Home staging is all about selling the lifestyle that comes with a property.

In our last article, we talked about the importance of home staging and how 77% of agents believe it made an impact on a buyers’ final decision. The statistics, as reported by the National Association of Realtors, demonstrate the need for an agent to seriously consider home staging. It may seem like a daunting process but, when it translates to an increased commission (up to 20%!), can be well worth it. Remember that buyers, even logical ones, go with their gut instinct, so what seems like a frivolous, time-consuming step for you can be what seals the deal for your clients. Here are some tips to make home staging a breeze.

According to the staging service Home Staging By Sassy, stagers use a few simple approaches to change the “vibe” of a space. Here’s what they recommend:

• “Arrange sparse pieces of furniture in an appealing grouping known as a vignette.” If a living room is an awkward shape, changing the layout of the furniture can help make it feel more functional.

• “Showcase a generous usage of soft fabrics such as silk, lambswool, [and] satin.” Luxurious textures easily elevate any space.

• “Add unique elements to shelving, bookcases, and fireplace mantles, which draw attention to predetermined areas.” This is a great way to highlight built-in features with simple accessories.

Home Staging By Sassy further elaborates by saying staging “make[s] it feel like home, making it possible to sell the house quickly and at full price. … [it] shows potential of a beautiful living space.”

A space doesn’t have to be brand new to sport high-quality touches. A kitchen with builder-grade fixings and appliances can be showcased as a functional space; clear off the countertops and add a bowl of fruit to display the amount of usable space. When in doubt, keep clutter to a minimum and resist the urge to over-decorate.

Search for “home decor ideas” or “home staging” on Pinterest for examples and ideas.

To make things easier for you, try to use furniture that the seller already has, but only if the items are in good shape. A dirty, dingy couch, even in the most beautiful of spaces, is a major turnoff for buyers. If the property is empty, it’s worth renting a few key items to fill the space. You can also create your own “staging kit”: compile accessories – such as blankets, rugs, and dinnerware – and keep them in your garage or in a storage unit. If you use your kit for every sale, the items you accumulate quickly pay for themselves.

And remember that you’re not decorating to your tastes. It’s worth researching the trends that your dream clients may respond to. Use social media websites, like Instagram and Pinterest, to create mood boards or bookmark ideas that you can implement in your own staging. You can also use these social networks to post pictures of properties you’ve staged. Instagram is especially effective for this; using hashtags that are specific to your locale can draw the attention of prospective buyers perusing Instagram for their dream homes.

Staging comes down to putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes. You see lots of properties and know what stands out as a feature or a flaw. Successful home staging isn’t about hiding issues or deceiving buyers; it’s about helping you convey the lifestyle your buyers aspire to, leading to more sales and happier clients!