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Home & Garden

5 Pro Tips for Staging Your Home

Realtor Kara Vallenari helps you put your best house forward.
By Kristina Valdez |

The process of selling your home can be grueling. With open houses that never end and lackluster offers, the best way to show potential buyers that your old house can be their new home is with home staging.

To help us get started, we spoke with Kara Vallenari, owner of the Dallas-based Prime Home Staging, who offered her best home staging and design tips for those eager to get their home off the market.

  1. Stage before you list. 

“Staging costs less than your first price reduction,” Vallenari says. “Put your best foot forward and stage before you list. Don’t have buyers flipping over your home and then decide to stage later.”

Design Tip: Declutter. “People don’t realize how cluttered they are until someone points it out,” Vallenari says.

  1. You don’t have to stage your entire home.

“You can pick rooms [to stage] if you’re worried about a particular room.” Vallenari says. “You can also have a stager come out and do a consultation about what you can do to improve that room.”

Design Tip: Remove any personal family pictures. “A, you don’t want them all over the internet and B, it makes buyers feel like they are walking into someone else’s life,” Vallenari says. “You want buyers to only envision themselves there.”


  1. Find a stager who can appeal to the majority and not just their style tastes.

“Find somebody whose work you can see,” Vallenari says. “Also, know that they have good statistics on how quickly the home sells once it has been staged.”

Design Tip: Bring in florals. “A major part of our design process is bringing in light and bright colors,” Vallenari says. “Florals make a home feel alive.”


  1. Simple updates are worth the time.

“New light fixtures and faucets in the kitchen and the bathrooms are lower cost renovations to do and it makes a huge bang for their buck,” Vallenari says. “Sometimes, people will love a home because of a faucet; we’ve had that happen.”

Design Tip: Don’t over-stage. “If you over-stage a home and don’t leave room for a buyer to let their imagination roam, it shuts down the creativity and the excitement of the buyer,” Vallenari says.


  1. Welcome talented photographers to capture the best of the home.

“Home stagers usually have really good connections with general contractors and photographers,” Vallenari says.

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