What started as simple advice from real estate agents to spring clean and keep your home spick and span before open homes has today evolved into a booming stand-alone industry – home staging. It’s become an important marketing tool to help homes stand out online and in person, it’s crucial in establishing emotional connections with buyers, helps showcase your property’s best features (while glossing over any not-so-great features), and ultimately, could result in a higher sale price and less time on the market.

For many, meticulously staging your home can be a dreaded task or simply something you don’t have time for. This is where professional home stagers come in. Their job is to get your home sale-ready by strategically putting your property’s best foot forward one plush pillow at a time.

Home staging doesn’t always require professionals or extravagant changes, though; there are plenty of DIY tips and tricks you can utilise to stage your home yourself. You’ll still create a clean, marketable space in which buyers can visualise themselves living. Here’s how:


  • Declutter, depersonalise and deep clean

If you’re not going to do anything else, a fresh, clean, and spacious home free from clutter and personal items should be your top priority. A big part of wooing potential buyers is tapping into the emotional factor – you want them to visualise their lives in your home – which is challenging if you’ve got family photos and personal knickknacks dominating the space. Label a storage box for each room and work your way through the house, clearing bedside tables, countertops, and walls of personal items. Once you’ve decluttered and depersonalised, move on to a thorough spring clean.


  • Clear your list of lingering little jobs

From leaking taps to chipped paint patches, blown bulbs and squeaking doors, now’s the time to cross off any minor repairs or minor damages on your to-do list. While these may seem trivial, many buyers are looking for a home they can move into without making immediate repairs. If you’ve lived with these minor annoyances for a while, you may not even notice them, so get a friend or family member to give your home a once-over.

Water Tap leaking.


  • Neutralise for universal appeal

Competition is key when selling a home, so to appeal to the largest group of buyers, a neutral space wins the day. This applies to furniture, walls and décor items like towels and pillows. If quirky and colourful is the style du jour at yours, consider storing a few larger pieces, complimenting them with neutral accents, or borrowing some neutral items from friends and family. If you’ve inherited or created bold feature walls, consider giving them a lick of paint in your favourite shade of white.

Modern interior of open space.


  • Go for form over function

Think about areas of your home that are currently very functional for you but could create a better first impression if reorganised. For example, are your couches blocking the flow to your outdoor living space? Could the laundry nook be repurposed into a home office? Your real estate agent may be able to give you some tips on this front, but focus on opening up spaces, creating maximum aesthetic appeal, and optimising what you’ve got.


  • Don’t forget the curb appeal

Although we know we should ‘never judge a book by its cover’, homes are almost always judged on their exteriors. It’s the first thing potential buyers see and can go a long way in making or breaking crucial first impressions. So, get out the gardening gloves, weed the garden beds and cover them in a fresh layer of mulch, mow the lawns, trim the hedges, and grab some potted colour from the garden centre for any planters or pots. Don’t forget to clean the external windows, sweep away cobwebs, and give your letterbox a fresh coat of paint if it needs one.


  • Maximise natural light

Light, bright, airy homes create a welcoming atmosphere, so ensure your current window fixtures are up to the task. If you’ve got dark, heavy drapes, consider swapping them out for neutral sheers or removing them entirely for open homes. Pay attention to your light fixtures, too – this includes checking they’re all in good working order, switching bulbs to warm white to create an inviting ambience, and adding extra lighting if needed. Alternatively, you can add reflective surfaces like mirrors to disperse and light up a space.

Spacious living room with comfortable sofa.


  • Add a scent-sational touch

Once all the big things are taken care of, finishing touches that create an atmosphere and a warm, welcoming energy shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you go for the age-old favourite aroma of freshly baked cookies, a more subtle essential oil diffuser, or freshly cut flowers, pleasant smells can evoke positive memories, while dubious smells (like pet odours or mould) can be a huge turn-off. The most recommended and favoured scents for selling a home include citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, pine, and jasmine.

Glass jar with dried flowers, vase and candle on the wooden tray.


  • Focus on furniture

We’ve all watched The Block and witnessed firsthand how much interior design and furniture affect the final results. When selling your home, the prize on the line is achieving the best possible sale price. Often, more can be less when it comes to furniture – avoid overcrowding and ensure it works to help showcase rather than hinder the flow of a room. Furniture can also be used to highlight a space’s potential or draw the eye towards key features like fireplaces or architectural details. Rental furniture can be a great option if your property is vacant, or the current furniture is hugely outdated.


If it’s all too much, hire the professionals

If tackling DIY isn’t an option, consider hiring professional home stagers. They will assess your home and provide personalised advice to enhance your property. Staging your home is another (important) tool for effectively marketing your home. It’s worth investing in and often pays for itself by achieving the best possible sale price as quickly as possible.


If getting the best advice on selling or buying is top of your agenda, and you don’t know where to start, contact your local First National Real Estate office. Your friendly local expert will be able to help you with all thing’s property related.


The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.