Home Staging Best Practices for Real Estate Agents

Discover the benefits of home staging and tips for staging a home for maximum visibility and profit.

In the competitive real estate market, staging a home to sell can make the difference between a listing that sits online for weeks and one that attracts potential buyers and achieves a quick sale at a favorable price. 

Home staging helps buyers envision themselves in a property. When they’re clicking through listings and see a) an image of an empty shell with bare floors, white walls and no furniture or b) a well-lit, staged home painted in a neutral color palette with furniture arranged strategically to highlight the layout’s flow, which listing is more likely to attract the buyer’s attention?

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Staging homes becomes even more important in challenging real estate markets by helping differentiate the home from the competition. 

Home staging can also be critical for vacant properties, which can be transformed from a house void of personality into a home that fires the buyer’s imagination with all kinds of possibilities.    

Use these home staging tips to help you maximize the impact of your listings and attract more potential buyers. 

Declutter and Depersonalize.

Clearing out excess furniture, personal items and excessive clutter can help create a neutral canvas that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Decluttering will also make the space appear larger and more appealing. 

Clean and Organize.

Ensure the home is spotless and odor-free. Consider hiring professional cleaners for a thorough clean. Also, sellers can help create a sense of order by organizing closets, cabinets and other storage areas.

Highlight the Key Features.

Emphasize the key features of the home such as architectural details, views and natural light. Optimize natural and artificial lighting to enhance the ambiance of each room.

Focus on Lighting.

Proper lighting can make a significant difference in how a space is perceived. Open curtains, add lamps and ensure all light fixtures are in working order to create a bright, welcoming environment.

Arrange Furniture Strategically.

Proper home staging furniture placement will help highlight a room’s potential and flow. Aim for a balanced layout with furniture that fits the size of the room. But avoid using too much furniture, which can overwhelm the visual landscape.

Keep Colors Neutral.

As a best practice, use neutral paint colors and decor to appeal to a wide range of taste. Consider repainting bold or outdated colors with a more natural palette. 

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Create Inviting Spaces.

Arrange home staging furniture in a way that promotes conversation and flow. Consider adding accent pillows or throws for a cozy touch. Fresh flowers, scented candles, rugs and decorative accents can also help create a welcoming atmosphere during showings. But, avoid over-accessorizing so you’re enhancing the space rather than overwhelming it with too many objects.

Showcase Potential Functional Areas.

Highlight the versatility of the property by showing potential uses for extra rooms or nooks. In home offices and dens, for instance, you might stage a dedicated area for remote work or relaxation. Zillow Showcase listings can help highlight these areas with a media grouped-by-room feature that helps provide the viewer with a deeper understanding of the home’s layout and room-by-room offerings.

Add Mirrors and Art.

Mirrors can help create the illusion of more space and light, while strategically placed art can add personality and visual appeal to the home.

Curb Appeal.

Help create a great first impression by enhancing the curb appeal of the home. Trim landscaping, paint the front door and add potted plants. Seating areas, planters and tasteful decor can help create inviting outdoor spaces.

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Hire a Professional Photographer.

For best results, consider hiring a professional photographer who specializes in HDR photography and avoids using panoramic or fish-eye lenses, which can distort the view. 

By incorporating these home staging tips and techniques, real estate agents can increase the appeal of their listings and help potential buyers imagine the full potential of a property. 

Interested in trying virtual staging? Listing Media Services offers virtual staging and/or furniture removal as an add-on service with Essentials and Premium packages


A real estate agent looking at a phone and smiling, pleased with the property photos ShowingTime+ provided for her listing.

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