Staging Your Home or Apartment Top Tips

staging a property

Home Staging in Malta

Finally you are ready to put your home on the market to sell or rent out. But with a wide range of properties available in Malta and Gozo in the same price class as yours, with similar specifications and furnishings, the competition is truly fierce. So how does one go about standing out from the rest, securing that long-term rental or a good offer? We have the answer: stage your property like a pro!

What is meant by “staging” a property?

Staging a property simply means making a property look its best to potential clients.

Tell me more…

Never underestimate the importance of staging your home, whether you are selling or renting it out to a prospective tenant in Malta or Gozo. Gone are the days of just vacuuming and arranging a few things for the place to look decent. Both buyers and tenants have become very picky and insistent on getting value for their money. With a wide variety of similar properties available, clients are more likely to reject a property if it is not well presented and looked after.  

Home staging in a nutshell is essentially the process of showcasing and merchandising your home. Think of it like this: similar to how a well-dressed mannequin in a clothing store can influence your purchasing decisions, staging aims to sell the overall potential and lifestyle that your home has on offer to clients. It allows clients to envision themselves living in the space and it must ignite their imagination.

Staging also helps to accentuate the best features of your home while minimising any potential drawbacks. For example: you can transform a dark corner into a cosy area by using the right lighting, thus making it more inviting and appealing. Additionally, staging enhances the visual appeal of your home for professional photographs, which play a crucial role in today’s digital age of real estate marketing.

What does it cost to stage a home and is it really worth it?

Absolutely! If you want to maximise your returns when selling or letting a property, home staging is definitely worth the initial investment. By making your home look its best and come across as irresistible to potential clients, you will not only recoup the money spent on staging but also attract higher offers, sell your property faster or getter better tenants and rentals.

Ask your estate agent for an opinion

Any agent will be more than willing to give you an honest opinion if your home needs more attention to increase its chances of selling or getting rented. So do not hesitate to ask them what they think, especially if the property has been on the market for some time. Of course other factors such as price and location will play a role, but if you have had a lot of people through the door and the property still remains on the market, just ask what you can do aesthetically to improve its chances.

What clients want

Tenants and prospective buyers do not simply want a space to live in; upon inspecting any property they will automatically associate their lifestyle expectations with the property and with what they see. If a property and its furnishing and appliances come across as dated or neglected, they will more than likely walk away and go for something else that is more contemporary and updated in the same price range. That does not mean the property has to be newly built, as many older apartments and centuries-old houses are extremely sought-after due to the fact that they have been modernised and in an immaculate state. As said, the current market is very competitive and a wide variety of very well-kept properties, similar to yours, are available.

staging a property


Attract more buyers and a better calibre of tenants

In today’s market social media and online listings dominate everything so it is crucial to have visually appealing photos of your property. Staging will set your home apart from the competition and will increase your chances of drawing in potential clients. By investing in staging, you align your property with a client’s expectations and increase the property’s desirability.

You can expect a faster sale or getting a tenant sooner

Homes that have been professionally staged tend to sell or rent more quickly than those that haven’t. Staging enhances the overall presentation of your home, improving its curb appeal. When buyers visit a well-staged home, they are more likely to make an offer promptly or agree to the rental amount, reducing the time your property spends on the market. Conversely, a property that hasn’t been staged may sit for an extended period, leading potential buyers to question if there’s something is wrong with it.

Achieve better prices

Staging can influence the price buyers or tenants are willing to pay for your home. A well-staged property often receives offers close to or even above the asking or rental price if there’s a waiting list as a result of its desirability. In some cases, multiple clients may end up competing for the staged home, driving up the final sale/rental price. Your property may even end up looking so good that clients may express additional interest in purchasing the furniture too, thus potentially adding further value.

Costs of staging

The cost of staging all depends on what you are prepared to spend and how eager you are to achieve your goal. Some people prefer to stage only specific areas of the home to save money, but it is recommended to stage the entire property. Remember, clients will evaluate the overall presentation of the home. Expert stagers charge by the hour or per job, but maybe your real estate agent has in-house stagers available for an additional fee. With the advent of AI, virtual staging is another option gaining popularity. This involves digitally enhancing your property’s photos but once again, clients will likely be disappointed if they do not find what was promised or shown in the online photographs of your property when they visit it in real life.

Doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional

Some owners may have a flair for interior design, but it is probably better to consult a professional when it comes to staging your home. Rather make sure your home is properly staged for your target market and consult with your real estate agent for recommendations on where to find reputable staging professionals.

staging a property

Here are our top tips to get your property into a league where it is appealing and attractive to tenants or buyers. 

First impressions count: external allure

People may say “next!” simply upon seeing the exterior of any property. The exterior needs to be good enough as a first impression as to make it absolutely worthwhile for them to explore the interior space as well. Here’s what you can do regarding the outside of your property:

  1. Ensure that the approach to the property is spotless and rubbish-free.
  2. Move any garbage bags to another location even though it may only be temporary on the day of the viewing.
  3. See that the house or apartment numbers are clear, simple, legible and in a good condition.
  4. Clean up any greenery, plant some flowers or install hanging baskets in the case of an apartment.
  5. Get the windows, sills, walls and entrance doors sparkling clean.
  6. See that your post box is in tip-top condition and that it has a working lock.
  7. In the case of apartments, make sure the sidewalk and entrance foyer is clean, even the tiles.
  8. See that any intercoms and door bells are in working order.
  9. Make sure all doors, handles and door knobs providing primary access to the property are shiny and clean.

Roll out the red carpet

  1. Steam clean carpets, replace worn parts and get rid of any odours or stains emanating from carpets…this is a must, as soiled or worn carpets are one of the biggest deterrents to prospective clients.
  2. Polish any wooden floors and if you have to, buy some contemporary area rugs to rejuvenate a dull floor space.

Get rid of clutter

  1. Simple and clean is best! Get rid of knick-knacks, dust gatherers and any empty planters, in or outside.
  2. Clear cupboards and storage spaces as this will show of the true amount of storage space available to clients. Clients will open cupboards and storage units and the worst thing is for it to be full to the brim.
  3. If you had previous tenants, remove all their left-behinds as no-one wants to be reminded of someone else’s past.
  4. Your clients’ prospective space needs to be neutral, inviting and full of possibilities.
  5. Never use your rental property as a storage space for your old heirlooms.

You’re welcome!

  1. This is an obvious one but often overlooked: put a “Welcome” mat at the front door,
  2. make sure outside lights are on and in working order if you are expecting clients to view it in the evening.
  3. If there is space, put some pots with healthy looking plants on either side of the door or see if you can install a hanging basket with some flowers.
  4. If your front door has any glass sections, make sure they are sparkling clean and that it has no cracks or marks.
  5. See that all door handles are clean and in good working order.

Give your property a clean break

  1. Clean everything within an inch of its life!
  2. Refresh grouting, banish lime scale around taps, drains and bath plugs, polish wall tiles and make sure the glass cubicles of showers are mark-free.
  3. If you have shower curtains, replace them with new ones as mildew and mould is your sworn enemy!
  4. If you have to, get a professional team in to clean the place and get it up to standard.

De-personalise the property

  1. You may think you have style and this could be true, but prospective tenants do not want to see your personal stamp all over the place.
  2. Clients want to see a neutral space that they can possibly live in and make their own, not one where you are going to be omni-present.
  3. Get rid of inherited furniture or anything that is too whacky or even religious: neutrality is the watchword.

I can live with that!

  1. Of course you have to show the possibilities of living in a property to clients, so it is acceptable to have some neutral items or decorations here and there:
  2. Think of vase with fresh flowers on a table, a bowl of lemons in the kitchen or a modern clock on a wall. Keep it simple.

To dine for

  1. If you have a dining room or kitchen table, make sure you have some items on it so it does not come across as desolate: arrange vases or pots down the centre and always do it in uneven numbers: 1 or 3, never more than 3.
  2. If you know how to do it stylishly, you can even attempt a simple table setting but be careful of cluttering it up!

