HGTV's Sandra Rinomato On Her Favorite Staging Techniques

You're thinking about selling your home, but you want top dollar for it and want it to sell quickly. One way to potentially do this is to invest in home staging, a process that allows for the reconfiguration and decorating of the space to encourage anyone to see themselves within that house. The National Association of Realtors states that 82% of buyer real estate agents found staging helpful in convincing buyers to place an offer, with living room staging being the most important area to focus on.

The question often comes down to what to do, though. For real estate agent and host of "Buy Herself" on HGTV, Sandra Rinomato, staging is an important step in the sales process. In an article in She Knows, Rinomato provides some tips and strategies to help sellers prepare their homes to draw in buyers. Here are several tips you can apply to your home as you prep to list it on the market.

Tuck the family photos in a box to move with you

For many people, putting family photos up allows them to walk through their homes and have fond memories as they do. For the potential buyer walking through that space, though, it could be more of a distraction. Sandra Rinomato said to She Knows, "Don't impose your lifestyle on them." Taking down your photos helps people to be less distracted about what occurred in the home and envision it as their own rather than focus on you. 

The National Realtors Association recommends removing most photos from your walls, too. They also recommend cleaning up the walls and ensuring all of the small nail holes are filled up, creating a pristine wall that doesn't look like you took photos down. If you plan to leave some up, be sure they match and are the most neutral pictures possible for the best results.

Make neutral your friend

Making the home neutral helps other people envision themselves in it. It takes away a lot of the personality of the house, what made it your own, and helps others to feel as though they can easily create a life in that area. Sandra Rinomato states that property sellers need to make every aspect of their space as neutral as possible. That may mean getting rid of those bright accent walls. She states, "That fashion-forward furniture also probably has to go. You want to have what's familiar to the highest portion of buyers" (via She Knows).

What colors and hues work, then? MasterClass offers some tips. These colors typically include brown, cream, beige, and white. You can include black and grey, too, though be careful with too much color drowning out the space. That doesn't mean the entire space has to be white, but it does mean choosing more muted tones that are less overall striking.

Surface cleaning isn't enough

Most people don't want to buy a house that they have to scrub clean before moving into and tend to respond better to a home that's well cared for. Sandra Rinomato suggests potential buyers will be analyzing the small details, which means you'll have to clean beyond the just surface (via She Knows). Dive in and really get it shining for the best results.

A study released by the National Association of Realtors in 2021 found that 85% of surveyed sellers reported that entire house cleaning would make a difference in their willingness to buy a home. What should go into this process? Everything from the walls and carpets needs to be cleaned. Rinomato recommends cleaning the grease off lower cabinets, too. Each detail helps to show how much you care about caring for your home. It takes a bit of work, though professional cleaning could be a route to take if you don't have time.

Go for luxury in the bathroom

When touring homes and imagining life in a new location, what could be more alluring and attractive than envisioning an environment that's relaxing and inviting? Most homes don't have luxurious spas in them, but you can recreate some of the appeal with a few updates to the bathroom. Do so with scented products or add a subtle candle to the space. Buyer Select recommends using wood and stone elements in the space to create a more natural environment.

Add in some fluffy oversized towels. Sandra Rinomato encourages a focus on the color white in the space, saying, "White goes with everything." Rolled-up towels (be sure they're brand new) can help to create a simple but impactful experience. The goal is to help encourage people to see that this space is going to bring them relaxation, serenity, and tranquility, or at least an escape from their busy life.

Cut back on the accessories

A final tip from Sandra Rinomato is to get rid of as much clutter in the space by removing accessories that are just not needed. She told She Knows, "You don't want them drawn to the objects in a room, but for them to notice the actual home itself."

Removing clutter like this is a big step and takes careful analysis of each item in your house. If you do not need it, remove it. You can leave some things present, but minimizing what's left in the room is key. For example, you can add the feel of more space in the room by getting rid of extra furniture and unnecessary rugs, according to The right amount of staging and decluttering of the house could mean the home sellers faster and may even mean a higher price point when it does. With a few updates to your home, you could be in good shape when your first prospective buyer arrives.