Top tips to stage your home in a hot real estate market

EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the weather warms up, so does the local real estate market, with more homes being listed and bought up every day.

If you’re selling your home, the right staging can make a huge difference to help you get top dollar for your house and get your house off the market quickly.

Interior designer Margie Mokhiber says there are a few simple things anyone can do to make the most of their space.

“Decluttering is the number one thing you want to do,” she advised. “You want to make your space appear as big as possible.”

Mokhiber, the president of MAM Development, Inc., joined News 4 Wake Up on Thursday morning to share some of her top tips for sprucing up your home to sell or just sprucing up your seasonal space.

Watch the clips below to see our conversations with Margie Mokhiber as she put her design for an East Aurora patio into practice. App users | Click here to enable videos.

She says neutral furniture is an important base for any design.”The nice thing about neutrals is when trends change and you want to change your color, your furniture doesn’t have to go, and that’s your expensive,” she said, adding that you can change out pillows or accessories and transform a space without spending too much more money.

With careful planning, and, of course, measuring, the right accessories and the right lighting can really bring a space together. “You’d be surprised how one little thing would change a whole room,” Mokhiber said.

Bottom line, though, is less is more when it comes to staging a home, especially if you’re trying to sell it. Mokhiber says you need to remove any furniture that makes a space feel small and you need to remove personal items that can make it hard for a potential buyer to see themselves in your space. “If somebody comes into your home and they’re looking at your kids pictures and your diplomas on the wall, it’s a distraction,” she explained.

Mokhiber points out a lot of what home staging is about is selling a dream to a potential buyer. “You want people to come in the house and say, ‘I could see myself here!'” she said. You also want them to be able to visualize their own belongings in your space, so it’s important not to crowd the area with your own things. Instead, careful arrangement of a select few items can really sell a space.

Staging a whole home can be expensive, costing upwards of several thousand dollars if you need a lot of work throughout your whole home, but Mokhiber promises the investment pays off when you can get top dollar for your home.

“If a house isn’t staged properly, it’s going to sit on the market much longer than a staged house will,” she warned, “And then your real estate agent is going to say, ‘I think it’s time to drop the price.'”

Mokhiber says homeowners can save on staging costs by shopping around their own pieces before they go shopping for staged decor. Mokhiber did just that as she was designing the outdoor space she showed News 4. “When I came over to look at the space, I went through (the homeowner’s) vases and see everything that she had, and decided what I was going to use outside before I went to the store,” she said.

Whatever you’re putting in a room, Mokhiber says, it’s important to be willing to move things around to find the best design. “I do it when I’m staging. I’ll move chairs around, pillows, vases,” she said.

“Just kind of get a feel for it,” she added. “Be creative.”

MORE | Click here to see the before and after pictures of some of the homes Mokhiber has staged to sell. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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