Your essential guide to staging your home

modern kitchen home decor

So you’re going to sell your home? Great. But before you go rushing to put it on the market, you should think about staging your home – to maximise your offers and get the best possible price.

What does ‘staging’ mean?

Staging your property means preparing it for sale i.e. making your home look its best, both in the advert and in the flesh (or in the… erm, brick).

All sorts of things could fall under the banner of “staging” as long as they achieve at least one of these two aims:

  1. Increasing the value of your home
  2. Increasing the appeal of your home to potential buyers

There is some crossover here, but some staging activities will be more suited to one objective than the other. Similarly, how much staging you do will depend on the time and money you can invest in doing it.

Things like a conversion or a new kitchen can add thousands to your home’s value, but take considerable time and money to do. On the other end of the spectrum, a lick of paint is quick and relatively inexpensive. It won’t add any zeros to your price, but it certainly helps grease the wheels of the sale a bit.

How to stage your home for sale

This won’t be an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what you can do to get the most out of your sale. We’ll start with the more quick fixes and work our way down to bigger things you might consider.


Quick fixes

1. Lighten up

Making your home seem as spacious as possible is a must, particularly when it comes to showing people round.

Your neutral paint job will help with this to an extent, but you can make it go a lot further with some tactical placement of mirrors and lamps.

Removing clutter is also essential, so you’d best get yourself a storage unit. You want to give potential buyers a blank canvas, but balance is essential. If you remove absolutely everything from a room, it loses all identity.


2. Fix up. Look sharp.

As we approach the lower end of the staging spectrum, we arrive at fixing all the things you never got round to fixing. Unlike grand conversions and extensions, this one is a must if you want a quick sale at a fair price.

A few common offenders to look out for:

  • Missing/broken door handles
  • Holes in the wall
  • Broken tiles
  • Cracks in plaster
  • Torn carpet
  • Scuffs on the walls


3. A lick of paint

Adding a lick of paint can instantly transform your home, covering up any marks on the walls to keep everything feeling bright, fresh, neat and tidy. But before you dig out your overalls, think about how the colour of the walls will change the overall feel of the room.

Under normal circumstances you should go for something neutral and pale. Your favourite colour might not be to everyone’s taste, and light colours make rooms feel larger.

Cream and off-white are the old favourites, but if you want to be slightly more adventurous you could go for the very in-vogue ‘blush pink’ or a calming pastel blue.


Bigger jobs

4. Kitchen upgrades

According to home design experts, the average property is very kitchen-centric. There’s a reason why half of the hit shows on TV are cooking programs: modern Brits are obsessed with food and cooking. If you’ve got the time and money, it’s a worthwhile investment to refit your kitchen.

If you can’t spare the funds or time for a complete redo, you can make a big difference just by replacing elements of your kitchen e.g. upgrading just the counter tops or white goods.

If you’re really tight on funds, simply re-facing the cabinets can make a big difference to the look and feel and is much cheaper than replacing them.


5. Bathroom upgrades

Similar to the above: bathrooms are often one of the most looked at rooms by buyers, so it’s worth polishing up those taps.

If you haven’t the cash for a complete remodel, that are small things you can do. This includes washing all bath mats, bleaching groutlines, and giving your shower curtain a wash. Even a fresh toilet seat can make all the difference!


6. Conversions/Extensions

If you have the cash and aren’t in a rush to sell, you can make a serious return on your investment by making the most out of some unused space.

If you can’t spare the time or capital, you should think about getting planning permission anyway. It will only cost £1,000 – £2,000, and just having the go ahead for this sort of work can add considerable value to your home.


Most lofts end up being a forgotten storage area, but according to a special report from Nationwide, a simple loft conversion can add up to 20% to the value of your home.


By building out into your garden or on the top of the kitchen, the same report showed you could increase the value of your home by 11%.

A second bathroom

If you expect to get top dollar for your home, having 2 bathrooms is almost a necessity. Nationwide’s report found having an extra bathroom could add 5% on to the value of your property.


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Final thoughts

Selling a home can be an emotional time in anyone’s life. So many of our memories are tied into the bricks and mortar that make up a flat or a house. But you must remember that your home is also an investment. You need to make sure any changes you make are objective improvements. Anything else, and you risk losing money in the long run.

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