How to Stage a house

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 To Stage Or Not To Stage

One of the most frequent questions that I get is whether or not to stage a house that is going up for sale. Guess what? Staging sells! Decorating a house helps a potential buyer to envision a lifestyle in that home. 

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But, it does not have to be expensive.  People often ask if they should hire a stager.  If you are listing a million dollar mansion that is vacant with a ton of space, then you should definitely hire a stager to make the home look livable.

However, for most average house flips, it is not necessary to hire a stager.  I am a total DIY girl so I prefer to lightly stage all of my houses myself.  Small, neutral pieces can be used over and over again in various flips.

The best part about buying small items to stage a home with is that your business gets the tax write-off.  Always, check with your accountant on how to do this.  You’d be surprised how a quick shop to Ikea or Home Goods can get you some inexpensive and trendy home decorations.

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Why Stage?  

Well there are a few reasons why you should stage a home:

It helps buyers envision a lifestyle in an otherwise blank space.  Most buyers don’t have the vision to imagine what their furniture and décor would look like in a vacant house.  Staging the home helps them to “see” the potential use of the space.

Let’s say that you have an extra room that you know would make a great office.  You can put a desk and chair in that room to show potential buyers that this room could be used for a home office.  Any type of odd living area or dysfunctional space could be decorated to show how that area could be used.

Decorating a home with trendy décor can make an otherwise vacant and cold home look more livable and vibrant.  The fact is that staged homes often sell faster.

How To Decorate A Home

You do not need to go all out and buy expensive furniture to decorate your vacant house.  A few small pieces can really go a long way. Spend some time making the kitchen and bathroom look good.  Add a pop of color to make the room look fabulous.

Here are some of the common ways that I stage each home.


A nice shower curtain and pretty soaps
A plush, trendy floor mat
Toilet paper (yes, TP) on the roll
Hand towels


A fruit bowl with fake fruit (You don’t want real fruit to go bad).
A candy dish
Colorful flowers in a vase
Pretty hand towels
A floor mat in front of the sink
Setting a table (or counter) with cute dishes and cups


We’ve used cardboard boxes with a blow up mattress on top to show where a bed could go in a bedroom. Just be sure to put a sign up that says, “Do Not Sit On Bed”. A small table or nightstand with a lamp and a vase (or an alarm clock) looks great.

Living Room:

A nice area rug with a futon and coffee table
Mirrors can make a room appear bigger
Plants (fake of course!) can add some color and life to a room

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Additional Tips

Make the rooms light and bright for all showings.  Open the curtains or blinds to let natural sunlight shine in the room.  Turn the lights on to make the rooms appear bigger and brighter.

Keep the room temperature at a comfortable setting.  In the winter, turn on the heat to keep the house warm.  In the summer, put the air conditioning on to make the house cooler.  You want buyers to be comfortable while walking around the house and not in a rush to get out because it is too hot or cold.

Have the furnace checked and change the filter so that it purifies the air.  If you’re not sure how to do this, then a good HVAC company can do it for you.  For example, there’s a great HVAC company in Pittsburgh called Restano.  I can call them up anytime to change the air filters in the furnace and they will take care of it.

So there you have it!  The answer is yes you should stage a home to make it look more inviting.  But remember it does not have to be expensive.  There is no need to pay a home stager thousands of dollars to decorate a home when you can easily do it yourself.

  Welcome to Hey Rich Girl!

Hey girl!  I'm Cynthia Cuccuini, a self taught real estate entrepreneur.  I've been flipping houses, landlording (Is that even a word)? and designing homes for over 10 years.  Come along the journey as I educate entrepreneurs how to invest in real estate.

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