These home staging tips from the Marriage or Mortgage expert will help you sell quicker

We've asked the Marriage or Mortgage star Nichole Holmes for her top tips on staging your home for sale – here's what she had to say

Mid-century living room with woodburner
(Image credit: Colin Poole)

The new Netflix Marriage or Mortgage couldn't be more timely. In the era of super-expensive weddings and super-expensive homes, which is more worthy of a couple's investment? The show's presenters – wedding planner Sarah Miller and real estate agent Nichole Holmes – help several Nashville couples navigate the big life decisions process. Will they choose the huge wedding or to buy a better, bigger house?

Nichole has been in the real estate business since 2008 and is well-known for selling luxury condos in the Nashville area, undeterred even by the financial crash that coincided with the beginning of her realtor career. Home staging is an important aspect of Nichole's success and here she answers our top questions about staging your home for sale successfully. 

What is the most important room when home staging?

Living room ideas

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Nichole says: 'The living room, so families can imagine how they’ll use that space.' When it comes to home staging, the living room is the heart of the home – not the kitchen, as is sometimes assumed. Especially during the pandemic, it's become the most-used room in the house, crucial for relaxation and spending time together. 

How to make this room sing prior to a sale? 'It’s nice to delineate areas in a large open space', says Nichole – if you have the space, show it off! Create separate groups of furniture on different sides of the room to demonstrate that it can be used for different purposes (lounging, dining, playing with kids, etc). 

Consult our living room ideas gallery for more inspiration. 

Is it true that everything should be neutral-colored in a staged home?

Kate and Mike’s schoolhouse renovation took more than their share of blood, sweat and tears – but the unique open-plan home they’ve created is worth he effort

(Image credit: Future© Fiona Murray)

This is one of the most common tips for sellers staging a home for sale – keep everything neutral-colored to avoid putting off potential buyers. Is this true, or a myth? Nichole concedes that 'too much color on walls or floors can eliminate some buyers' – so do hold off painting the lounge purple or laying down bright carpet. 

However, colorful accents can work to your advantage, says Nichole: 'There isn’t anything wrong with a pop of color in a throw pillow or accessories.' In other words, buyers want neutral walls and floors and not necessarily an all-white-and-cream decor.

What's the one thing most people get wrong when staging to sell?

cluttered room

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Nichole is firm on this one: 'Not decluttering enough. A few personal photos are ok, it helps humanize the home, in my opinion. But too much clutter is a turn off for buyers.' This is the tip we hear time and time again from home staging professionals, and it's just true: a home that's too full of someone's trinkets doesn't look ready to find a new owner. Buyers may even feel like they're encroaching by viewing the property. which is not conductive to a quick sale. 

If you're not sure where to start, use some Marie Kondo tidying up tips – you'll feel better as well as having a better chance of selling your home.    

Marriage or Mortgage is available to stream on Netflix. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

In 2018 Anna moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space and joined Realhomes.com as Staff Writer. She has a longterm interest in space-making and the evolution of interior style. She can also be found looking for the latest innovations in sustainable homewares or buying yet more bedding.

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