Staging for Life

It is one thing to describe the primary features of a home and quite another to showcase the highlights of a property eliciting an emotional response from the buyer.  If it is right for the property and the budget, home staging can be a beneficial part of your sale preparation which enhances the value of the home and shortens the time on market.

According to a National Association of Realtor’s 2015 report thirty-two percent of buyers’ agents and thirty-seven percent of sellers’ agents believe staged homes increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by 1-5%.  Of primary consideration were the fact that staging allows a buyer to more easily visualize the property as a future home and they were more willing to walk through a home viewed online.

So what are some principles of home staging in Hawaii?

  • Start with a clean and decluttered space.
  • Show the highlights and special features of the home.
  • Create an ambiance to welcome and invite people in.
  • Present a vignette versus a furniture display.
  • Add color to a normally plain setting.
  • Accessorize with mirrors that bring in light or showcase the view.
  • Use native plants that bring warmth and remove toxins in the room.
  • Original paintings that can bring in the beauty of the outdoors.


The curb appeal for your home is an important first impression that takes more preparation than one may think.  Planning in advance is necessary to allow time for the lawn and plants to grow.  If your yard is not in good shape you may consider replanting with sod and allowing several weeks for the grass to grow in.  Having your trees and plants trimmed and away from the home are also important aspects of design and safety.

If the paint for your home is cracked or chipped it would be good to consider repainting your home prior to marketing.  Should the exterior surface and eves just require a cleaning it may be possible in some circumstances to provide a light power wash.  Having clean gutters and a roof in good repair are also considerations when staging your home.



At the entry you have to grab the prospective buyer’s attention with dramatic and high impact focal points.  Setting the theme with the right color and details will create a good feeling from the get go.  Just like having a good title is important for a story, so too is having a good entry point when a person comes into your home.


The kitchen is where you’ll find most people congregate and where the most detail can be admired.  Having a clean counter top with one or two fashionable appliances is desirable.  Adding some color with a few bottles of wine or a decorative corner display will add some character without being too personal.  Showcasing your appliances and cabinetry is really where most eyes will be attracted to so you don’t want to over do it.

Dining Area

The dining area is where a house becomes a home.  Though we may find many Hawaii homes have combined living and dining spaces, it is still essential to carve out a portion for dining purposes.  If in a condo or smaller space with an eat-in kitchen, the counter top can be used as the dining area.  Table settings and a center piece are essentials in transforming this area into a space of conversation and story.  A table runner can also be used to add personality to an older table.

Living Room

Depending upon the size of the home the living room and family room may share a common wall or you may only have a living room for both entertaining and family activities. If the room attends to family gatherings you’ll want to have a set of chairs or sofas around a coffee table to elicit conversation.  Or if you have larger gatherings with a crowd huddled around the flat screen, make sure that the space is open and clean as you look at that focal point on the wall.  Large area rugs also play a role in designating space and creating a separate area for certain activities.


Bedrooms should emit a sense of peace and tranquility with a simple arrangement of beds night stands, and soft lighting.  Artwork is also a means of communicating this same aura followed-up by plants and books on the shelf.  Having a bedroom serve as your sanctuary can help a buyer imaging a restful evening after a full day.

It may not be necessary to stage all the bedrooms in a home.  The master bedroom would be primary followed by a possible office or second bedroom where art or small personal effects can accent the walls.


Baths are also areas that attract a lot of attention but more so for cleanliness and effective lighting rather than having a multitude of staging materials.  Creating a spa-like feel can be accomplished with towels and soaps.  Making sure there is adequate lighting to brighten up the room is essential.

Kids Rooms

When the home is likely to be purchased by a family with children it becomes a fun endeavor to place colorful furniture and games or rugs in a children’s room.  Having a beach or surf theme are also popular and well received.

For more information regarding home preparations or staging contact us and we’ll put together a customized plan for your home.


About the Author

Brandon Lau grew up in Kailua and currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Andee and children Caylah, Elijah, and David. His eighteen years in real estate led him to become a Partner at ChaneyBrooks Choice Advisors. Over the past 10 years he has developed the team and systems that has created a high level of service and value for his clients.

What differentiates Brandon and his team is his consultative approach to real estate. He advises clients with relevant data and expert insight to help them make the best choices in real estate. Good choices in planning for long term dispositions, negotiating for the best price or knowing when not to pursue an investment are ways his consultative services will give you an advantage in the marketplace. His bottom line is providing service with the utmost integrity and expertise.