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Preparing Your Home For Resale: Expert Tips For Staging

When it comes to selling a home, we all want to sell faster and for more money. Fortunately, there are proven strategies to assist sellers in achieving this. Wendy Anguiano, an Expert Psychological Stager with Design and Dwell Homes, explains a few tactics you can do to put your home in its best possible position in the marketplace. 

Anguiano is trained in the visual perceptions and emotional attachments buyers have when purchasing a home. She has partnered with sellers and realtors to prepare homes for a quicker sale, sometimes achieving a higher selling price along the way. The goal, she states in this article, is to remove any negative triggers that may be present and enhance the home’s best features and architecture. It’s not merely decorating or staging furniture in a home, but a psychological process to position the home in the best possible way.

Here are five tips, according to Anguiano, to prepare your home for resale.


Kitchens are the heart of the home and bathrooms come quickly behind. If you are going to do anything to update your home with the possibility of earning a greater return on investment, focus on these two areas. Updating both kitchen and bathroom countertops to q

uartz is ideal. If a kitchen has a bar-height countertop, we recommend removing the bar and taking the countertop to counter height. This will make the kitchen look larger and it will open up the space, making the entire area feel open and larger. A new backsplash will also be necessary when replacing countertops. 

If cabinets are outdated, consider replacing them. If cost is an obstacle, painting them white or a combination of white and a secondary color, such as soft blue or gray, on the lower half or island results in a “pop” that will appeal to buyers. Think about updating appliances, faucets, sinks, knobs and pulls while you’re at it.

Bathrooms may require removing an old framed shower and replacing it with frameless glass door, as well as installing new tile for the shower or tub surround and flooring.


One of the biggest items I address in a home is neutralizing colors. Decorating a home for a specific taste is different than preparing a home to sell and appeal to the broadest audience. When we walk through a home, we look for colors that stand out and could minimize your buying audience. Believe it or not, color creates an emotion in all of us; neutralizing these can remove the emotion when a buyer walks into a home. Many times, we recommend painting walls either an off-white or light gray/greige throughout. These colors are neutral and will go with everything. Colors such as red, green and yellow tend to make a home feel dated. Other colors such as purple, pink and orange can be fun to decorate with, but may turn some buyers off. 


We all have those items in our homes that we just love to collect, which can show up as too many items on walls or on top of kitchen cabinets, or as too many clothes in the closet. When selling a home, less is more. Minimizing is key when selling a home. Here are some ideas:

  • Stick to one to two pieces of art per room.
  • Remove items from on top of kitchen cabinets.
  • Follow a “two-finger rule” between clothes hanging in closets.
  • Remove everything from the floor and upper shelves in closets.
  • Hide all personal items such as family photos, trophies, bathroom toiletries, etc.
  • Remove any taste-specific items such as cultural décor and collectibles.


One negative trigger that may impact buyers is a perception that a home is not well-maintained. If you take the time to fix small maintenance issues ahead of listing, this helps to alleviate these perceptions. If a buyer believes that the home has maintenance issues, they will also believe the home is not well-cared for and that there may be larger issues with the home. 


Sometimes, what hurts a home the most is outdated or taste-specific furniture. As a seller, we become attached to our décor and furnishings and it’s difficult to realize that it is not about our preferences, but rather about what a buyer wants. Having on-trend coastal décor can help your home be competitive in this market.

If a home is vacant, staging with coastal décor and furnishings can help a home sell up to 90 percent faster than when not staged.  A full 80 percent of buyers cannot visualize beyond a home’s empty shell, and staging eliminates any negative reaction to not knowing how a home may look furnished.

Overall, when selling a home, aim to eliminate as many negatives as possible and enhance the positives to help your home appeal to the broadest buyer audience possible. If done prior to listing, your chance of selling faster – and for more money – is at its greatest.

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