Staging has become the new buzzword in selling real estate. It’s regularly on the lips of design show hosts and mentioned in the pages of shelter magazines.

The question is: does it actually sell homes?

Recent research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that it does. According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 49 percent of buyers’ agents report that staging increases the amount of an offer. Moreover, 62 percent of sellers’ agents state that staging reduces the time a home sits on the market.

Whether you stage your home yourself or hire a professional to do it, consider these proven strategies to help you achieve a successful sale.

1. Eliminate clutter and make it shine

According to the NAR report, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say that staging helps buyers visualize the property as their own. A house full of personal mementos clouds that vision and makes it difficult for buyers to see themselves in the home.

One of the biggest contributors to clutter is excess furniture. Plan to rent a storage unit for a short time to create more space. Make sure floors, cabinets, and closets are spotless, and pack away the memorabilia.

“It’s not necessary to completely purge all personal items,” says Tim Jones of Wilkinson ERA Real Estate, a real estate firm in Winston-Salem. “Buyers are looking for inviting, not ascetic. Try to strike a balance between clean and lived in.”

2. Concentrate on three key rooms

When professional stagers work, they focus on three spaces: the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. If you can make a good impression in these three rooms, it’s likely that buyers will want to see more.

In the living room, pull the furniture away from walls to create cozy conversation spaces. Focus on neutral colors to create a sophisticated look. Steam clean carpets and if wood floors look worn, have them refinished or use an area rug to cover worn spots.

The master bedroom should be as neutral as possible. Pack away the frilly bed skirts and think tailored. Clean, crisp bed-linens and tasteful artwork along with subtle wall colors convey a tranquil atmosphere appealing to buyers.

As for the kitchen, “it’s not practical at this point to consider a remodel,” says Jones. “Instead, spend money on small changes that can really make a difference, like painting rather than replacing cabinets or changing out old hardware.

3. Find a real estate pro to properly showcase your home

Typically, a buyer’s first impression comes through social media so it’s imperative that you find an agent who can provide you with solid marketing expertise.

“Buyers will quickly eliminate a home that looks dated and drab when viewing a house on the Internet,” says Jones. “For a small investment in time and money, staging can shine a light on the real attributes of a home like that.”

Ranked as the No. 1 ERA franchise in the Carolinas and No. 3 nationwide, Wilkinson ERA’s trained agents are eager to demonstrate how staging can help you sell your home quickly and for the best price. To learn how they can help you sell or buy, call 336-331-5550 or visit

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