staging while living in a home image

Staging a home, and keeping it show-ready at a moment’s notice, is by far one of the trickiest parts of selling a home.  After all, you never know when potential buyers might be dropping by.


The key is to get the home in showing condition — and keep it there. Below you’ll find tips on exactly how to do that, plus a few secret staging tips.


Preparing your home


The first step is to create a blank canvas for staging. So we’ll start with cleaning. Here are some tips for getting your home ready.



  • Move out: To move out, both physically and mentally, you’ll have to change your mindset. Pretend that you’re moving out now, and remove as much of your personal belongings as possible. De-clutter surfaces, drawers, cabinets, and put at least one-third of your stuff in storage.  
  • Clean, and keep it clean: Do an initial deep clean of your home, followed by some smaller cleaning tasks mapped out for day-to-day cleaning. Try mommy-blogger Kelly Cone’s tips for staging a house with kids in it: clean the shower while you’re in it, cook only in the oven to avoid a greasy stove top, have the kiddos wear catch-all bibs and use placemats at mealtimes.
  • Don’t stage alone: As it turns out, professionally staged homes sell for more than 6 percent above asking price according to a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. Staging is a huge part of getting great photos to post online as well as keeping the house nice for showings.
  • Get out: The best way to keep your home in pristine condition is to not spend so much time there. Try to get out of the house as much as possible.
  • Create a last-minute list: Ready a list of last-minute items that you’ll need to do before you leave the house for a showing. Add things like: check that beds are made, wipe down countertops and bathroom surfaces, double-check kid and pet spaces, etc.



Staging secrets


Stagers have all kinds of tips and tricks to make your home look as perfect as possible. Here are a few secret home staging tips that the pros do that you might not even notice.


  1. Create vignettes

Vignettes are small scenes that create focus and set a mood in a room. Vignette staging is a top insider trick because it’s easy, and it’s cheap. Here are a few examples of vignettes:


  1. Sterilize the space

Sellers really want a sterile home, though we’re not suggesting you take bleach to every inch of your home. Instead, look to this HomeLight guide Deep Clean Like You Mean It – Your House Cleaning Checklist for more information on deep cleaning.  


  1. Hide the evidence


Tuck away any evidence that you live there, including trash, cooking wares, towels and cleaning supplies.


Living in a home that’s staged doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Just make a plan, and stick with it. You’ll reap the rewards when you get that sale check.