How to Stage a Living Room For a Sale

an airbnb living room with orange walls and orange couch

Staging a home in preparation for a sale is a very important step. First impressions matter, especially if you want to drive competition, get a good price for your home, and sell quickly.

When staging your home for potential buyers, it’s important to focus on the main rooms of the home. This includes the master bedroom, main bathroom, kitchen, and living room.

Because the living room is seen as one of the most important rooms of the home (used for relaxing, entertaining, and family time), it should be staged in a way that demonstrates comfort and coziness.

Keep reading to learn our top tips on how to stage a living room for a sale.

1. Dress for Success: Complete Repairs & Deep Clean

a person spraying cleaner and wiping a wood table

The starting point for any staging project is to complete a thorough house clean and catch up on basic repairs. Any cosmetic issues in the living room will stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers, so these need to be addressed.

Here’s a helpful cleaning checklist to keep you on track while staging your living room:

Remember, homebuyers don’t want to view an empty, lifeless home. But they don’t want to see a property that looks too “lived-in” either. So, it’s essential you deep clean the property, tidy surfaces, declutter, and make any necessary fixes to ensure the home looks as clean as possible.

2. Plan the Layout & Axe Unnecessary Furniture

a decorated open concept living room

Once your living room is in tip-top shape, it’s time to plan the layout, starting with reducing clutter. Since living rooms are so multi-functional, they can accumulate significant clutter. Clutter is okay when it’s your own, but people at your open house don’t want to see it.

Start by getting rid of unnecessary furniture items. Working with the bare-minimum number of elements, such as a sofa, a few chairs, and a coffee table, is best. Too much furniture in the living room can make the space appear smaller. It can also make a room feel darker and less inviting.

To make things easier for future buyers, create a well-organized layout by ensuring there is space to walk around. For small spaces, a distance of at least 18 inches between furniture pieces is recommended, and distances of 36 inches for bigger rooms.

If you want to sell a house quickly, it’s a good idea to remove any gaudy wall colors, too. Keeping things neutral is the best way to attract a wide market of potential buyers. The goal is to appeal to as many people as possible without making the space dull and overly sterile. Consider painting living rooms white, light gray, beige, or a pastel color in replace of anything too loud.

3. Strive For Livable But Not Lived-In 

a staged living room with a fireplace

The secret to staging a living room is to make the space seem inviting to live in, without making it seem like someone is currently living there. Ultimately, potential purchasers want to picture themselves in your house. But they don’t want to imagine you living there!

This means personal belongings left visible should be kept to a minimum. Remove any items that reveal your identity and replace them with decorative pieces that have broad appeal. Anything related to your pets (like dog beds and cat trees) should also be kept out of the way.

If you have dogs, cats, or other pets, you should also clean the rooms where they spend most of their time. Use air fresheners to cover up any pet smells, too, as this can be off-putting to some buyers. When hosting an open house, ensure your pets are away from the property.

4. Seal the Deal With Finishing Touches

a floor lamp next to a small table

With the biggest tasks out of the way, you can focus on the finishing touches that seal the deal for buyers. When listing a property on Zillow or Opendoor, it’s often the small details that people remember about your property before deciding to view it.

When staging your living room, make sure you decorate for the season you’re selling in. Plush blankets and autumnal tones are great for cooler weather, while bright colors and fresh flowers set the scene for spring and summer.

Make use of mirrors and natural lighting, too. Mirrors strategically placed in a living room can make the space appear larger and brighter. Everyone loves natural light in the living room, so all windows near the area should be sparkling clean and have the shades pulled up.

Don’t forget to make your home smell nice for buyers when they walk in, too. A fragrant aroma can have a noticeable influence on our emotions and thoughts right away. So, make sure your property is filled with pleasant scents to put your potential customers in the right frame of mind.


A living room is one of the most important rooms of a house for many buyers. Staging a living room for a sale properly can help you sell a house faster. It can also help you attract higher-paying buyers.

Just remember not to spend too much money when staging your living room. Many home improvements are not worth it before selling, as it’s unlikely to give a good return on investment. Learn more about what NOT to fix when selling a house.

Are you selling your property soon? At Brotherly Love Real Estate, we buy houses as is in Philadelphia, San Diego, and New Jersey. To learn more about what we do, contact us online or give our expert team a call today at (215) 769-9875.