Real Estate

4 Staging Tips When Selling a Small Home

August 6, 2019

When selling a small home, following these 4 staging tips will maximize your appeal to potential buyers.

We found our second flip house unexpectedly and had to stage our little bungalow (flip 1) to sell in just 5 short days! In order to keep the new home under contract we had to sell our house in just 7 days. Luckily, the Denver market is HOT and we sold it within a week!


Staging Tips

1. Declutter

This is especially important for small homes. You want the buyer to think that there will be plenty of space for all of their belongings. We removed furniture and other personal items to make each room feel as spacious as possible.

2. De-personalize

Remove most family photos & any religious or politically affiliated objects on display. You want the home to feel warm and inviting but not like a potential buyer is intruding on your personal space. You don’t want to distract a buyer with anything that they may not agree with when they are deciding if they want to purchase your home.

3. Deep Clean

This seems like a given but it is important for your home to be as clean as possible, especially if you have pets. We removed all signs of owning dogs when we staged this house. I did not want potential buyers to think about dogs on the carpet downstairs, dog scratches on the hardwood, etc.

Air out your home an hour before the open house. Walking into a home and having it smell strongly of that family can be a turnoff when buyers try to visualize themselves in that space.

4. Professional photographs

Make sure a professional takes photographs of your home! They know how to make your room look its best with lighting and angles and will attract the most buyers online. Viewing homes online before touring them has become increasingly more common.

90% of home buyers searched online during their
home buying process

NAR Realtor Association

Staging Our 1,300 SF Bungalow

4 staging tips when selling a small home
Welcoming entry at our first flip

Staging the Living Room

We did some major decluttering in the main room.  

  • Simplified artwork on the walls by removing our family/friends collage
  • Removed the rug to highlight the wood flooring
  • Rearranged the layout by removing a large chair to improve the walking pattern for potential buyers
  • Packed away any little nicknacks on the end tables and mantle for a streamlined look
Decluttered living room

Staging the Dining Room

  • Swapped out our oversized dining room table for a smaller table. This makes each room appear larger.
  • Decluttered the shelves to the left (thats maybe a 1/4 of the alcohol we had on that top shelf)
  • Removed plastic cups from the glass cabinets and packed away a portion of our glassware so the cabinets where not overstuffed
Proportionate furniture when staging a small home
Clear walkways when staging this house

Staging for the Kitchen

  • Clean off the countertops to maximize the workspace buyers will see
  • Deep clean the fridge and appliances
  • Organize cabinets and declutter – with small kitchen (especially), potential buyers will often look in cabinets to see how you fit all of your stuff. Always try and leave empty space to show there is plenty of room for more of the buyers belongings.
Decluttered kitchen
Staged kitchen

Staging the Master Bedroom

  • Clean & Declutter: In this room we just made sure that the room was clean and felt bright and airy
  • Closet: The master bedroom closet was all mine. When buyers came through our house, I wanted to give the illusion that two people could use this closet. We put half of our clothes in storage and added Chris’ belongings to the closet.
Minimal decor in the small master bedroom

Staging the Nursery

  • Removed the dresser that Chris kept in here to hold his clothes
  • Rearranged the room for a better flow and more spacious feel
  • Removed the rug to show the floors
  • Moved Chris’ clothes in the closet into the master bedroom closet
Staging tips to sell your home fast

Staging the Bathroom

  • Remove all personal products from the shower and sink
  • Deep clean
  • Add a fresh towel and a plant
Clean bathroom for potential buyers

Staging the Basement

  • Declutter the office area
  • Deep clean
  • Removed personal photos from the end tables
Staging tips to sell your small home fast
The basement office

Staging the Exterior

  • Weeded the garden
  • Opened the umbrella
  • Cleaned all of the surfaces
  • Picked up all dog poop!
Welcoming exterior
Extended living space in the small home

Lastly, when we left for the open house, we turned on music to help create the welcoming atmosphere we wanted the visitors to feel. This was a party house for us so if we could get potential buyers to visualize all of the great get togethers on that back deck, we knew it would help to sell this house.


Check out my full checklist for staging an open house to sell your home fast!

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