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When selling a house, staging it makes a difference in how fast it sells and can even affect how much money the buyer is willing to spend. If you properly stage a house, it will look clean, bright, open, and welcoming with clever use of light and furniture placement. The National Association of Realtors released a statistical study in 2015 that reveals the many benefits of staging a house. A good realtor will be able to help you set up great staging that fits your home’s particular needs, but here we’ll go over the basics that can help with any location.

Staging vs. Decorating

When selling a home, it’s important to realize that decorating is not the same thing as staging. Decorating, such as placing furniture and knick-knacks around a room, can be a part of staging to give the prospective buyer a better idea of what the house could look like while living there. However, a properly staged home can also be completely empty. Staging doesn’t have to include decorating, but rather include making sure the house is clean, smells good, and is ready to move into immediately.

Houses are never spotless and completely perfect before a sale. There might be stains or dings that can’t easily be fixed. Proper staging doesn’t require you to fix every little problem. It does require you to fix everything that can easily be fixed, such as clutter, crumbs, and spills. If you don’t want to do a deep clean yourself, consider hiring a cleaning service to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

The Importance of Smells

There’s a reason why hotels have non-smoking rooms: smells make a big difference in making people feel comfortable in their environment. If a house smells bad, it will scare off some potential buyers. A bad smell might be a temporary problem because the seller forgot to take out the trash, but the buyer has to be concerned that a bad smell is a permanent problem that they will have to face if they purchase the house.

There are several things you should and shouldn’t do to properly stage a house with smells. Overall, any strong scents should be avoided, including strongly scented candles, sprays, or food. Cleaning the home goes a long way toward making it smell nice, but other solutions might be needed. Bad smells can stick around in carpet for a long time, so make sure the carpets get cleaned completely. In extreme cases, replacing the carpet is the best option. Before your house is shown, make sure the trash is removed, dishes are cleaned, and leftover food is securely put away. If you really want to add a scent, make sure that it is a mild one.

Make Buyers Feel Welcome

An easy way to make people feel welcome when they tour your home is to set out water and treats. Have a bowl of mints or candy and a few bottles of water available on the heaviest days of touring, such as Saturdays. This will make potential buyers feel more comfortable, welcome, and will encourage them to stick around and look more closely at the home.

Wall Color

Some people love having brightly colored walls in their home, but it’s much better to use neutral colors for selling a house. There are several reasons for this policy. For one, neutral colors are less likely to be off-putting to an individual. It might seem silly, but someone could be so annoyed by a particular color of orange that they don’t even consider buying the house. Neutral colors will make more people feel welcome and at home immediately. They make the house feel ready to move into. Neutral colors also make rooms seem brighter and more open, since the light can reflect better off pale, neutral colors.


A bright home is a welcoming home, and wall color is not the only factor to take into account when setting up great lighting. More light makes a room seem larger, so use this to your advantage. Open the window blinds and shades to let natural light into the room. Use lamps and mirrors in strategic places to extend the light into dark corners. Use bulbs that aren’t too dim. You’ll be amazed at the difference that good lighting can make on a space that seems cramped when it’s dark.

Staging Odd Areas

Many houses have a room or corner that stands out from other houses and can be used for several different purposes. If you have such an area, it can be beneficial to show prospective buyers a possibility for the space. Show them how you can use an odd area of the living room as a mini study or put a coffee stand in the small nook in the kitchen. Make the irregularities of your home a selling point, not a source of confusion.

Hidden Problems

If you are buying a house, it’s important to realize that staging can be used to hide significant problems with the property. Large cracks, stains, and other issues can be easily hidden with a rug or bookcase. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before making the final decision.

Home Warranties

Home warranties help sell houses. Complete Protection has a blog that goes into more detail on this subject here, but the gist is that it protects everyone involved in the sale. The buyer feels more comfortable knowing that any problems that arise in the first year will be easily solved. The seller and realtor feel more comfortable knowing that any problems will not come back to bite them in the future. When setting up your house for sale, consider setting up a home warranty to make the house more attractive conceptually while you set up staging to make it more attractive physically.

Properly staging a house is not very difficult and can make a huge difference in the price and speed at which you sell your home. Use proper lighting, cleaning, smells, and colors to help you make the sale. If you want more home maintenance tips, check out Complete Protection’s other blogs here.