How to Stage a Living Room: Ideas, Tips, & Tricks
Why It is Important to Stage a Living Room
It is important to update your living room before selling so that the room looks it best for buyers. Staging is the finishing touch of this process that can help buyers see the full potential of the space. Because living rooms are focal points of homes and where people spend a lot of their time, they are also one of the most important rooms to stage.
Some real estate agents also believe that staging can increase the listing price, decrease the time on the market, and increase the chances that a home sells over the asking price.2 As a seller, these are benefits you do not want to miss out on. While you may have a long list of living room staging ideas, implementing them correctly is another story.
Living Room Home Staging Ideas & Tips
Staging can be easier said than done. Especially if you have no experience with staging, it can be hard to know where to even begin. Fortunately, these tips on how to stage a living room may be able to help.
Declutter – Perhaps the most important living room staging tip is to declutter. No buyer wants to walk into a living room that has items strewn about or boxes stacked everywhere. This setup can also make the space look smaller than it is. Take the minimalist approach and clear out anything that isn’t necessary. If you have a lot of extra stuff, it may be worth getting a storage unit to house it.
Deep Clean – While you may have a lot of staging living room ideas, you need to get cleaning before you can get to decorating or styling. Stains, dirt, and dust can be unsettling for potential buyers. Deep cleaning can help the room look its best and should be the start of getting your home ready for the market.
Put Away Family Photos – Another important staging tip for living rooms is to put away those family photos. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home. Seeing someone else’s family photos everywhere can make it harder for them to do that. In some cases, they may also feel like an intruder. You want to make them feel welcome instead.
Remove Personal Items – Sports memorabilia, collectibles, and other personal items could be a turnoff to buyers and should also be put away. Imagine walking into a home with your favorite sports team’s rival plastered everywhere. While your collection may be special to you, many buyers won’t share your sentiment. A space void of these items can make the room feel more inviting for all.
Focus on Layout – If you want to stage a living room properly, you need to focus on creating the right layout. You do not want the room to look too crowded or too bare. How you stage a small living room will also be different from how you stage a large living room. A smaller room should have less furniture and could use mirrors to help create the illusion of more space. A larger living room may benefit from additional seating or larger statement pieces.
Use Buyer-Friendly Décor – In place of family photos and other personal items, look for more modern décor options that will appeal to buyers. Replace those family photos with modern art pieces. Remove sports memorabilia and add a few decorative candles instead. Other popular living room staging ideas for decor include mirrors and plants.
Go Beyond Staging – Staging is great, but if there are noticeable repairs or updates needed, staging will not have the same effect. Even basic listing preparation like painting or lighting updates can go a long way to make the living room look its best for buyers.
Use a Neutral Color Palette – Bright colors and vibrant patterns can be fun, but they can also turn buyers away. Instead of making this mistake, stick to neutral colors that appeal to most buyers. While you do not need to dismiss colors altogether, stick to colors in your accent pieces or a few accessories.
Brighten Up the Room – Along with using neutral colors, you want the space to appear bright and welcoming. Natural light is preferred, so make sure you are allowing as much as possible to come in through the windows and doors. You can still have bigger window treatments, but keep them pulled to the side when buyers come for showings or open houses.
Make Artificial Light Uniform – If you need to rely on artificial light, make sure the type of light and wattage is uniform. A mix of bright fluorescent and dull halogen bulbs can create an odd look that may even be unsettling or unwelcoming in some buyers’ eyes.
Play Up the Room’s Best Features – Your living room is a big selling point in your home, so it is important that you play up its best features. A large refreshed fireplace can be a great focal point to angle your furniture toward. A built-in bookcase should be well organized with the right touches of décor to help it look its best. If you have a grand piano, make sure it is the star of the room. When you are able to highlight your living room’s best features, you can more easily draw buyers in.
Hire a Professional – Realistically, DIY staging your living room can be a lot of work and effort. Not to mention the fact that even after all that work, it may not turn out the way you hope. Stagers are professionals for a reason, and it may be best to lean on them to know how to stage a living room. Plus, the return on investment for staging is usually worth it.
Worried about the upfront cost? We want to help. At Curbio, we offer staging services where you can defer payment until closing. Some markets only require a small administrative fee. To learn more about our services or to get connected with a partner agent, contact us today.
- Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report