Top Tips for Staging Your Empty Home

Selling an empty home might seem easy. It’s low maintenance, always available to show, and there’s nothing to move out when it’s time to hand over the keys. However, furnishings generally make a home sell faster—and often for a higher price. (Believe it or not, rooms look smaller without furniture.) If your home is already empty, don’t worry. You can capture that lived-in look with these simple steps from professional house stager Paige Hemmis, a lifestyle design expert on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family.

First impressions are crucial.

The entry is very important. It’s the first space potential buyers see—the interior equivalent of curb appeal— so put an attractive, non- slip rug in a neutral shade inside the front door. If you have room in the foyer, add a small table with a simple, elegant focal point such as an understated vase or small sculpture.

Tend to the bath and kitchen.

Add fluffy white towels to bathrooms, along with a pretty soap dispenser, and perhaps a splash of color with flowers. In the kitchen, add decorative touches like a teapot, oven mitts, and a few cookbooks.

Stage key rooms.

You don’t need to stage every inch of your home. Find its best assets and showcase them. Staging companies typically offer a minimum package of three living spaces—the family room, dining room, and master bedroom. Take a page from their book and do the same.

Create vignettes.

Home buyers respond best to environments they can envision themselves enjoying, so it’s important to depict what a room could be used for, especially if it’s large. For example, if a living room alcove is perfect for a mini- office, consider adding a desk and a chair.

Keep it fresh.

Be mindful of odors that might be off-putting, such as the smell of new paint. Consider a diffuser with a light scent that won’t overpower a room. Finally, hire someone to clean the house once a month.

Rent furnishings.

Staging an empty home doesn’t require a major investment. Rather than purchase the furniture you need, consider renting pieces monthly from a company that will deliver them and pick them up. Neutral colors are generally preferable.

Find your new home.

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