Home-staging is one of the most effective ways to maximise your property’s value without the need to break the bank. An expert shares some useful tips on how to make your home attractive to potential buyers.

When selling a property, creating a positive first impression is one of the most crucial keys to success. A well-kept home that emanates warmth is very attractive to potential buyers looking for a place to call their own.

“The decision to buy a property is an emotional one,” says Jo Carmichael, professional organiser and founder of property styling company All Sorted Out. “When a buyer can visualize their own possessions (or those of a tenant’s) in the home, we capture their emotional heartstrings, helping them to choose this property over another one.”

Carmichael says this is where home staging plays an important role as it highlights a property’s strengths while minimising its weaknesses.

“Staging and decluttering make it easy for buyers to imagine how this property can become their property,” she says. “Buyers are inspecting multiple properties in a short space of time. Your property is in competition with every other property for sale, so make yours the one that wins their attention.”

What are factors to consider when staging a home for sale?

Carmichael says it is vital that sellers can put themselves in the shoes of the buyers to be able to identify what the buyers are searching for in a home. 

“When we sell our home, it is important to look through the eyes of the buyer and see what is important to them,” she says.

Carmichael identifies the three most important factors to consider when staging a home as clutter, space, and style.

“By eliminating clutter, the buyer can visualise their own possessions in the property,” she says. “[Sellers should also be able to] present the property in a way that creates flow to showcase how spacious it is.”

Carmichael says rooms should be presented in a way that clearly shows their intended use, rather than leaving them empty.

“Styling ensures each space has a clear purpose and function – presented as living, dining, a study nook or family room,” she says.

Top tips for home-staging

Curb appeal

Carmichael says a buyer’s emotional connection begins from the streetscape, so it is very important to “ensure the front garden and entrance are immaculate.” She shares the following tips to enhance curb appeal.

  • Mow and rake the lawn, weed the garden, and remove any dead plants.
  • Pressure-wash the front steps and possibly the entire home if required.
  • A new front doormat and some greenery at the entrance are always inviting.
  • Ensure the letterbox or front gate has a clearly displayed property number.


Carmichael says eliminating clutter is crucial as it maximises the property’s value. She says among the effective ways to declutter are:

  • Removing family photos and personal mementos as they are distracting to buyers.
  • Reorientating existing furniture if it is blocking a water or garden view.
  • Removing any clothing from bedrooms that is not hanging inside a wardrobe or folded in drawers.
  • Removing excess items from kitchen and bathroom benches, making the countertops spotless.
  • If there's a garage attached to the property, show how a car or two can actually fit in there, rather than presenting it full of old suitcases and storage boxes.

Study room before and after decluttering

Study room before and after decluttering

Images courtesy of all sorted out


Styling makes a property “match ready,” according to Carmichael. Here are some ways that can help a property create a good impression:

  • Opening the curtains to let in as much light as possible.
  • Placing foliage or fresh flowers around the property.
  • If there's a pool, ensure it is sparkling clean with a fluffy beach towel draped on a nearby comfy chair to suggest relaxation.

Living room before and after styling

Living room before and after styling

Images courtesy of all sorted out

Things to avoid when staging a home for sale

However, Carmichael says there are also certain things that can leave a negative impression and should be avoided when opening a property to buyers.

“Leaving your fur babies or pets either inside or locked up outside during a property inspection is not ideal,” she says. “Have a friend or pet service care for them off site.”

Same goes for unwashed dishes and soiled laundry.

“Piles of dirty dishes and dirty washing are a reality, but these detract from showing your property at its best,” Carmichael says. “Aim to fill the dishwasher and washing machine prior to buyers viewing your home, so all benches, sinks, and floors are clean and tidy.