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How to Stage a House for Sale While Living in It: Your Complete Guide to Staging a Home


On average, a staged home will sell for 6.3% more than the asking price and with a shorter time on the market. Staging a house to sell is often as easy as hiring a home staging company.

Unfortunately, if you’re still living in the home while it’s being shown to potential buyers, a home staging company won’t be able to help. A staged home is hardly livable. While you stay at the house for sale, you still need access to your furniture and other accommodations. So how do you stage a house for sale while living in it?

How to Stage a House for Sale While Living in It

It’s true. You can stay comfortable in your staged house. Some sacrifices will have to be made, but you’ll be able to keep your home functional while also reaping the financial benefits of a staged home. Here are six simple steps to stage your house, even while you’re still living in it.

1. Remove Personal Items

It’s hard for potential buyers to imagine living in a space that already feels owned. Personal portraits, knick-knacks, and even religious iconography should be removed to create a neutral space. Luckily, this is one of the easiest steps to make.

Take down your pictures and posters. As hallowed as the family fridge maybe, find a new space for its homework assignments and crayon drawings. Along with removing items that are too personal for a staged home, you’ll also open up space on your walls and countertops. In place of these items, accent this neutral area with simple vases or decorative baskets or bowls.

Since you’re living in the home, you’ll need to be especially vigilant not to leave a collection of your personal mail or work paraphernalia lying around. The easiest solution is to keep your loose leaflets in a drawer or personal folder.

2. Stay Organized

Keeping organized is the hardest part of living in a staged home. We all have our vices, our messy little collections of books or CD cases that are the way we like them. While this can be a comfortable convenience in our own homes, any sort of mess and clutter will sabotage your staged space.

Remember that potential buyers will be looking through more than just the rooms. They’ll be opening cupboards and cabinets and closets, and these will have to remain as tidy if you’re looking to make a good impression.

3. Tidy up the Yard

Speaking of keeping things tidy, don’t forget about the curb appeal of your home. You’ll want to keep the hedges trimmed and the yard mowed. Maybe you’re used to leaving out your plastic sprinkler or toys for the kids. Collect these items and hide them from sight. These are some of the ways you can spruce up your garden before the showing.

If you don’t spend much time in your yard, this won’t be too difficult. But if your curb sees a lot of action, you might want to postpone your outdoor barbeque until you’ve moved into your new home.

4. Rent a Storage Unit

We’re all pack rats. As the years go by, we purchase new furniture and hide the older pieces in the garage or basement. Our rooms are stuffed with furnishings to accommodate all our guests.

When you stage a home, you need to make space. A lot of space. Crammed rooms can seem smaller than they actually are, and buyers won’t get a good feel for the true size of your home.


To best remedy, this, rent a storage unit. This is the perfect way to hide some of your excess or otherwise unnecessary furniture and other belongings. You can’t hide it all in the basement or garage. The buyers will be checking out those rooms as well.

5. Keep it Clean

Homebuyers don’t want a filthy home. If they see dust, mildew, or dirty carpets and floors, that looks poorly on the homeowner. They might assume you’ve failed to upkeep the home.

Likewise, it makes for a poor showing. Clean, sleek furniture and glistening floors provide the cheery and welcome atmosphere that buyers seek. On the daily, stay on top of your messes — especially in the kitchen and bathroom, where it’s easy to let things slide.

6. Get the Help of an Interior Designer

You’ve made space in your home and kept it clean. Great job! But that doesn’t mean you’ve presented it well. A home staging service isn’t an option when you live in the house you’re selling. That said, you can absolutely utilize the services of an interior designer.

An interior designer can make your house sell 80% faster and for 20% more than its estimate. Using the furniture you already have, they can rearrange your rooms to make them as flattering as possible for homebuyers. Check out this post to help you find the best interior designer to suit your needs.

Get the Most out of Your Home

Now that you know how to stage a house while living in it, you’ll earn significantly more when you close the sale. Your home will also be on the market for less time. That’s the power of staging a home: With some well-placed furniture and appealing space, your house for sale will seem even better than it actually is.

You made the right choice for your wallet by reading our short guide. Make another one and visit the sell section of our blog for more ways to get the most out of selling your property.