Home Staging Before and After

A few weeks ago we had an appointment with our realtor.  Because in the six weeks we'd had the house on the market up to that point, there had been only one showing.  That's not exactly rush hour, y'all.

Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario.We came away from the appointment having decided to make two changes:

1) We dropped the list price on our home by $20K.  That was a big ouch, but after looking at the statistics from the local market, we knew it had to be done.

2) Our living room, which was mostly empty, needed some furniture.  It is the first room you walk into as you enter the front door, and it was standing there devoid of furniture — and therefore also devoid of that homey-ness that you want prospective buyers to experience the second they walk into your house.

This is a key home staging issue, y'all.  The rest of the house looked great — but that living room was just too bare.  Of course people probably understand why you might not have furniture in a room; in our case it was because we thought it didn't make sense to invest in a living area's worth of furniture when we didn't know what the living area would be like in the house we would be moving into after this one.  But in the current housing market, the listed home has to prove to people that they could easily live in it.  They have to be able to see the possibilities.  And our living room just wasn't doing that.  Here's what it used to look like:

Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario.

Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario.You can see how barren it was.  The first picture is taken from the perspective of about five steps in from the front door.  Just no good vibes there, are there?  As you move further into the room, in the second photo, it takes a lot of imagination to see other furniture there.  You wonder why there isn't any more; you wonder if maybe it's because it won't fit… you begin to doubt if you'll be able to make the space work at all… Do you see how the progression goes?








Well, The Man and I didn't have to be told twice.  We trucked right on out and found ourselves a sofa set and some tables that very day.  In due course they were delivered, and with some other accessories we picked up over succeeding days, I staged the living room.  I SO do NOT call myself a decorator, but I am secretly rather pleased with the result:

Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario. Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario. Need examples of home staging to get you motivated? Here's one before and after scenario.

Voila!  Homey.  Comfortable.  Not weird or overly personal.  Now prospective buyers can see that the room works, and that it is actually a very nice place to be.  It's not too crowded, but it's no longer barren, either.  It is staged without clutter, which makes it seem restful.  And it's easy to keep clean.

In the few weeks since we've made these two changes, we have had two more showings.  I know it's not a lot, but we are rather rural, so we know we probably won't sell before many months have passed.  But it is a small improvement.

In case you're interested, here's the breakdown of our cost:

Sofa & Chair: La-z-Boy, $1500 (on sale)
Coffee Table & End Tables: $800 (on sale)
Rug: clearance at Target, $69
Floor Lamp: Target, $40 (the online price says $80, but I swear we bought it in the store for $40…)
Table Lamps: Marshalls, $40 apiece
Curtains: $0, cuz I just switched out the ones from my bedroom :-)

I know, by the time you add it up, it's a big chunk of change.  It's all about return on investment.  We did think about renting furniture, but that adds up quickly, too; and then you have nothing to show for it when you return the stuff.  This way we can sell the furniture when we move and get part of our investment back. But the key thing is that this home staging will make the house more appealing to prospective buyers, so that hopefully they will be willing to pay the price we are asking.  And that is worth something, too.

In the meantime, though, we have furniture to sit on in this room. And I'm not complaining about that! :-)

Have you had to make any big expenditures to get your house ready to sell or make it more appealing to prospective buyers?

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18 thoughts on “Home Staging Before and After”

  1. Mary Elizabeth Tait

    A little over a year ago we needed to sell our aunt’s three bedroom condo to continue to keep her in a good nursing home. We knew it would sell quickly and for a high price due to the market conditions in Silicon Valley.

    It was two against one (me!), and I pushed for a professional stager, new flooring and carpet, repairs of some poorly done repairs and paint. The condo looked high end and beautiful and sold in 3 weeks well over asking. All that upfront expense was easily recouped.

    I never said “I told you so”, but I thought it quite loudly.

    You will sell your home. Your front room is very inviting.

