What Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Designers When Staging a Home

What Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Designers When Staging a Home

Homebuying season is here, which means homeowners are busy getting their houses ready for the market. Many will look to their real estate agent for recommendations and perhaps even a design intervention. In a recent poll from the National Association of Realtors, 28 percent of sellers’ agents said they had personally staged a client’s home.

Staging can not only help a home sell faster, but can increase a home’s value from a buyer’s perspective. Eighty-three percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home made it easier for the buyer to better visualize themselves in the property as a future home. Twenty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging increased an offer from 1 to 5 percent, and 17 percent said staging increased an offer between 6 to 10 percent!

The median amount spent to stage a home was $400, so cost-conscious real estate agents will want to get the look right on a budget. Designers at firm Décor Aid shared some savvy suggestions that won’t take too much effort.


Since it only takes a few seconds to make a lasting first impression, the look and feel of the entryway is essential. The approach to the doorstep should create anticipation of what lies inside, so the area should be tidy. Consider painting or refinishing the front door and bring out a large welcome mat. Upon entering, a visually striking entry rug can create added appeal.

A well-placed mirror can make the area look larger, brighter, and more expensive. A slim and sleek console table will help create an illusion that the area is larger than it is, and will highlight the potential a buyer will have when decorating. Keep the area tidy at all times with a chic tray to house keys, change, and mail.

Lighting should not be too bright and clinical; switch out bulbs for lower wattages but be sure you don’t get too moody with lighting.

Living + Dining Room

In NAR’s survey, the living room was found to be the most important for buyers (47 percent). While we often look for these rooms to have a more comforting and cozy feel, most buyers on the market are looking for the largest, brightest, and airiest of living rooms available.

Consider an accent wall. Accent walls are great for instantly updating any room with an of the moment appeal, plus they’re easy and affordable to create are sure to add needed depth to a room.

Bring in mirrors: Inexpensive and easy to source, unique mirrors that are oversized in scale will help make your living room look brighter, larger, and all the more glamorous.

Edit displays and collectibles: Sure, your client loves their collection of Lladro angels, but too many displayed and makes it hard for a buyer’s eye to focus on what really matters. So do store away any unnecessary decorative items and scene stealers.

Hang window treatments higher: A great decorators trick, hanging your window treatments as high as possible while letting them pool along the floor will make your living room feel more expansive and grander.

Go from dark to light: Maybe your seller loves that black and gray color scheme, but that doesn’t mean that a buyer will. Swap out heavier dark furnishings, objects, and fabrications for pieces that are lighter and easier on the eye and have universal appeal.


Bathrooms are high-traffic areas that often feature scores or random everyday necessities that are vital to reconsider during the home staging process. Here’s how to make the best of yours.

Display new towels: Towels make for great doses of color and print so be sure that you put your best ones out front and center as they’ll make a huge difference no matter their size.

Bring in plants: For needed, color, texture, and a sense of the organic – especially if your bathroom doesn’t boast natural light so the eye can focus on something natural.

Elevate Toiletries: From bringing in fresh containers for everyday items like cotton balls to dusting off those old, unused fragrance bottles, a full and beautifully organized bathroom will be sure to help inspire potential buyers to visualize themselves getting ready in the space.


Smartly designed and ample closets are a major incentive to home buyers, so be sure that yours is tidy and well-organized.

Use clothing to decorate: Do display an edited selection of ultra-bright and freshly pressed clothes and polished shoes to help them better understand the space available for use. And store more worn-in items to keep the area feeling as clean and orderly as possible.

Create a lived-in feel: To get the look, place a bag or a pair of shoes on the floor just like you would at the end of the day. This will help them better imagine themselves doing the same thing.

Whatever room you turn your attention to, remember, home-improvement projects don’t necessarily pay for themselves; some improvements actually cost more than they return in value. An analysis by Zillow found that a smaller, inexpensive upgrade typically brings a bigger reward than a more involved and time-consuming one.

The design team at Decor Aid advises, “think desirability and livability, and never forget the details.”

Note: International interior design firm Décor Aid provides clients with premium decorating services centered around their lifestyles and vision while providing a transparent fee structure, a dedicated product manager, and vetted professional contractors, renovation specialists, and paint services.