How to Stage a House for Sale

I almost put my house on the market for sale this weekend. To get ready for interviewing a realtor at home, I changed new toilet seats in all four bathrooms, bought a box of magic erasers to clean up, changed new towels in the bathrooms, plugged in air refreshers, replaced new light bulbs, and changed a new shower curtain in the upstair’s hall bathroom. Deck was updated with a new color. Since grey and taupe colors were in this year, I chose grey as the new stain color for a coat of fresh paint of the deck. The driveway was power washed. And the lawn edges were trimmed.

I told my kids what’s going on after the realtor left, but they were against the idea of moving. Besides, I’m barely breakeven at best if I sell now, which made me a little reluctant as well. However, from this experience, I did learn how to stage a house to make it appealing to buyers. The overall impression should be clean, bright, and airy. Here’s a detailed list.

Outside curb appeal:

  • Power wash front door and touch up front door paint
  • Power wash driveway
  • Power wash sidings
  • Have beautiful flowers in two flower pots on stoop by front door
  • Mow lawn, trim edges, and bushes
  • Deck table and chairs should be placed in the center, and bench should be placed by deck railing far from the sliding door/window.


  • Know what colors are in and have some in the house, e.g., white, green, blue, grey, and taupe for the year of 2017.
  • All lights working both inside and outside, and have light bulbs in the same style
  • No trash cans, mops, brooms, etc. visible. Hide them in the garage.
  • Less is more, i.e., reduce the amount of furniture in the house and every room. Minimal decoration as well.
  • Rearrange furniture
  • Every room has a defined, distinct purpose
  • Arrange furniture against walls to make space look bigger in any room
  • Clean everywhere including baseboard
  • Touch up paints in rooms
  • Choose a lighter shade of fabric shower curtains and bed covers
  • Shower curtains should be draped outside of shower tubs
  • No towels in the bathroom
  • No personal pictures, etc. displaying/showing
  • No area rugs
  • No plants
  • No religious items
  • Nothing or minimal stuff on kitchen and bathroom counters
  • No heavy drapery/window treatments
  • Hide electronic wires
  • Air fresheners should be plugged in discrete places like behind a sofa, etc.
  • Open sheers up to let the rights in
  • Straighten up pictures
  • Have dehumidifier running the entire time in basement until showing to put it away
  • Only one big picture on hallway walls to avoid overpowering
  • Empty displaying shelves, package stuff up, and line the packing boxes in the garage
  • Polish hardwood floors and rails

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