What Home Buyers May Miss If You Don’t Stage Your Home to Sell

One of the reasons Home Staging is so important to utilize when selling your home is that buyers make snap judgments when they walk into a room.  Your house is one of the many they are touring, and buyers are very quickly taking mental notes and drawing instant conclusions about each room they enter.  

home staging


The owners of this home had lived here many, many years.  They were fully aware they needed staging guidance from a professional who could give their memory-filled home a fresh perspective. They first called me in to give them a Staging Consultation, which is the master plan for preparing a house to sell quickly and for top dollar.  I later returned to stage their edited space, which only took a couple of hours since they had made all the changes I had recommended in the consultation. So what would home buyers miss if this couple didn’t stage their home?





Wallpaper strikes fear in the hearts of many homebuyers.  If buyers see wallpaper in a room, they may miss the generous size of the room and even the architectural features.   All they will think about is the difficult job of wallpaper removal.

staged dining room

after staging



Buyers may miss the beautiful hardwood floors in a home if they are covered with rugs.


dining room before


They may even wonder what those rugs may be covering up (besides square footage).

staged dining room

dining room after


Clutter makes buyers think that there isn’t enough room for their “stuff.”  And clutter could have made buyers miss the efficient layout of this compact kitchen.  


before staging 


The abundant natural light and deep cabinets and drawers give this kitchen plenty of light and space to make a gourmet meal for a family.

staged kitchen

after staging 



bowl of fruit

fresh fruit is the perfect staging prop in a kitchen



Memory-laden decorative accessories and paint colors can make home buyers miss the potential of a property meeting their own style needs.

cluttered living room

living room before staging 


And it may make them miss universally-attractive architectural details, like this great fireplace:

living room after staging

living room after staging


Lots of small furniture and accessories can make buyers miss the generous size of a bedroom or other room that may make or break the sale.

country bedroom

bedroom before staging 


Effective home staging requires removing the sellers’ footprints from the property so that buyers can imagine themselves living in the property – no matter how different they may be from the seller.

staged bedroom

 staged bedroom



plaid chair



I’ll leave you with a few more photos of this property that got a full-price offer the first day it went on the market last week –  after staging it using only the homeowners’ own furnishings.


bedroom before staging

before staging bedroom after staging



bedroom after staging

bedroom after staging



living room before staging

living room before



after staging

living room after 



vignette before

bay window before



bay window after

bay window after 


And did I mention, this is the same house with the wood paneling that we didn’t paint? Here’s a question for you:  how difficult do you think it might be to stage your own home without an objective professional involved?  Especially after living there 50+ years?


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24 thoughts on “What Home Buyers May Miss If You Don’t Stage Your Home to Sell

  1. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Good morning Kristie!
    Again–what a breath of fresh air! I’m guessing that the homeowner did rent a storage space,
    and/or got rid of things or both? …..which actually prepares them for moving!
    Truth be told, I am so leaning towards staging my home for sale and living that way!
    I know that there is a distinct difference between the two, but, my mind and life itself are so filled with
    “stuff” that the staged version will be an oasis of calm for me. Others may feel comforted by the abundance of texture, I understand.
    What a pleasure this must have been for you as well. Results of your labors you can truly see!

  2. Lisa says:

    Looks like you did a lovely job. I’ve always been able to look at a house and see it’s potential. I’m on my second 100+ year old house and I love finding out more and more as you uncover things. But I definitely realize how many people do not have the ability to see beyond what’s right in front of them. I kind of appreciate them because my house had green carpet, drop ceilings and wallpaper everywhere but the bones were lovely. There was crown molding above the drop ceilings, hard wood floors and lovely plaster walls. Stained glass windows behind the heavy drapes. It’s like they were just waiting for me to walk in and claim it. It’s been quite a journey and it’s not even close to being done!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Those of us who do have “vision” for spaces tend to assume others do, too. 90% of people cannot see past even the paint on the walls! I bet your home is fabulous!!! 🙂

  3. Stacey says:

    How exciting for the homeowners to sell so quickly. A lot of work went into that process before hand though and it was worth it. I really like this one because it is simplified but still used the homeowners pretty things.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Thanks, Stacey – and yes, they did a lot of work to carry through with the recommendations I made. New paint colors, a few new light fixtures, and a whole lot of downsizing and packing away a lifetime full of memories. They are the most lovely people – and are excited about their new adventure as they are moving to the northwest!

  4. Beverly Carlson says:

    Kristie, Fantastic Staging. I love that you share your staging perspective with the public. Your blogs are so educational. Thank you!

  5. Laura says:

    Amazing job! It is hard to stage homes where sellers have spent a lifetime. I’m sure they are thrilled with what you could do with their own things. Congrats!

  6. Sue Young says:

    I always look forward to you posts. What a difference the staging makes! Keep up the great blog. Thanks so much.

  7. Rick Marsh, Handy & Co. says:

    Hi Kristie, I really enjoyed painting the rooms shown in the before and after photos above. I have worked in this house for several years making repairs, as well as renovating the two bathrooms. I was really impressed with the changes. It was like taking off a leisure suit and putting on a nice comfortable sweater.
    Rick Marsh

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Thank you for commenting, Rick! How long ago did you renovate the bathrooms? Very well done – old house bathrooms can be a challenge and they look great. Please send your info to my assistant if you are interested in local referrals from me in the future: [email protected]


  8. LibbyP says:

    Kristie, thank you for this post – it is quite timely! I just met with my Realtor to make the initial assessment of my house before listing. I had already decluttered quite a bit, but your post combined with my Realtor’s suggestions are pushing me – in a positive way!

    I’m headed out to find replacement knobs, lighting, and fixtures. Then back home to declutter some more.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

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