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  • Ashley Tapley

Words of Wisdom from a Top Dollar Stager

Updated: Apr 12


Photo by Dream Home Images

Getting your home ready and staging it for sale is much different than designing a space to live in. Staging is part design and part psychology. The goal is to appeal to the broadest number of buyers. You want buyers to see themselves in your space living their best life. You are selling the dream and you want them to fall in LOVE with your home. Creating emotional attachments to your house will get people to pay top dollar for your home.


How do you do this? Think about who might purchase your home. Think about what they might eat or drink, and activities they might do in the home. Plant those seeds in the decor, books and styling. Make people feel comfortable by adding lots of greenery and light. Set up each space for the camera. Use decor to your advantage. Highlight the home’s assets and minimize the downsides. For example don’t put strong decor that steals the photo when you have a great view out a window. If a room lacks a view or architecture, then bring in stronger design elements to compensate for that. Staging a home for sale is essential to maximizing your profit.



Photo by axtonandliv

10 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale


  1. Repair broken items. You want your home to look cared for and do not want to have your home look like there is deferred maintenance.

  2. Paint if your home has not been painted recently or if the interior looks dark. You cannot underestimate how valuable a coat of paint can be to the sale price of a home. Get professional help to pick out the proper color and sheen. It costs the same amount of money to paint a bad color as a great one. "Paint is cash in a can." Ashley Tapley

  3. Paint your front door and make sure your hardware is in good condition. Houses with black front doors sell for an average of $6,000 more so consider black. Zillow Study

  4. Update house numbers, cabinet and door hardware. It will make your house look updated.

  5. Install a digital thermostat like a Nest.

  6. Have good lighting in your home. Light and bright sells. Make sure your light bulbs put out warm and not cool light. Make sure bulbs match. Install new lighting inside and out. Replace ubiquitous “boob lights”. Lighting is jewelry to a house and can make old houses look new and interesting.

  7. Install new door knobs & cabinet hardware. These items make a home feel updated and give a lot of bang for the buck.

  8. Wash your windows and take screens off and put them in the garage if possible (at the very least screen doors)

  9. Power wash exteriors where needed.

  10. Mulch and clean up the landscaping. Add some plants and flowers in pots.

Photo by rtmediapro

20 Tips To Stage Your Home For Sale


  1. Make sure your home is sparkling clean.

  2. Make your home look organized – even if you aren’t.

  3. Remove excess furniture and accessories throughout your home. Less is sometimes more.

  4. Take photos of your home. That is what will appear on the listing photos. If the photos need improvement, then adjust.

  5. "Remember they are buying your house NOT your stuff." Depersonalize your space. People can’t easily visualize themselves in your home if your photos, diplomas and very personal items are on display. Especially if you can't see what's under them.

  6. Add more plants to your interior space than you think. Tall trees too. Plants make people feel comfortable.

  7. Make your master bedroom look and feel like a retreat. Buy new bedding, throws and pillows in neutral tones to dress up all bedrooms.

  8. Use NEW white towels in the bathrooms. White is associated with cleanliness and this is especially important during the pandemic.

  9. Minimize what is on your countertops to make them feel more spacious. Remove all household appliances that are not used on a daily basis.(Rule of thumb: In the kitchen, leave it to about two small appliances.)

  10. Make sure beds are made every day & hide dirty laundry.

  11. Closets: Add light inside closets to make them look bigger. Remove half the contents of your closets to show buyers there’s plenty of room. Take everything off of the closet floor. Remove off season clothing from your closets to add space. Color coordinate and organize clothing in closets.

  12. Place all hygiene items under the sinks in the bathrooms. Hide or lock up medications and valuables

  13. Remove trash cans and toilet brushes from view.

  14. Remove all visuals of pets (dog beds, bowls, litter box, toys and towers)

  15. Address any smells in the home like must, pet odors, etc.

  16. Create an outdoor living space. It adds livable space to your home.

  17. Updated decor and accessories make an older home feel newer.

  18. Hire a stylist or stager to help you prep your home for photo day.

  19. Hire a great photographer! Great photos are everything.

  20. Mix closeup photos with the wide angle shots on the listing.


Outdoor living spaces help increase a home's square footage.
Photo by rtmediapro

Some Statistics


  • A professionally staged home spends 73% less time on the market compared to those without staging. (Professional Staging)

  • Staged homes on the market sold for 25% more than homes without staging. (Realtor Magazine)

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