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A bedroom, when properly staged, should feel like a quiet, inviting retreat. In fact, according to a March 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors, staging the master bedroom was found to be the second-most important space for buyers just behind the kitchen. On the other hand 42 percent of the buyers’ agents surveyed said that it was the most important space to stage, just behind the living room (47 percent) and in front of the kitchen (35 percent).

This means that getting your bedroom staging right is a must. Here are some pro tips, tips we share with our clients and are now sharing with you.

General Bedroom Staging Tips

Declutter and Depersonalize First

No matter the size of the bedroom, your first step should be decluttering, depersonalizing and extensive cleaning. And while it may seem like a lot of upfront work, decluttering now means easier packing and moving once the home sells. If you are really overwhelmed by the idea, hiring a professional home organizer is an easy and very efficient alternative to attempting the project alone.

Buyers want to picture themselves and their families living in the home, so remove personal items like family photos and keepsakes. Replace framed family photos with something more generic, like landscape or architecture images.

It’s also important to remove named decor, like taking kids’ names off the walls and removing and storing monogrammed pillows, bedding or towels.

Perfection is impossible if you are still living in your house, but bedrooms should look as much like a nice hotel room as possible. Stop by periodically to remain on top of dust and dirt if you’ve already vacated your house.

Here’s a quick cleaning checklist:

Vacuum carpets and floors.
Mop (if you don’t have wall-to-wall carpet).
Dust baseboards, molding, door trim, ceiling fans and lights.
Wipe down furniture using a wood-safe cleaner.
Hire a professional to clean windows on the outside, and clean the insides yourself.

How to Stage a Master Bedroom

Staging a master bedroom can have a huge impact on the way a potential buyer reacts to your home in general, so it’s a good place to start. The buyer will likely be the one using the master bedroom, so impressing them is key.

Use a neutral color scheme

Master bedrooms, as you never know who will become your home’s buyer, should cater and appeal to buyers of both sexes and ages. Buyers who can not see beyond it can often be deterred by overly feminine or masculine decor, or design that appeals to a very particular aesthetic.

Stick to neutral colors such as gray, light beige or white, and use accessories such as throw pillows and blankets to warm things up. You can add additional pops of color with (real) greenery, vases, frames or unlit candles. Blue is a perfect accent color when in doubt, since it is calming and reminiscent of the ocean or a bright blue sky.

Tips for staging a bed

To make a master bedroom feel complete and polished, it’s important to have a headboard, not just a mattress on a metal frame. You can purchase an inexpensive headboard from a local retailer or shop online (and even get free shipping in many cases)

Linens make your master bedroom feel warm and welcoming. Use crisp white bedding to give the feel of a luxury hotel we mentioned earlier. If you purchase it new, you can take it to your new home. Make the bed properly with hospital corners, a neat bedspread or duvet, and accent throw pillows.

How to stage a bedroom dresser

Unlike a closet or other built-in storage space, buyers aren’t likely to look inside your dresser, since it’s not included in the sale. But you should still stage the top of the dresser to add to the overall design of the room.

Use the rule of threes — arranging accessories in odd numbers, which is pleasing to the eye. Options include unlit candles, an empty jewelry box, succulents, a table lamp, books, small frames or fresh flowers.

How to stage a nightstand

Ideally, your master bedroom has enough space to fit a nightstand on each side of the bed. If there’s only space for one, that’s fine too. Just make sure to stage either way.

Opt for bedtime-ready items like a neat stack of books, then accessorize with flowers or a framed generic photo. Store personal items like glasses, medications, CPAP machines, water glasses or retainers. You’ll also want to remove your alarm clock.

Staging a Master Closet

Regardless of the closet’s size, it’s important that it looks spacious as possible, so it should only be about half full. You don’t want buyers to open your closet door and see every square inch crammed full — they’ll think the home is short on storage space.

In addition to paring back on belongings, here are a few other things you can do to stage your master closet.

Invest in organizers

A walk-in closet is wasted space without a closet organizer, and walk-in closets are a big plus. At the very least, a large closet should have double rods to make the most of the space. Hang clothes side by side on matching hangers, and remove empty hangers. Use shelf space for nicely folded T-shirts and sweaters.

Sort by category

Group all hanging and folded items by category — shirts, pants, sweaters, etc. If you want to go even further, group items by color, within each category.

Tips for Staging a Kid’s Room

Staging a kid’s room can be challenging, as they’re usually filled with toys and decorated in a specific way. Your best bet is staging the room to look as neutral as possible so buyers can visualize the space to suit their needs.

Minimize toys

Store large toys like play tables, doll houses and tents elsewhere, if possible. Allow your kids to fill one lidded basket with the toys they want to use over the next few weeks and put everything else in storage. That way, pre-showing cleanup is always fast and easy. Use containers with lids or standing organizers with drawers for smaller toys, and tuck the whole organizer in the closet, if possible.

Neutralize the decor

Painting can be a DIY or a professional job, but no matter who does the painting, pick a neutral tone like gray, beige or off-white. Cover up or remove themes, murals or bright colors. You don’t want buyers to think they’ll need to do a big renovation to make the room fit their needs.

How to Stage a Small Guest Bedroom

Guest rooms are often a landing spot for items like unused furniture, toys, crafts, books, luggage and all kinds of other items. But buyers want to see the room as a bedroom, especially if they have a large family or frequently host out-of-town guests. According to the Zillow Group Report, 60 percent of recent buyers said a spare or guest bedroom matters greatly to them.

If you’re using a bedroom for another purpose, make it a bedroom again to appeal to buyers looking for a certain number of rooms.

Don’t overcrowd the space

If your guest bedroom is small, remove unnecessary furniture. Just keep a bed, at least one nightstand (ideally two) and a single dresser.

Staging a bedroom with an air mattress

If you don’t have a bed in your guest room, consider an air mattress. Place it on a foldable metal bed frame and dress it as you would a regular mattress, with clean sheets, a neutral bedspread and pillows. You can add a headboard, too, but it’s not a must.

Staging Ideas for Small Rooms

If your guest room is too small for a full- or queen-sized bed and there are already at least two other bedrooms, consider staging a small bedroom as something else, like a home office. It’s better than leaving it empty or making it look like a glorified storage space and home office space in particular has moved to the top of many homebuyers’ want lists as so many people are still – and likely will remain – working remotely for the foreseeable future.