With peak home-buying season well underway, learning about home staging has never been more important. Whether your buyers are looking for their first home or are seasoned homeowners, studies have shown that minimalist home staging increases the chance of a quick sale and that 40% of buyers would be willing to offer above the asking price for a neutrally designed home. We’ve asked interior designers with years of experience staging homes for sale for their top tips for ensuring a quick sale.

Can minimalist home staging sell your home quickly?

A survey has determined that a minimalist style is the most popular choice among house hunters, with the style particularly favored among younger generations. As an interior design trend, minimalism is an influential style that has persevered throughout the decades. Its promises of a decluttered home and simple lifestyle appeal to those looking for an escape away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Whilst there are a few ways to sell your home fast, staging a property often has the best results. ‘When you decide to put your home up for sale, you should look at it through the eyes of the buyer’ suggests Finnish interior designer Johanna Lehmuskallio (opens in new tab). ‘It is important to emphasize the good aspects of the apartment, such as the feel of the space, the atmosphere, the architecture, and its beautiful details. ‘The purpose is to make the destination attractive to as many people as possible; the buyer candidate must be able to see opportunities in the home that interest them.’ Whilst minimalism has been criticized for feeling empty or lacking in imagination, the style can be seen as a modern luxury look, characterized by clean lines, lots of light, and its focus on functionality.  ‘Styling your home and selling it is always worth it! The seller of the property can do it themselves or ask for the help of a professional, which can help to cut emotional ties to the apartment and see it from the buyer’s point of view,’ Johanna adds. 

1. Embrace a neutral color scheme

For the majority of buyers, the ideal look of a property for sale is quite neutral explains Johanna, ‘That’s why the owners’ personal style should be faded, for example by painting the walls in neutral tones and removing richly colored textiles and large patterns from the interior. You don’t have to remove all the color, but it’s good to use neutral-colored textiles in colors such as gray, beige, and white.’ If your home is already decorated with neutral room ideas, refreshing your walls with some fresh paint would not go amiss. 

2. Let in natural light

Light is abundant in minimalism and is incredibly important to home staging. ‘A property shows its best in bright natural light.’ explains Johanna, ‘ You should remove heavy curtains from in front of the windows and open all the blinds for both photos and apartment screens.’  You should also increase the amount of natural light in your space by thoroughly cleaning your windows, Johanna continues. ‘Clean windows brighten up the whole apartment.’ Naturally lit rooms can also appear bigger and draw in potential buyers who are looking for opportunities to redecorate a space themselves. Where possible, increase the levels of natural light when staging a bathroom as these are often smaller, darker rooms, and natural light can increase the visibility in the room and offer great functionality. Couple this with cozy interior lighting from sources such as candles to create a rejuvenating, spa-like atmosphere and draw potential buyers in. 

3. Make sure to clean and declutter

One of the things you should never do when staging your home is leave personal items or clutter on display. One of the leading principles of the true minimalist style is to only own the essentials – no excessive ornamentation and decoration. What’s more, storing personal momentos away can help a buyer imagine themselves and their own belongings in the space. ‘The property should be exposed from under clutter and extra furniture so that the prospective buyer can see the possibilities of the apartment better.’ Johanna confirms.  A clean house is also more likely to sell as it comes across as well looked after and a good investment. Consider going the extra mile with your cleaning and degreasing the kitchen, sweeping entryways and porches, and placing fresh towels in bathrooms. 

4. Make the space feel warm and inviting

There is a misconception that minimalist interiors are uninviting or lacking in character and it may be questionable to use the style for home staging. On the contrary, warmth and visual interest can be created by layering textures, light and dark neutral colors, and appealing to buyers’ senses. ‘Minimalism doesn’t always mean empty. Curating and limiting furnishings within a given space creates “air” for potential buyers and renters to inhabit.’ explains Leyden Lewis, designer and founder of Leyden Lewis Design Studio (opens in new tab). When staging a living room, for example, incorporate a multitude of textures through throws, cushions, rugs, and beautiful natural materials to create a cozy and alluring atmosphere. ‘In a minimalist mindset, we focused on curating effusive objects for each room — vintage and contemporary pieces with genuine personality that could be expressed effortlessly, and without overcrowding the space.’ adds Husband Wife (opens in new tab) team Justin Capuco and Brittney Hart.  Minimalist living rooms can be made inviting by adding functional decor pieces such as coffee table books or scented candles. With 37% of house hunters saying unpleasant smells can put them off a property, appealing to a buyer’s sense of smell can be just as important as controlling what they see. Taking inspiration from the minimalist Scandinavian living room trend and incorporating natural elements such as jute, wool, and houseplants can also lead to very positive results.  Or, when staging a kitchen, add considered decor such as functional items like wooden utensils, stylized chopping boards, and hiding appliances to emulate a show kitchen. What’s more, Minimalist kitchens do not need to be stark white. Use darker woods and decor pieces alongside warmer-toned metals like gold, brass, and copper to increase visual interest and establish a luxury finish.  

5. Increase your curb appeal

Surveys have shown that a third of people would be put off of a home if it had an untidy garden and neglecting a space can knock up to 20% off of the value of your home.  When thinking about increasing your curb appeal start by getting rid of any weeds, sweeping your driveway and paths, and adding a pop of color with a few plants to create a simple, although well-manicured, front garden. Investing in the look of your front door can also have an impact on how quickly your house could sell. Consider front door ideas such as repainting it as surveys have shown that simple, neutral colors on the outside of your house are also most sought after. Grey, black, and green are popular choices to improve your curb appeal.  

Do you have to declutter to stage your home?

Home staging transforms your house and can make it look brand new; decluttering can do the same, and it contributes to that minimalist, depersonalized feel buyers love. It not only highlights the house’s best features but also shows off the space’s potential to possibly buyers – this means they are more likely to see themselves in the home and provides them space to think about how they might like to add to it themselves. If a potential buyer is able to imagine themselves and their family in your space it can be a powerful draw to wanting to purchase the property.