How To Stage A House

Are you selling your home and want to know how to stage a house for sale? We have lots of advice about dos and don’ts to help you get the best sale price.

When it comes to home staging you have three options:

  1. DIY by editing your look and purchasing some statement pieces
  2. Up-styling by a professional using your existing furnishings
  3. Use a home staging company and hired furnishings

Shop home décor online for some statement pieces

DIY home staging is the cheapest option with the benefit of having a few styley home décor items to take to your next house.

Detracting from the unattractive by drawing the eye to statement pieces can work like magic to smooth over the 'rough edges' of a room.

Check out the Wise Up NZ® Home & Living Hub which has a huge variety of online home décor stores so you can shop right now for items that will add some wow factor to help sell your home.

How to up-style your existing furnishings

The options for how to stage a house include Home Styling your existing furnishings which you can find out more about from Jacqui who specialises in up-styling for Christchurch home sellers.

Rule of thumb, less is more.

If you are planning to sell, make sure you read this Smarter Strategies for Selling Homes kit before you start the process.

How much does home staging cost?

Rather than do your own home staging, you can call in the experts who will bring in their classy home staging props and stage your house for you.

The cost of using a professional home stager varies from region to region but as it totally transforms a property it is usually worth it. If you look at properties for sale in your area and price range that are staged, they stand well out from competing homes that are not.

Find out here an indication of home staging costs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Home Staging Fail: The No-No’s of Home Staging a House

We've all been there - okay not all of us have been there, but one or two of us have...

Nana's hand crocheted doily from the '70s that we can't throw out, and there it is in that drawer of special things, begging us to bring it out and give it a whirl now and then.

But when it comes to selling your house, you can increase the value of your home by taking a more edited approach to home styling.

Hugh Hefner Playboy brand - on Anything!

You may be in the midst of a mid-life crisis and reliving your teenage boy (or girl) dreams, but your visiting buyer doesn't want this image in their head.

Paua shells

Unless you actually own Bluff's Paua Shell house, we want you to revisit this one.

Café curtains, net or otherwise

Net curtains in general are a risky affair unless you have the latest look.

Update your look now - shop for home decor online

Ash trays

Self explanatory. While you're at it, get a non-smoker to give your house the sniff test and do whatever it takes to get rid of any trace.

Where to now?

Rather than shift your clutter to a spare room or the garage or garden shed, sort it into groups now. You don't want to take it all with you to your next house either, so no time like the present.

You need boxes and bags for this job.

  1. Taking with you to your new home: Things like your photos and Nana's doilies which you may want to hand down. Being handcrafted they will become more valuable with time. Have two categories - a box for the things you plan to put up in the new home (eg photos) and one for those that could go in the attic.
  2. To give away: Items of value that friends and family will appreciate. They probably won't want more clutter themselves but then again you may have some things they need. Kitchen utensils might be valuable to younger people (for flatting).
  3. Sell on Trade Me: If it has a resale value, list it on Trade Me, or sell or give away on Facebook.
  4. To recycle: It's nice to know that someone else may well love your spare stuff as much as you do. Get rid of any not needed furniture and let your junk become someone else's upcycled treasure. Take it to the Salvation Army or recycle through the resource recovery wing of the dump.
  5. Dump it: This item has done its dash.
Keep a box handy for things like ash trays or stuff you are still using that you can quickly hide away when people are coming to view the house.

Have a strategy for tucking things you are still using on the kitchen bench, for instance the toaster, quickly out of site. Remember people will look in the cupboards to check them out for storage ability, so don't just chuck the wet bathmat and flannel in the bathroom cupboard.

Hanging baskets and maidenhair ferns

Unless you are a Hipster, with a matching Hipster apartment, you probably aren't doing this right, so make them disappear.


No one will love your little guy like you do. And while we're on the general topic, your fairies, butterflies and unicorns probably won't be appreciated either.

Pink, frilly stuff

Restrained use in your little girls' room, if you please. You can refresh your bedrooms with stunning new duvets and bedding to help sell your home - and take it with you to your new home when you go. Shop online for a new look bedroom now.

Paper calendars

You may feel obliged to hang up every single one you were given at last year's Christmas tradie shouts, because why let a freebie go to waste. But that red bikini clad model hugging the yellow digger will not win you any extra dollars.

Memo boards

We know these are the saviour of many a frazzled household full of school kids, but they need to go for the house presentation.

Crocheted tablecloths

Not the look buyers are after.



Home Stage My House To Sell NZ

Family photos: A home stage No-No.

Family photos

People want to imagine making themselves at home in your house but they don't want to get up close and personal with you in the meantime.

Sheepskin rugs or little mats all over the place

Shaggy rugs have taken a step up from '70s. Rugs are a big thing these days, literally. They are large scale and a replacement for carpet on bare wooden floors. Little rugs here and there, including the sheepskin variety, will date your decor. To update your look, check out this unique selection of rugs available online.

Wet flannels, dishcloths, tea towels, bathmats

All these speak to the boring necessities of everyday life and create unnecessary clutter. Make them vanish. However fresh, fluffy towels and fresh bathroom decor can help lift a bathroom's mood.

Dried flowers

The heyday for dried flowers was the '80s. There are some designer minimalist versions around today, but if yours isn't one of them, best to edit from your look for the sales process.


As part of your decluttering, clear the bench of everything except perhaps the occasional classy prop (a beautiful cake mixer for instance).

Brown bananas in fruit bowls

These belong in the banana loaf, not in your fruit bowl. However, if you have a favourite fruit bowl, you could fill it with one type of fresh fruit, for instance lemons or pears, for an arty look.

Fitness equipment

If you actually use this stuff and haven't just bought some as part of your long abandoned New Year's resolution of three years ago, put it in the garage. Inside it is just an eyesore. If you haven't used it for 18 months, get real and hock it off to the next hopeful. Invest the money you made in some paint.

Women's weeklies

Not cool. If you need to add something to a coffee table, go for a classy home design magazine, or art coffee table books.


We know you are brilliant, Nana knows you are brilliant, but your buyers don't care, and they don't speak of style. Put them away for now.

Religious items

Displaying the cross above the dining table may bring you comfort but it is one of those personal things best packed away and bought out in your new home. However, if you own a McCahon or a Hotere with a cross, well that is entirely different.

Dead pot plants, inside or out

Hopefully you have scanned your home for any eyesores long before your Open Home. But if not, now's the time.

Stuffed toys anywhere

Not cool. Not even cute.

Home Stage For Sale

Home Staging in Summary

If you really want top dollar for your home, it's worth editing your look and adding a few statement pieces to add a touch of colour and class which you can also take to your new home.

Make your house look like it's worthy of a magazine cover. Or at least give it a firm nudge in that direction.

Shop Home Décor Online for staging a house

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Article updated December 10, 2020 | About