Off the wall

  1. Try and get chairs and sofas away from the wall in a symmetrical arrangement.
  2. Demarcate living areas into zones with the use of furniture by for instance using an L-shaped couch with its back to the entrance door and dining room to denote where the TV room area starts and
  3. pull all the furniture together with a modern, colour-coordinated area rug.

Neutrals win the day

  1. Stay away from experimentation when you are repainting!
  2. Never use sunshine yellows, lime greens and post-box reds but rather go for soft greys, off-whites and maybe one darker accent wall in the same family of colours.
  3. Any neutral colour will do the trick and lend an air of sophistication to any room.

I will see you in the bedroom

  1. Stay neutral with the bedrooms wall colours too.
  2. Also keep linens and décor neutral.
  3. Do not impose any gender on a bedroom by having blues, pinks or black and reds with chrome!
  4. Allow clients to put their own personal stamp on bedrooms once they have settled in. In the meantime, choosing the middle of the road is best.

Out of the closet

  1. Keep wardrobes and closets empty and do not use it to store stuff you don’t want to throw away!
  2. Clients WILL open doors and peek inside and the last thing they want to see is detritus from either the landlord or previous tenants.
  3. Make sure closets and wardrobes smell fresh, have no damp or mould and are sparkling clean.

A spare room is not a closet

Show off the potential of a spare room by assigning a function to it: make it a home office, a gym or an inviting guest room. Never use it to dump stuff in or lock the door during a viewing as this will leave clients uneasy, wondering what’s behind the door.

Toys are not us

A death knell for any viewing is toys strewn all over the house! If you MUST have them on view, make sure they are packed away and organised like a library, in boxes, neatly stacked.

It’s a spa, not a bathroom

  1. Think of your bathroom as one of the secrets to “selling” the entire property: make it look sparkling, modern and pristine.
  2. Have luxurious, thick towels neatly rolled and stacked with great smelling soaps and a fluffy, white bath robe on a clothes horse or hanging on a hook nearby.
  3. Make sure the waste bin is spotless and empty and whatever you do,
  4. stay away from matching toilet sets that look like they were made from leftover carpeting.

Come walk with me

Always draw clients in and around corners, to explore the house by placing items of interest at the top of the stairs, in a corner where a passage leads off to bedrooms or onto a balcony. Do this with a painting, a rug, lights and more.

The smell of money is a fresh one

Renting out a property or selling it successfully can be derailed by something as simple as a bad smell! Pet odours, cigarettes, mould, seafood, spices and garlic pongs emanating from a property is a guaranteed way of see the client’s back within minutes of walking through the door. Before a viewing open doors and windows and make sure the property smells fresh.

Living the life…

As we said, people want lifestyles, not properties. Show them how they can live, not how they will live. For instance, maximise the views, let in sunlight and never forget to stage a balcony or terrace too. This will show them the full potential of the property and charm the pants off them. Adapt this to whatever the season: make the property cosy and warm in winter and cool and fresh for the summer!

The final coat

The cost of staging is typically far less than facing a potential price reduction that you may have to make if you don’t stage your home. Investing in home staging is a very smart decision that can have significant impact on the success of your property’s rentability or sale.

staging a property

If you are interested in letting or selling your home and want to stage it, contact us!

With more than 50 years of successful sales, lets and staging of all kinds of properties in Malta, you can rest assured that your interests will be best served.

Frank Salt Real Estate Staging Service: The Frank Salt Home Interiors team of specialists will be able to assist you with your property’s staging, whether you want to rent it out or sell it. Home Interiors: 2, Paceville Avenue St Julian’s | Tel +356 2277 0119 | [email protected]

Frank Salt Real Estate Sales: Frank Salt Real Estate Head Office: 2, Paceville Avenue St. Julian’s | Tel +356 2277 0110 | Email: [email protected]


Frank Salt Real Estate Rentals: Philippa Tabone, 212A Tower Road, Sliema | Tel +356 2276 5211 | Mob+356 7962 1984 or email: [email protected]

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