Staged for Success

10 Ways to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.



If you’re planning to sell your home this year, it’s important to ensure that the property looks its best before going on the market. Home staging is a great way to accentuate the positive attributes of a home and increase its perceived value to potential buyers. We sat down with local interior designer and staging professional Laura Graziano, founder of Laura Graziano Staging and Interiors ASP®, IAHSP®, to discuss simple ways to bring out the best in your home.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” says Graziano, whose company offers a range of services, including interior decorating and space planning consultations, furniture and decor sales, event design, and professional real estate staging. Working with homeowners, realtors, builders and property managers across the South Shore, Graziano and her team transform occupied and vacant homes into beautiful, inviting living spaces. Skillfully arranging furniture and decor and implementing creative design solutions, Graziano helps showcase listings so that buyers can visualize–and fall in love with–the idea of living in the home.

Laura Graziano’s top tips to prepare a home for sale.

Declutter and Depersonalize

It’s important to keep potential buyers looking at your home (and not your things). It’s human nature to be distracted by too many small things, like personal pictures, knickknacks and decorative items. In an occupied home, I always recommend minimizing and decluttering as much as possible. Depersonalizing the house will help the future homeowner imagine themselves living there. 

Keep Walkways Clear 

It’s important to keep walkways clear so that it is easy to walk from room to room and in and out of closets without having to bump into any furniture, or move anything. Walk the natural path of the home from the entryway, through the home to make sure nothing feels tight or is in the way of opening exterior doors or closets.  An open flow is always more inviting and shows off the size of rooms. This will help dictate how much furniture will stay in each room. Often, less is more once you get going.


Neutral Paint Colors

Painting rooms with light neutral colors reflects light and makes rooms appear larger. There are many beautiful grays, beiges and whites that work very well for staging a home for sale. Not only do these colors stand the test of time, they also appeal to most buyers. 

Define Rooms

Make sure each room of the home has a defined purpose. For example if you have a small room that is finished and used for storage, stage it as an office. If you have a finished basement being used as storage or a playroom, stage this area as an additional family room. This will help potential buyers see that every inch of the home is usable living space.  

Clear Out Closets

Take items off the floor of your closets. This will make them look and feel larger. Add matching baskets or bins to help organize linen or laundry room closets. This promotes a sense of calm and organization. 


Add Lighting

Take advantage of any natural light by opening shades and blinds and removing heavy curtains and valances. Lighting adds warmth and can make a room much more inviting. Adding new lamps will always help a room look its best. On existing lamps, pay attention to the lampshades. Replacing an older shade with a new crisp white one is a quick and easy upgrade.  

Keep Counters Clear 

Clear off your kitchen and bathroom counters to highlight the size of the space. If kitchen counters are large, it’s ok to have one or two small plants or decorative kitchen accent items, like a bowl or candle,  but generally a clean, clear kitchen and bathroom counter is the most appealing.


Improve Curb Appeal 

Once your home is listed, people will drive by at all times. Make sure your home looks great day and night by cleaning up the landscaping, doing minor repairs and adding potted seasonal plants. 

Take Some Pictures

Once you think your home is ready for professional pictures, take some of your own on your phone.  Check to see how those pictures look to you. Do you see anything in the photos that isn’t appealing?  Although the professional pictures will most likely be superior, this exercise helps most sellers see what they may have missed.  


Add Mirrors

A well placed mirror can help bring in more light and can have the same effect as a window. Mirrors can also make a room feel larger and add dimension. Always keep in mind what the mirror is reflecting as well. For example, in a hallway you want to make sure that the mirror  isn’t reflecting the back of a door where items may be hanging.