How to Be a Successful Home Stager

how to be a successful home stager

Yikes! Writing an article about how to become a successful home stager could take me months, and I could write a few hundred pages on the top.

But I’m going to just touch on a few topics in this blog post, since there is a lot of other information on the Home Staging Institute blog which will help in becoming a home stager.

Some of the more popular articles I am referring to are:

So once you’ve read this article, get stuck into a few of those above to get a bit of a deeper understanding of the home staging business.

The act of home staging takes a total of seven main steps, each with its own sub-steps. To become a successful home stager, you need to master each of these steps. Le’s explore them in more detail below…

home staging plan

1. Make a detailed staging plan.

When I was growing up the teachers in school often said, “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. They were talking about school exams, but the same applies to home staging as well. You need to think 5 steps ahead to be a successful home stager, or you’ll find yourself running in circles. Can you imagine turning up to a house with a car full of products to stage a house, without fully understanding the role each of these items plays in staging this particular house?!

So how do you make a detailed plan?

  • Conduct a walk-through of every room from the buyer’s perspective.
  • Now is the time to have the seller get a professional home inspection to learn of needed repairs.
  • Help the seller hire a contractor for major repair or renovation projects.
  • Have the seller get an appraisal to learn the home’s current market value.
  • Suggest holding a yard sale to the seller. They can sell anything you don’t need.

Obviously for the sake of this blog post I am simplifying things a little bit. If you’d like to get our free home staging checklist template, it is available at the link provided.

declutter your house

2. Help the seller clean and declutter the home.

If the seller needs to still live there while you show the home, they will need to depersonalize it by removing photos and knickknacks.

  • Bleach and scrub all household tile surfaces in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Clean and polish the hardwood floors.
  • Have the carpets and drapes steam cleaned. If stains persist, counsel the seller to replace the carpets.
  • Ditch the dust bunnies and cobwebs.
  • Repair wall cracks and holes.
  • re-paint the interior walls. Use neutral colors. Beige, cream or pastels work well in living areas, while bathrooms in blues and greens sell well.
  • Remove most of the furniture, especially the oversized pieces.
  • Rearrange the remaining furniture to maximize space.
  • Clear out closets or at least organize them. Store things off-site.
  • Have the seller remove the small appliances, children’s toys, pet paraphernalia and books and magazines.
  • Also, have them pack away and store family photos, collectors’ items, jewelry and medicines.
  • Clean out the garage and put it all in storage if the seller has not yet moved into their new home yet.

curb appeal

3. Maximize the home’s curb appeal.

A welcoming lawn and home façade can help sell the home more quickly.

  • Have the seller paint the home’s exterior, trim, doors and shutters.
  • Double check the appearance of the front door, welcome carpet, and address number. Check that the doorbell works.
  • Power wash the windows and any siding.
  • The seller should have the roof inspected. Make repairs if necessary.
  • Mow and edge the lawn. Also, water and fertilize it. Trim and shape shrubs and trees. Rake, bag and dispose of any leaves.
  • Sweep the entryway, walkways, sidewalks and repair cracks any masonry.
  • Plant bright flowers and shrubs, if the landscape does not already have them.
  • Put any outdoor furniture or toys in storage.
  • Clean up pet excrement.
  • Clean the home’s gutters and downspouts.

clean the kitchen

4. Clean and update the bathrooms and kitchen.

Start by mopping and waxing the floors. Clean and clear the countertops.

Give both rooms a mini-makeover with new hardware and caulk around sinks and bathtubs.

Clean all appliances and fixtures, plus the pantry, cabinets and drawers. Organize the kitchen storage if the home sellers are still living there.
Bleach the bathtubs, sinks and toilets to remove the stains. Keep the toilet seat lids closed while showing the home. Hang fresh hand towels.

home staging ambience

5. Set an appealing ambiance

This’ll help potential buyers picture themselves entertaining in the home or enjoying being there. Bake cookies in the oven, then serve them up as refreshments. Burn scented candles or potpourri.

Brighten the home by installing high wattage incandescent light bulbs and turning on all the lights. Let in fresh air by opening windows and open the blinds or curtains to allow natural light. You’ll also showcase its views.

If there are still televisions in the home, turn them off. Institute a no smoking policy for the home. The day of the open house or any showings, have the owners relocate any pets if they are still living in the home.

home staging fireplace

6. Showcase the top features of the home.

Remove all throw rugs or runners to show off the hardwood floors. Check that the fireplaces are working properly. With respect to the exterior, stage the front porch and patio or deck with potted plants and furniture. Clean the swimming pool.


7. Make logistical preparations for your open house.

Host a brokers’ only open house with refreshments to let them all know about the new home available. Have the seller tell their family, friends and neighbors about the public open house. Advertise in the local newspaper, industry publications and on Place “Open House” signage in the front yard and at key points on the way to the home. Write up your property description sheets. Complete the inspection reports and purchase offer forms. Have a copy of the homeowner’s association rules on hand.

Now what?

You can pick up home staging easily to help sell the homes you represent. If you would rather not learn as you go, you can earn a home staging certification from the Home Staging Institute. You can remain in your office and affordably earn your home staging certification online.

Learning how to stage a home makes your job easier. You can sell houses more quickly by ensuring they show their best features.

home staging promotion

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About The Author

Jackie Riley

The Home Staging Institute offers courses and products that help people set up and run successful home staging businesses. The Institute was set up in 2007 by successful home staging business owner Jackie Riley. Today, the institute has students in many countries around the world, including America, Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France. Since 2007, thousands of people have graduated.

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