    1. “I thought it quite loudly.” LOL! You go, girl! And THANK YOU for the compliment. You give me hope! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  2. We are in our 3rd home and were under agreement for our other 2 homes within 24 hours for our asking price. A lot of houses I’ve seen that don’t sell is because they are priced to high or it is filthy and cluttered. Once a house sits on the market for a while people think there is something wrong with it. Staging makes a big difference. No, I didn’t hire a professional. Get rid of excess clutter and furniture. Make the rooms functional, but looking spacious. Clean, clean, and clean and repair. Make it shine. Depersonalize. Bring in flowers for on tables. If you have bold paint colors, repaint neutral warm colors. Buy new white fluffy towels for the bathroom. Hide all personal hygiene stuff. Put away all toys. Clean out closets. People will think there is not enough storage area if the closets are jam backed. Remove most stuff from kitchen counters. Set you dinning room table with your best china. Open drapes, bring in the light. Keep lawn cut, plant bright flowers. Pack up all the stuff that is not needed and store in the garage. People don’t mind if the garage is full of boxes and furniture, after all they know you are moving. Leave the house if possible when there is a showing.

  3. I’m delighted to say that God sold our house. No question. His fingerprints were all over it! We did not advertise. A friend came and brought me an ad…someone was looking for a home our size, in our neighborhood, for quick sale. They came within hours of my call. We had boxes packed and stacked, floor to ceiling. The siding on the house had a weird “melty” spot in one area. The yard was a muddy mess with the grass torn up from the whole child population of our neighborhood coming to play on our Slip n Slide. The bathroom had a wall torn up and plaster everywhere from a repair my husband had not yet completed. Still, the sale was verbally confirmed before the prospective buyer left. As they pulled away from the curb, a neighbor across the street said he was also interested. We closed on the house in three days, and hit the road the same day. When God wants to expedite matters, get out of the way! :)

    1. Stories like yours are always fun to hear! He hasn’t sold ours yet, lol. Which is fine, too; I enjoy being able to relax in His plan. :-) Thanks for sharing, Diane!

  4. When selling my mom’s estate house in an extremely depressed area, I had to remove the piano she had in her formal room. I had to stage the room as a formal dining/seating area. Prior to removing the piano, I had completed all the other staging tips. The house was very clean, depersonalized, no clutter, repairs, etc. People just couldn’t get past the piano! Within two weeks of removing the piano, I had two offers at full price – in December! Staging is very important!

  5. Your suggestions were the most practical and realistic ones I ve seen about staging!!! Thank you and good luck!
    Sue H

  6. I totally agree, it definitely seems weird to have to buy furniture and decor when you are in the process of moving. However, it’s an important part of the selling process. Thankfully, there are professionals like New Market Home Staging that help stage homes to sell them fast. They are top quality interior designers and I highly recommend them.

    Learn more about them at newmarkethomestaging.com.

  7. Hello, I’m a home stager myself. Having your home staged is certainly worth it. I have seen the majority of clients receive well over asking price because their homes showed so well. Good luck 🤗 Sandy

  8. Personally I would rather see a clear, blank slate in a house I’m viewing as opposed to furniture that’s nowhere my style and bland, by your own admission, living spaces. My tastes are eclectic and I detest generic surroundings. To me “staging” is overrated and I have seen houses staged and not staged. Why would I buy furnishings that will resale for pennies in the dollar when I can showcase the cleanliness and openness of the space? I suppose it’s just personal preference.

    1. Agree 100%. Years also have eclectic tastes and I would make ch rather see a clean slate so that I can do matinee my own furniture. Rarely will I agree with others’ bland tastes in furniture.

    2. Also agree. Many professionals recommend selling the premises without furnishings and neutral walls. Not only can a buyer envision what will bring personal taste to the space, but the impression of space and light is clear. There’s lesser chance of hidden flaws and the buyer can see electrical outlets, condition of hardwoods flooring, telltale spots your paint job didn’t conceal, etc. A real estate agent should suggest when to edit or stage, also.

  9. From a realtor’s perspective, I think your tips are spot on! Staging is so important and it can never just be throwing lipstick on a pig. That’s why I always recommend taking care of home repairs as quickly as possible. Particularly, I recommend resurfacing the hardwood floors. It’s a rather inexpensive way to take care of minor scratches and damage to make the home look very well-maintained. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I would much rather see refinished hardwood floors ( pull up the nasty carpet) and nice tile in a home I’m viewing rather than someone else’s hastily bought furniture.

  10. Hey ladies
    Loving the posts. I’m seven years ino this home and I bought it on the afternoon I walked into it.
    It was move in ready….by someone else’s standards.
    It was all one drab color a barf color neutral and not staged at all.
    Blank slate.
    She’s got good bones. This house has experienced renovations inside out side and the kitchen is last to come. As she’s paid for, I will probably double my money if the market remains as strong as I believe it will.
    In any event..rent free for me!
    In a blank space imagine you in the spot!!

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