Realtors use a common phrase to explain why home staging works: "Buyers buy the lifestyle."

Home staging is your tool if you want to make your home one that makes buyers envious enough to make a purchase offer. 

There are five different rooms that -- staged properly -- will do just that. Here is how to stage these rooms without any remodeling or expensive upgrades. .   

Luxurious living room

This room is often the first one buyers see when they enter a house. It has to make a good impression. 

The living room is often entertainment central. If buyers are impressed with your lifestyle, they assume that after they move in, the guests who they entertain will likewise be impressed. This is the case even though they know that your furniture doesn't stay with the property! 

A staged living room, whether large or small, will look comfortable but not sloppy. Educate your eye by studying designers' portfolios on DecorPad

Stage your room's focal point, like a fireplace, windows, or built-in bookcases, so that it stands out. Remove photos, prints, paintings, and wall hangings that are small. Replace them with a large mirror or oversized piece of art for wall decor.  

Use props that have interesting textures, shapes, and colors. Use books, crockery, glassware, candles, or objet d'art. Then arrange your carefully selected group of them on a tray.      

For larger furnishings, include a statement piece of two, such as a dramatic light fixture you can buy secondhand (ReStore is good for this). Make sure your furniture is clean and in good condition. If your upholstered pieces don't look impressive, invest in slipcovers. Microfiber chairs can be painted. Finally, add sizable flowers or greenery, either real or fake. 

Clean bathrooms

Whether your bathrooms are old or new, you can still stage them to make buyers feel good about your house. I believe in what one Realtor told me years ago about selling a house: "If it's clean and it's priced right, it will sell." That's how important cleanliness is, especially in bathrooms. 

Don't shy away from an abundance of white when staging a bathroom. Afraid it's too sterile? A plant and some touches of metal (like faucets) and wood always make things interesting. 

Don't leave the shower curtain closed when the photographer is coming. The online photos should show exactly what's there.

Good illumination makes a room look bright and clean. But it will also reveal any less-than-spotless areas, so a deep cleaning might be in order. Don't cover a window with anything blocking light; if privacy is an issue, use static cling frosted glass privacy film. 

Stage with props that are pretty, hygienic, and non-personal. Put away medicines and personal grooming supplies -- toothbrushes, shaving equipment, cosmetics, and hair products. Hide the wastebasket and toilet brush. 

A bathroom doesn't necessarily have to be large to impress buyers. I've blogged about how to stage a small bathroom. 

Aim for a spa-like vibe in the bathroom. Fluffy white
towels are perfect props. Photo: John Bessler

Comfy bedrooms

Make your bedrooms tempting, like a place people would gravitate to for some precious downtime. Comfort is key in all bedrooms, not just the primary bedroom.

The bed or beds should be the focal point of the room and the first thing buyers will see when they enter. 

Stage beds with fabrics that have soft textures and subtle colors. Have enough bedding so that the edges of the bed and corners are soft, not sharp. Make your own simple DIY headboard if there is none. The look should say, "Come and take a nap."       

If there is enough room, a comfortable chair or bench makes the room feel extra-accommodating, especially if there is space for a small table or even a dresser next to it. If the floors are hardwoods or LVP, a rug (or rugs) is a nice touch.

A rug next to the bed grounds it and creates a softer look.
Natural elements like wood, woven fabrics, and 
foliage make the space feel homey. Photo: Becki Owens

Delicious kitchen

Whether they are serious cooks or DoorDash addicts, everyone likes to eat. Having a kitchen that looks like a great place to fix food, entertain, and maybe eat in, is a perk. One way to make a kitchen "feel delicious" is by staging it with props that look appetizing. 

You don't need to go overboard with a pantry full of gourmet foods. Just make food storage interesting instead of ordinary. People with enviable lives enjoy special foods. Organize the contents. Leave some space empty. Cluster smaller items and keep them in matched containers. If you removed cabinet doors, perhaps now is the time to replace them, or else minimize what's stored there.     

One economical way to spice up a kitchen is to add a scent that is appropriate. Gone are the days when Realtors suggested baking a batch of cookies when a showing was pending. Instead, you can scent the air with citrus or cinnamon with a scent diffuser that's good-looking, economical, and reliable.    

My favorite decorative details for countertops are flowers or fruit like lemons or apples, or potted herb plants, or cookbooks, or an arrangement of cutting boards, or a crock of matching utensils. 

The staged kitchen needn't function well, just look good. Once you have due diligence money, it's probably safe to rearrange things the way you like them. Meanwhile, display your sexiest appliances -- that fancy coffee maker or Kitchenaid mixer. And hide the dinky toaster oven.  

 And don't forget to clear the fridge of magnets, reminders, and photos.

Keeping the kitchen clean and uncluttered will
be a challenge for most of us, but it's only temporary
and might instill new habits. Photo: Helen Norman

If you have open shelves, curate what's there to
create a visually pleasing vignette. 
Photo: Greg Scheidemann for BHG

Roomy closets

Even a small closet can look roomy if you arrange things right. Group similar items together after you've decluttered. Avoid crowding it, even if it means packing up some off-season belongings for storage offsite or in compression bags under the bed. Simplify the color scheme of what stays.

Don't waste space. Keep the floor clean, but use space up to the ceiling. Arrange smaller items in big,  opaque, matched containers. Remember, the fewer details, the better. Some belongings can be conveniently tucked away by adding Command hooks on the wall to the left and right just inside the door of a closet that's not walk-in. And over-the-door shoe organizers inside a closet won't be visible in your online photos.        

An inexpensive, battery-powered motion-sensitive light will make the closet look bigger, brighter, and friendlier. So will a fresh coat of white paint. And if the floor is dark, add a white area rug. 

I've blogged about what your closets reveal about you and how important closet staging is.

Tall wire dividers
keep stacks neat.
Photo: Miles Kimball

Dividers work for 
both wire and wood shelves.

Photo: Amazon 

Get the look, get the book

Don't leave here without downloading a copy of my home staging eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. It's an indispensable guide to help you figure out how to maximize your home's value. I make it easy and economical!   

Top Photo: Ballard Designs