Staging to Sell: Transforming Small and Large Properties To Sell in Today’s Market

By Patti Stern, guest contributor

Getting clients to consider staging their home to sell is a major challenge many real estate professionals encounter. Some sellers think their home is either too small or too big to be staged or that staging is only for homes at a certain price point.

Staging and low cost updates, however, can benefit properties large or small. Our recent staging clients are proof! PJ & Company recently staged 10 properties, including two, million dollar homes; a custom, new construction property in Avon, Conn.; a 1949 colonial in Irvington, N.Y.; a contemporary home in South Salem, N.Y.; and two smaller homes in Danbury and Hamden, Conn. Regardless of the style or size of the home, staging can transform a home to engage multiple buyers.

Below are examples of five very different properties we recently staged to help get these homes sold and for top dollar.



Photo credit: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Home Styling LLC


What we did: The living room in this $1.9 million, 5,700 square foot colonial in Westchester, N.Y., is perfect for entertaining but the decor was outdated and the furniture layout wasn’t inviting. We used most of the existing furniture, painted a modern wall color, and added updated accents. This room now looks like it should be in the pages of a magazine and will engage buyers both online and in person. Listed by Megan Stilwell Posner, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, Bronxville, N.Y.



What we did: This 1900-square-foot Danbury, Conn., home offers buyers a bright, open living room. Mismatched and dated furnishings, however, distracted from the beautiful architectural details and charm of the room. New furnishings define the space and give the home a modern, fresh look buyers will love. Listed By: Lorraine Amaral, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, Danbury, CT.



What we did: This new home in Avon, Conn., is a custom built home, but it was unfurnished and left buyers uninspired and unable to envision it as their home. Vacant homes also look smaller to buyers who will spend less time in the property during a showing. Our team staged key rooms to give buyers a vision and to showcase the space. Home Built by Bill Cole & Associates, LLC and Listed by Karen Gibb, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, Avon, Conn.



What we did: This Hamden, Conn., home was another vacant property. The master bedroom pictured above is a huge room but has dated wallpaper and looks small when unfurnished.  We removed the wallpaper, painted a warm neutral color, installed new beige carpeting, and added furnishings to showcase this move-in ready space. Listed By: Bill Davis, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties,Wallingford, Conn.



What we did: The master bathroom of this contemporary South Salem, N.Y., home features beautiful tile but the custom double vanity was outdated and too expensive to replace. We suggested professionally painting it a modern, dark espresso finish. The transformation updates the entire space and offers buyers a move-in ready master retreat. Listed by Cathy Fleming, Coldwell Banker, Katonah, N.Y.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC , and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit or

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Kathy Fuhriman

    Why didn’t you freshen up the fireplace in #2. It looks like smoke has left black soot on the masonry and in order to make this a focal point in the room should have been cleaned and/or repainted.

  2. While we didn’t want to paint the beautiful stone masonry we agree and advise our clients of any additional ‘cleaning’ to really make the home shine. Often times, they may choose to take care of some of those elements themselves, while we handle some of the larger updates and final staging / styling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feel free to see more of our Before & After Transformations at

  3. Interesting read, love the before and after shots. Some fantastic transformations there.

  4. I have to agree with the author about staging…it really works at all price points.

  5. I like your before and after shots, it really captures the importance of staging and professional photography. Having an agent that will take the extra steps to bring in a stager, and use professional photos is very important when selling your home

  6. Esmeralda G.

    Those cabinets in that last after image look terrible. What kind of finish is that? The bedding in the second after image looks cheap – not at all plush or comfortable. I agree that staging is important, but these images leave little to be desired.