Living Room Staging in a Home for Sale by a Realtor

Staging a living room is one of the three most important rooms to stage in a house before going on the MLS or the first open house. NOTE: Master bedrooms should always be staged.

A living room can be less formally home staged as a family room or a great room.

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This is the room where people gather to engage in conversations, play games, watch TV, read a book, or talk on the phone. 

In the average home, gone are the days where a living room is strictly formal. Homes are reflecting the lifestyles of families, including children’s toys, teenagers’ computer games, dad’s golf reading material, and mom’s crafts.

The big challenge in living room staging, especially while occupying the house while it is on the market, is getting rid of the cluttered look and feel of everyday living. To help with this, here are some options to help organize and tidying up the main living room in the house where there are so many different activities:

• Remove any items that need to be donated or that can be packed early
• Remove all magazines, newspapers and stacks of reading material
• Place remotes and any small paraphernalia in a drawer
• Use matching baskets to place under a bench or on a lower book shelf to neatly store children’s toys
• Eliminate extra blankets/throws, and tired pillows on sofa and chairs
• Walls should reflect artwork only – no personal pics, plaques, or awards
• Clear coffee table of everything except 1-3 decorative items

Staging a Living Room Means Keeping Only What is Absolutely Necessary

Clutter Won’t Sell Your House, It Will Distract From It

Living Room staged by Alicia light box

Staging a living room will have furniture pieces and décor accessories that welcome people and allows for interaction and enjoyment. It will reflect a lifestyle, either through casual furniture or luxurious or more formal design. 

Although personal items such as family photos seem appropriate here when home staging it is better to depersonalize a living room. Eliminate pictures of the family. Remove trophies, wall certificates, or awards. The prospective buyer needs to visually see him or herself in this room without distraction.

Adequate seating, comfortable armchairs, ease to share a conversation with others will be necessary to showcase this room as being one where others will want to sit down and enjoy the space.

A coffee table within a living room is the central hub to set down a remote, pick up a drink, or save a magazine for reading. It should be accessorized to create interest, normally no more than three items of various heights. 

Staging for a Small Living Room

Staging a small living room requires some easy steps.  Utilizing these five home staging tips to home stage will help MLS photos pop on the Internet, bringing in prospective clients to view your home:

  1. Declutter all areas, especially coffee tables, bookshelves, TV stands, and floor area
  2. Eliminate excess furniture to help to create the perspective of a larger room
  3. Arrange furniture so that it faces the focal point of the room and helps to create a place for conversation – inviting the prospective buyer in
  4. Place appropriately sized artwork above the sofa or fireplace or large open wall
  5. Add décor accessories, including greenery/florals, decorative pillows, coffee table accessories

Think in terms of simplicity, tidiness, and easy flow of traffic when staging a small living room. Distance between the coffee table and sofa and chairs should be 36 inches to allow for ease and comfort of mobility. 

Prospective clients want to imagine themselves in this room. Staging a living room that is small increases the chances dramatically of selling the house quicker and for more money. 

According to the National Association of Realtors® Research Group, 47% of buyers’ agents felt the most important room for staging was the living room.  Eighty-three percent said staging a house made it easier for a buyer to envision the property as a future home. Staging works!

Staging a Living Room with Fireplace

Living Room Staging with Fireplace by Alicia

Potential buyers see a fireplace and imagine family gatherings, holiday mornings, and cool fall evenings. A fireplace is often the main focal point of the room.  Staging a living room with a fireplace allows for several options.

However, first things first! Dated fireplaces, chipped brick or tiles, dirty fireplaces filled with soot and charred remains of logs, and old fireplace screens turn off a buyer. This is an area where some tender loving care before home staging and putting the house on the market will help to bring in big financial rewards.

Simple accessories such as candlesticks and vases will accentuate the fireplace, but not steal the show. Artwork can be hung above the mantle. A fresh modern look is leaning a picture or two on the mantle, along with small accent accessories. 

Living Room Staging with Furniture Before and After 

Living Room Staging B4n-n-After

Before and after pictures of living rooms which are staged show dramatic change. Certified professional home stagers know the power of the proper arrangement of furnishings, always with a focal point in view. A living room staging may include the following pieces of furnishings and accessories:

  • One or two sofas, depending on the size of the room
  • Two matching accents chairs may take the place of one of the sofas
  • A stylish coffee table with simple accessories
  • Artwork which draws the eye into the room and helps create interest 
  • A large area rug big enough to place at least the front legs of sofa and chairs
  • Fashionable décor accessories including throws, décor pillows, candlesticks, books, vases, florals/greenery and items that do not appear to clutter 

The before images of living rooms that require home staging are typically cluttered, are arranged awkwardly, have too many pieces of furniture/knickknacks, and showcase personal memorabilia. Houses that go on the market in this condition may sit for long periods of time without offers. The first price drop on a house is usually more than the cost of professional home staging.

Shall we move on to staging a bathroom?