When you show properties to potential buyers, you’re becoming a one-person theater company: you need to be a producer, director, stage manager, and even a little bit of an actor.

Home buyers aren’t usually interested in avant-garde, empty-stage productions, so you need to know every bit of your stage and have every furnishing in place.

Staging—the art of assembling rooms to show buyers and advertise properties—is an essential part of your marketing toolkit. Still not sure? The data backs it up! 47% of agents representing buyers report that staging had an effect on their clients’ view of the property.

Here are three simple tips to create attractive and appealing staging to sell your properties!

De-Personalize and De-Clutter

There’s a very fine line that you have to walk when staging—you want your space to feel like a home, but you don’t want it to feel like someone else’s home. It needs to feel alive, but not lived in.

Your property should inspire the potential of being a personal, lived-in space. It should invite the viewers to imagine how they could make it their own, without it feeling like someone else’s property.

A thorough clean should always be your starting point when staging a home—especially for bathrooms and bedrooms.

Piles of clothes, dishes, toiletries, and all personal accessories should be stored away neatly where they won’t take up space. Photographs of family, religious books or imagery, and niche items like band posters or displayed collections should be taken down whenever possible. Simple images of nature, generic portraits, and still life artworks are preferable.

Shine a Light on The Property

Lighting is one of the subtlest and most impactful changes that you can add to a space.

If you’ve ever seen a stage play, you probably aren’t paying a ton of attention to the lighting—you’re more likely thinking about the actors, sets, and props. But that lighting helps you believe that you’re in an Elizabethan castle, or outside in a forest. It focuses your attention and your emotions to help you keep track of the important parts of each scene.

You probably won’t need spotlights and light board operators to illuminate your properties, but the principles are very much the same. Bright lighting should show off the best of each room, making for a clean, spacious, and welcoming environment. There’s almost no circumstance in which you want a dark room.

Even though you’ll want windows open and room lights on, your lamps should also be on as well. Even in a bright room, carefully placed lamps can illuminate features, amenities, or curated areas that you want viewers to see. It’s also worth checking out any outdoor lighting that could spruce up the yard!

Create a Scene, not Just a Vignette

It was once a great innovation to put a few chairs and a side table in the living room, some towels in the bathroom, and a scented candle on the counter. But no longer!

Vignette staging, where minimal furnishings and accessories are used to add some personality to empty rooms, simply isn’t effective in an online world. Buyers want to look at professional photographs of a room and get an idea what an area will look like.

Fully furnished rooms let buyers imagine potential uses for each space, as well as plan out placements for their own furniture. 81% of buyers report that staging helps them visualize the property as a future home!

Vignettes should be treated as smaller “scenes” within a cohesive layout for the entire room. Once you’ve created your cozy bedroom, add a vignette with a draped sleeping robe and slippers by a chair. Lay out a leatherbound novel with some eyeglasses on top in the sophisticated study.

Highlight a lifestyle with furniture, lighting, accessories, and artwork. Any vignettes should be built into the whole aesthetic of the room.

With these three simple tips, you’ll assemble a Tony-award worthy property that’s sure to attract buyers and close in your client’s favor.

Looking to learn more about marketing your properties in a hot and competitive market? Learn all about the home office boom and other must-haves for homes in today’s market here!