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How to Stage Your House for Selling

With a record number of resale HDB flats transacting for more than a million dollars, many HDB owners are looking to “stage” their flats in an effort to sell it for a higher price. So, what is home staging and how does it work? In this article, we will delve deeper and explain.

Home staging is the process of dressing up a home to make it look stunning for potential buyers. It is a marketing tactic that transform a dark and dull space into a bright, breezy and liveable home. It is designed to showcase your home's best assets, impress potential buyers, and sell it quickly for the highest price. It will also allow you to take beautiful pictures for your listing on online property portals. Beautiful pictures showcasing how liveable and cosy your home is will attract the attention of property hunters looking out for their dream home.

As the saying goes, a picture can tell a thousand words.

The cost of staging a home will depend on how extensive you want it to be. More elaborate ones will include rental furniture, accessories, fixtures etc. The main purpose of staging a home is to demonstrate how liveable the property you are selling can be. The aim, of course, is to have your property stand out from the other listings, so as to sell it fast and for the highest price possible. And in most cases, home staging can turn a slow-moving property into a hot listing.

When searching for a property with a view to buy, potential buyers are looking for their dream home and not just a roof over their heads. They are also hoping to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyle, so home staging can create a more emotional purchase for the buyer and generate more money for you.

Home staging is also beneficial because potential buyers do not want to buy a home that needs extensive renovation. If there are peeling paintwork, faulty fixtures and leaking taps, they are likely to deduct the costs of repairs and negotiate the selling price down, or they may just move on to another property.

According to industry experts, staging a home can potentially increase the offer price by between 1% and 5%, as compared to similar homes on the market that aren't staged. So if your flat is worth roughly $600,000, based on a 3% increase if the house was staged, you would earn approximately an additional $18,000. Not too shabby especially if your home staging is done DIY-style! Property agents also say that staging properties helps in the negotiation process as it allows potential buyers to imagine living there and therefore, speed up the transaction process.

How to Stage Your Home

Firstly, every part of the house must be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed. Nothing puts off potential buyers more than walking into a dark and dirty house. It is best to have a fresh coat of paint, preferably in light or warm, neutral colours. A clean home also shows potential buyers that you've taken good care of the property, which they could be buying as their next home.

Remember to keep the property tidy and free from clutter. Unwanted things or furniture can be given away or simply get rid off especially if you do not intend to bring them to your next home. This will make your home more spacious and liveable.

Outside Corridor

They say that the first impression is the most important. That is why you should ensure that the corridor leading to your unit is clean and free from clutter. If you have potted plants, keep them at a minimum. Nothing is more disappointing than coming out of the lift and walking along a corridor full of potted plants, bicycles and old smelly shoes. Oh, and make sure that both the front gate and the main door are in good working condition and free from dust.

If the paint is peeling or faded, you should consider giving them a new coat of paint. That way, you more or less prepared the potential buyers with a positive impression and they are likely to view the rest of your home with a better mindset.

Living Room

If you have old broken furniture, you should consider removing them. Some staging companies are able to rent good quality furniture that come with cushions and pillows for that cosy feeling. Staging companies will also arrange the furniture in a way that makes each room feel spacious, homey, and easy to navigate.

Have a fresh coat of paint in bright colours or warm neutral tones, if possible. Hang a nice painting or a beautiful scenery picture to give a pleasant ambience. Potential buyers often visualise how it is to live in the home they are viewing and the possibilities of what their dream home would look and feel like. Having the living room staged would allow them to imagine how they can maximise the house’s layout.


Bedrooms are the most difficult to stage as they are personal and you and the family are still living there. The key here is to ensure that the rooms are neat and tidy with everything packed nicely. You do not want your kids’ toys laying around and it’s best to contain them in a box and stashed away under the bed. Clean the rooms thoroughly and ensure that the beds are made and the bedsheet tight and tidy. If you have an open house and expecting a lot of potential buyers, it might a good idea to have a change of fresh bedsheets.

Bathroom & Toilet

The bathroom in your house is perhaps the most neglected as it is not easy to stage. That’s because you cannot remove or replace the toilet bowl, sink, shower screen etc. What you can do is to ensure that the items are clean and without stains and free from odours. Also, make sure that the sink is not choked and water can flow out smoothly. If you have a pet cat or dog and you bathe them inside the bathroom, clear out all remaining furs and hair.

Ensure that the mirror is not cracked or damaged. You can add a touch of class by hanging fresh, fluffy towels on the towel bar. For a nice finishing touch, put a new bar of soap or have a new soap dispenser on the vanity. And remember to ensure that your dirty laundry are kept out of sight and never ever leave your underthings hanging anywhere in sight.


The kitchen is all about the counter tops and utensils. Counter tops should be free from oil and smell left from the previous meal preparation. Hide small utensils and pots and pans in the cabinets to create a sense of extra space. For large appliances that you are not able to conceal, ensure that they are cleaned and arranged neatly.

Store Room / Bomb Shelter

Nowadays, HDB flats come with a store room that double as a bomb shelter. Ensure that your storeroom is not packed to the brim as the potential buyer will need to see that the house they are buying comes with enough storage space for their own belongings. Having a fully crammed store room will make the home look like it is short of storage space. And remember, in times of emergency, it needs to fulfil the role of a bomb shelter.

Open House / Viewings

During viewings and open houses, keep all windows open and draw back the curtains to take advantage of the natural light to make it bright and breezy. If there are trees outside your windows, making it a little dark, switch on all the lights. This will make your home brighter and more inviting, of course, ensure that all the lights are in good working condition. Bathrooms must be fresh smelling and dry and equipped with clean towels. Having lit scented candles and essential oils will freshen up the air in your home.


Finally, before any viewing or open house, put some fresh flowers in vases, open windows and doors to let in fresh air to make your home warm and inviting. You want potential buyers to see how they live there as their new dream home. After all, home staging is about showing off your home in the best light and making it appealing to as many people as possible because if more people are willing to submit offers for your home, naturally, you can sell it for a much higher price.

Ultimately, selling your property is a significant financial transaction and you should do a home staging, either by DIY, or engaging professionals for a small fee. The sole aim of staging a home is to show off the best features of your home and to enhance the weaker parts so that it will attract a wider audience and transact faster and at the highest possible price. The benefits you enjoy from home staging will be worth the time and effort.

Platform to List Your Property has recently launched their own FSBO service, where homeowners can list their properties for sale. Users are given the option to list their properties by themselves, avail of a Flat Fee Package, or engage their Property Concierge to handle all the work involved in the resale process. To learn more about this service, click here.


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