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Listing Photos vs. Showings: How to Stage & Prep Your Home

Staging your home for listing photos and showings is an essential step in the process of selling a home! A clean, well-staged home can make a significant difference in attracting potential buyers and increasing the perceived value of the property.


Whether it's for online marketing purposes or in-person viewings, staging is a strategic way to highlight the best features of your home while creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. However, there are some differences between staging for listing photos and staging for showings.



Staging for Listing Photos

The primary goal of staging for listing photos is to capture high-quality images that will entice potential buyers to schedule a showing after they see the home for the first time online! When buyers browse online listings, the photos are often the first impression they have of a property. Here are some tips for effective staging for listing photos:


  1. Declutter and Depersonalize: Remove personal items and excessive clutter to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the space. Neutralize the décor to appeal to a broader audience.

  2. Maximize Space: Rearrange furniture to create an open and spacious feeling. Avoid blocking pathways or entryways with large pieces of furniture. If possible, it can also be a great idea to clear out all closets to about 50% capacity so that buyers coming through can see that there is plenty of storage space throughout the house, but also picture their own stuff in it.

  3. Enhance Lighting: Make sure each room is well-lit for photos. Natural light is preferable, so open curtains and blinds to let the sunlight in. In some cases, turn on the bedside lamps to really light the place up!

  4. Highlight Key Features: Emphasize the unique selling points of the property. If there's a beautiful fireplace or a stunning view, make sure these features are showcased in the photos. Is your home super close to a trendy area? Have the photographer send up a drone to shoot some aerial photos to show your proximity.

  5. Freshen Up: Give your home a fresh coat of paint, if needed, and ensure everything is clean and well-maintained.

  6. Curb Appeal: Don't forget the exterior! Tidy up the front yard, trim the bushes, pull the weeds, and add a wreath and some potted plants or flowers for a welcoming entrance.


Staging for Showings

Staging for showings involves creating a welcoming, cozy and memorable experience for potential buyers who visit the property in person. The goal is to make the home feel comfortable and inspire an emotional connection that encourages potential buyers to see themselves living there. Here are some tips for staging your home for showings:

  1. Create a Warm Ambiance: Set the temperature at a comfortable level and consider playing soft background music to create a soothing atmosphere.

  2. Add a Personal Touch: While you want to depersonalize to some extent, adding a few tasteful and neutral decorative elements like fresh flowers or a bowl of lemons can make the home feel more inviting.

  3. Fresh Scents: Use subtle air fresheners or scented candles prior to showing time to ensure the home smells pleasant and clean.

  4. Home Maintenance: Check for any maintenance issues and fix them before showings. Ensure all lights, appliances, and plumbing fixtures are in working order.

  5. Emphasize Flow: Arrange furniture to highlight the flow of the home. Guide potential buyers through the property in a logical and intuitive manner. I highly recommend allowing all showings access through the front door, not a back or side door. This forces potential buyers to enter their future home as if they are a welcomed guest and really enhances their first impression.

  6. Appeal to All Senses: Offer refreshments like water bottles or small snacks, and provide comfortable seating areas for potential buyers to take a moment to imagine themselves in the space and come up with a game plan for their offer.



Both staging for listing photos and showings play crucial roles in selling a home. While listing photos are the first point of contact, showings allow buyers to experience the home in person and develop a deeper emotional connection.


By combining these staging strategies, you can increase your chances of selling your home quickly and at a favorable price and terms. Remember, a well-presented home will make a lasting memory on potential buyers, and that positive impression can turn into a successful sale!

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