Seller Resources

Do-It-Yourself Home Staging Tips & Tricks

Want to know the secret to a quick and profitable home sale? An attractive property. First impressions make a significant impact on a home buyer's decision-making process!

Once your home goes on the market, it becomes a product. Home styling or "staging" simply allows you to highlight the best features of your home and de-emphasize its flaws. It's not about decorating your home but about turning your home into a model, to appeal to the broadest range of prospective Sarasota home buyers. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First Impressions Make or Break a Home Sale

A spruced-up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. Because buyers know they’ll encounter fewer problems in a home that's well maintained, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, you’ll save time selling it when it’s on the market.

A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It’s not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, how they imagine it would be to live there. With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.

Enchance Your Home's Curb Appeal

Home buyers tend to judge the inside of a property based on its outer appearance. That's why it's crucial to pay attention to your home's roof, front entrance, and exterior. You want to attract as many people as you can from the curb to take a look inside — and instantly feel like they've found their dream home.

Sweep your entryway, add a splash of color (either on the door itself or plants on either side of it), and clean or replace the hardware on your front door. If you want further details about home staging, take a look at these low-cost, DIY curb appeal tips.

house with tile roof and palm trees outside

The Yard

  • Trim trees, prune shrubs, and mow the lawn.
  • Edge the grass around walks and trees.
  • Purchase a new mailbox.

house with pristine exterior

The Exterior

  • Power-wash your driveway, sidewalk, and exterior.
  • Clean your gutters of leaves and other debris.

welcoming front entrance

The Entrance

  • Polish your house numbers.
  • Hang a seasonal wreath on your front door.
  • Put a bright pot of flowers on your front porch.

Make Your Home Show Ready

When buyers enter a home during a showing, they expect the home to be "show ready": spotless, free of photos and other personal items, and clear of any clutter. Try out these helpful styling tips taken from Setting the Stage - REALTOR® Magazine Online. They've compiled the best tips from stagers and real estate pros — things you can do for little or no expense — to put a home in prime showing shape.

kitchen that's clear of clutter


  • Focus most on the most visible areas—the foyer, kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and family room.
  • Hire a professional service to clean the home, including the carpets and the windows.
  • Make functional repairs—fix dripping faucets, sticking doors, and broken fences.

decluttered living room


  • Give away or pack up unnecessary furniture, linens, and small kitchen appliances to store off-site.
  • Make a small room feel spacious by hanging a mirror in a pretty frame.
  • Use as much natural light as possible. Add extra lamps in dark rooms or corners.

kitchen without personal belongings


  • Removing photos, mementos, large collections of items, and dated decor.
  • Remove valuables, prescription medicine, collectibles, and breakables.
  • Stick with neutral colors—beiges, grays, whites, and muted hues.

Create the Right Mood

While selling a home is often a logical, financially driven process, buying a home is often an emotional one. Your home's show-worthy appearance, combined with neutral decor, helps buyers start to imagine their new lives in your home. Sweet scents and aromas, too, can contribute to the emotional appeal of your home and make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your property.

Consider doing some baking prior to showings. The scent of fresh apple pie is hard to beat when it comes to creating the atmosphere of a welcoming home! In a pinch, a mixture of water, vanilla extract, and brown sugar in an oven on low heat can be used to create the pleasing aroma of fresh baking.

Open Your Home for Showings!

Now that your home is clean, decluttered, depersonalized, and staged, it's time to make it available for showings. The key word here is "available." One of the biggest mistakes Sarasota homeowners can make when selling their homes is either giving buyers few chances to tour their home or hanging around while buyers are viewing the home.

Think of it like this: If you've ever been in a store where the employees clearly work on commission and almost seem to lurk in the background, watching your every move, while you shop, it doesn't really put you in the buying mood. Likewise, hanging around while buyers tour your property can make them uncomfortable.

This is why you have hired a real estate agent to represent you and your home: Who better than a qualified professional to be the spokesperson for your home?

Staged Homes Sell for More Money

To a certain extent, buyers make purchase decisions based on their emotional response, so it’s important to make it easy for them to fall in love with your home. That's why home staging, curb appeal, and even pleasant aromas are so essential when preparing your home for the market. When you take the time enhance your home's appeal, you're helping to boost its value.

staged vs. non-staged home value difference

staged vs. non-staged home time on market

Start Off on the Right Foot

As you're getting ready to sell your home, or if you've already taken the time to make it look warm and inviting for potential home buyers, don't forget the most important part of selling your home: determining a competitive but fair asking price. The right price is the first step to creating the best first impression.

Eager to Sell? Learn What Your Home is Worth

The next step in the home selling process is to learn the market value of your home. The right price is key to selling quickly and for the most money possible. We'll help you determine the best asking price. Ask for your complimentary home evaluation to get started.

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