When it comes to selling your home, a buyer’s ability to envisage being in a beautiful space goes a long way. This is where staging comes in, whether done by a professional or the home-owners themselves.

Jonathan and Laurie Ebanks in action.

“First impressions matter and believe it or not … even with the hot property market, staged homes sell faster,” says Laurie Ebanks, who, alongside husband Jonathan, owns Staged, a company which creates beautiful spaces for people who are selling, buying or redecorating a current home.

In fact, a survey by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, showed that staged homes sold three to 30 times faster than non-staged counterparts, and sales prices increased up to 20%. Similarly, in a US National Association of Realtors survey in 2021, 47% of buyers’ agents cited that home-staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home and 82% said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualise the property as a future home.

To make your home stand out to buyers, or if your current home just needs a refresh, follow Laurie’s top six staging tips to transform the space.


The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers see and it is essential to make a great first impression. Inspect your entire property from the perspective of someone who has never seen it before and observe what really catches your eye. Some upgrades can be done in a weekend and will cost more in sweat equity than actual dollars.

For example, check the front door for stains (and grab that magic eraser); consider adding decorative plants in pots either side of your entryway; add a new doormat that really pops and don’t forget to clean the windows, mow the lawn, and tidy up debris.


This is a big one for new-builds and vacant homes. Many buyers find it challenging to visualise rooms, so make it easier by defining each space. For example, if you have a room that’s used for storage but would make a great guest room, clean it out and give it that purpose.


Kitchens sell homes. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and should not look used. Remove all clutter from the counters, including all appliances. Make it sparkle.

If your kitchen is outdated, you might consider investing in upgrading it before selling. It is no shock that buyers are willing to pay more for high-end finishes and smart upgrades.

Want a pro tip? Cut a lemon and rub it inside of your sink, then place a bowl of lemons somewhere in the kitchen on display. This will add a nice finishing touch and leave it smelling fantastic for hours. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil in secret locations around the room.


Too much furniture can make the room look smaller. If your living room contains many chairs or tables which work perfectly for your family but may clutter a buyer’s view, consider keeping the nicest pieces in the room and placing the others in storage or selling them.


Think of your favourite hotel and channel their vibe to stage your bedrooms. Essentially, this means less is more. If your bedding is very colourful and has a bold pattern on it, consider replacing it with a solid colour bedding set with coordinating sheets and cushions.

You will also want to take this strategy into your bathrooms. Remove old towels and place plush towels and, possibly, new rugs in the space. Remove all personal items from the countertops. You don’t want to distract from the buyer imagining themselves in this space.


Lastly, eliminate personal effects such as photographs, children’s artwork and fridge magnets. Potential buyers are not there to share your memories; they need to picture the home as their own.

Remove photos from every table and wall and replace them with candles, nondescript sculptures, books, and landscape images for the walls.


This article appears in the Autumn/Winter 2022 issue of InsideOut magazine, now available at magazine stands and delivered to select homes.