As stagers, we get asked a LOT of questions about areas of the home that are perhaps less obvious selling points. Kitchens and bathrooms are important, of course, but they’re trickier to know how to style than something like a living room. Read on for our top tips for these spaces you shouldn’t forget about and what to display when listing your home.
The most common mistake we see in kitchens (and really everywhere) when listing is TOO MUCH CLUTTER. If you’re actively living in your space when you’re trying to sell, this can be difficult, but it will be worth it. Your goal in the kitchen is to showcase your counters, however big or small you feel they are. Besides perhaps some cutlery, a couple of cookbooks, or maybe a bowl of fruit, you want nothing on the countertops.
- Personal artwork/signage
- Refrigerator magnets/mail
- All appliances – even small ones
- Dish racks, towels, or cleaners
A couple of general kitchen items like:
- Cooking utensils in a crock near the stovetop
- Neutral cookbooks (in good shape)
- Storage containers of pantry items
- A bowl with fruit
- A small plant
- A serving tray with glassware and carafe
Don’t go overboard here! If you have a smaller kitchen footprint, filling the countertop with items will only make it feel smaller. Consider something for the island (if you have one), and one or two areas of the main countertops. This will help show the space as larger and functional.
Similar to a kitchen, your goal in the bathroom is to showcase counter space and cleanliness. Think about entering a very nice hotel bathroom and what you’d see. That’s the atmosphere you’re trying to create and what you should keep in mind when deciding what to display when listing.
- Personal toiletry items
- Cleaning supplies and bathroom trash cans
- Used or older towels
- Grubby shower curtains
- Any personal photographs and artwork
- Clean white towels and/or shower curtain
- Simple and neutral art (if space allows)
- General bathroom objects on the sink space – this can be as simple as a hand soap dispenser (not a branded one) if you have minimal counter space. If you have a large double sink, consider a grouping of items in between like candles or jars with cotton balls, or even a small plant
We often get asked if closets need to be addressed when listing the home. The answer is a definite “Yes!” but this doesn’t mean they need to be emptied completely. Although it’s helpful to show space, if you’re still living where you’re listing (and trying to hide some items from other rooms) we understand this might not be totally possible. Keep in mind that while prospective buyers probably aren’t opening things like your dresser drawers, they frequently will open storage that’s built in to the home, like closets. This is why it’s important to have these spaces show-worthy. Here’s some solutions:
REMOVE/CONSOLIDATE/PLACE IN STORAGE:
- Extra items. Moving is a great time to go through what you have and donate or recycle things that are no longer needed. Do this first so you won’t have to again when you’ve moved!
- Bulky cleaning items – consider a designated broom closet in the home or purchase hooks to hang these items up and avoid them tipping onto potential buyers when they’re trying to preview storage.
- Boxes and packing supplies
- Overflow items
- What you need access to, but in an organized way. Consider getting some baskets to help conceal some items and give the closet a more streamlined look
- Some empty space. If you can put enough in storage or get rid of items to the point where you can have some items in your closet with room to spare, it’ll give buyers the idea that there is more than enough storage in the home.
Hallways may seem unimportant, but they can leave negative impacts on potential buyers if not thought about properly. Here’s some tips for what to display when listing:
- Personal photographs and highly specific style art (don’t forget to patch holes!)
- Hooks and all displayed items in a narrow hallway – it just makes it look smaller
- Dated light fixtures
- Only display artwork if:
- your hallway is wide – minimum 36″ in width
- your hallway is very very long – just a couple pieces to break up the wall
- consider hiding an electrical panel with artwork, especially in a condo setting
- Updated light fixtures
- A console or bench, if space allows and the hall is near the entry way
It may not seem like these changes make a big impact, but when they add up together, you give a potential buyer the best possible picture of your space. It’s important to make a positive first impression, especially in a fast-paced market!
Need some extra help with other areas of your home for listing? Check out our full video on tips for “staging” where you’re living.
Moving out? Check out our services for complete staging of your home to get it sold FAST.