a space, making it feel warm and inviting. Open all curtains and blinds to let in natural light. In darker rooms, add floor or table lamps to brighten the space. Consider upgrading to higher-wattage bulbs to make the rooms feel more open and cheerful.

  1. Create a Sense of Space
Home Staging - Space Optimization

The arrangement of furniture plays a critical role in staging. The goal is to showcase the functionality and potential of each room. Arrange furniture to create easy pathways and demonstrate how the space can be utilized. This might mean removing some furniture pieces to prevent rooms from feeling cramped.

Staged homes appear 77% more ‘move-in ready’ to potential buyers than non-staged homes.

  1. Add Neutral Decor
Staging Home - Accelerating the Selling Process

While personal items should be removed, that doesn’t mean the house should be devoid of decor. The key is to use neutral, tasteful decorations that appeal to a wide audience. A few well-placed artworks, plants, or throw pillows can add character to the space without overpowering it.

  1. Clean Thoroughly
Home Staging - Professional Service Expertise

A clean home is more appealing and suggests to buyers that the property is well cared for. This means deep cleaning – scrubbing every surface, cleaning carpets, washing windows, and ensuring that kitchens and bathrooms are spotless. Pay special attention to odours; homes should smell fresh but not overly scented.

85% of staged homes sell for 5-23% over list price.

The Don’ts of Home Staging

  1. Overcrowding Rooms

Avoid the temptation to fill every space. Too much furniture or decor can make rooms feel smaller and less inviting. The goal is to demonstrate the potential of each space, not to showcase how much furniture it can hold.

  1. Using Bold Colors and Personalized Decor

While you may love bold colours and unique decor, they can be off-putting to potential buyers. Stick with a neutral colour palette and minimal decor to appeal to the widest range of people. Remember, you’re trying to appeal to others’ tastes, not your own.

  1. Neglecting Small Details

It’s often the small details that leave the most significant impression. Ensure that all light bulbs are working, door handles are secure, and faucets don’t leak. These small touches show that the home has been well-maintained.

  1. Forgetting About Pet Odors and Clutter

Pets are part of many families, but evidence of pets can be a turn-off for potential buyers. Remove pet bowls, toys, and litter boxes during showings, and ensure there are no lingering pet odours.

67% of realtors say that buyers are turned off by strong pet odors.

  1. Ignoring the Backyard

The backyard is an extension of the home and should be treated as such. Ensure it is tidy and well-maintained. If you have outdoor furniture, arrange it neatly to showcase the usability of the outdoor space.

  1. Neglecting the Garage and Storage Areas

Don’t overlook the garage and storage areas. Buyers will want to see these spaces, and cluttered, disorganized areas can be a deterrent. Organize these areas to demonstrate the full potential of the storage space available in the home.

  1. Using Overpowering Scents

While your home needs to smell fresh, overpowering scents can be as off-putting as bad odours. Stick to subtle scents or simply ensure the home is well-ventilated.

  1. Staging That Lacks Cohesion

Your staging efforts should feel cohesive throughout the home. A consistent style and colour scheme throughout the house create a sense of harmony and flow.


Effective home staging is a powerful tool in the real estate market. It’s not just about making a home look attractive; it’s about strategically presenting it to resonate with potential buyers. By incorporating these detailed dos and don’ts, complete with insightful statistics, sellers can significantly enhance their home’s market appeal, potentially leading to a quicker sale and a higher selling price.

The key is to create an environment where potential buyers can easily envision their future home. At Pierre Carapetian Group Realty, we understand the importance of staging and its impact on sales success. That’s why we offer complimentary staging services to our clients, ensuring your property is showcased at its best, ready to captivate the right buyer. Contact our team for more information.

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Pierre Carapetian
Pierre Carapetian

Pierre Carapetian is the Broker Of Record for Pierre Carapetian Group Realty with over 12 years of experience in the real estate market. As a proud Torontonian and real estate broker, he prides himself on knowing this city inside out. He started investing at the age of 18 and has facilitated over half a billion dollars in real estate transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Does Staging Affect the Sale Price of a Home?

Staging can significantly impact the sale price of a home. Statistics show that 85% of staged homes sell for 5-23% over the list price. By enhancing the home’s appeal, staging can lead to higher offers from potential buyers who can more easily envision the property as their own.

Yes, staging can help sell a home faster. Homes that are staged often sell 73% faster than non-staged homes. Staging creates a move-in-ready appearance, making it easier for buyers to decide quickly.

Absolutely. Even with limited space, professional staging can make a significant difference in how a condo is perceived. Effective staging can highlight the best features of a small space, making it feel larger and more inviting. For specific strategies on staging condos, consider reading our guide on staging your Toronto condo to sell.

The most important rooms to stage are the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. These are key areas that potential buyers focus on. Ensuring these spaces are well-staged can greatly influence buyers’ impressions and decision-making.

Yes, it’s advisable to remove personal items, such as family photos and personal collections, when staging your home. This helps create a neutral environment where potential buyers can imagine their own lives and belongings in the space.

When staging, it’s best to use neutral colors as they appeal to a broader range of buyers. Bold or very bright colors can be off-putting or distracting. Neutral colors create a clean, inviting canvas for buyers.

Pets are beloved family members, but their presence should be minimized when staging. Remove pet bowls, toys, and litter boxes, and ensure there are no pet odors. Approximately 67% of realtors say that buyers are turned off by strong pet odors, so it’s crucial to address this.

If hiring a professional stager isn’t within your budget, there are still many things you can do on your own. Focus on decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, and rearranging furniture to optimize space. At Pierre Carapetian Group Realty, we also offer complimentary staging services to our clients, providing expert assistance without the added cost.