Staging Information

Staging is a tool that real estate professionals and home sellers use to help their properties sell faster and for more money in tough markets and for even more money in an up market. The way you live in a home and the way that you sell it are two different things. Taking the time to declutter, depersonalize and decorate a property so that buyers can visualize themselves living in a move-in ready property is important to take into consideration when selling your home. Home staging, the process of preparing a home for sale, is the highest form of visual real estate marketing. It can be as simple as bringing in items that appeal to buyers or as complicated as removing junk and personal items, remodeling and redecorating.

Staging Musts
  • Clear all extraneous objects and furniture throughout the house.

  • If it hasn't been used for three months... put it away!

  • Depersonalize your property, taking down personal pictures or objects on walls.

  • Paint and clean all rooms.

  • Paint the home's exterior.

  • Sweep and clean the gutters.

  • Put garbage cans in the garage along with any other junk.

  • Weed and mulch the yard.

  • Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized.

  • Trim plants so that they don't block windows.

  • Turn on all lights and lamps during showings.

  • Have stereo FM on for viewings.

Top 10 Tools to Stage Like a Professional
  1. Cleanliness: Cleanliness is vital to selling a home. Buyers believe that a clean home is a well-cared for home. Buyers open all of the doors, peak in all of the crevices, and walk through every part of a home, including garages, closets, pantries, basements, and tool sheds where owners often have ignored messes for years, all the while looking for defects. Using a diffuser or other device that continually distributes a pleasant scent will ensure that the home always smells fresh.

  2. Clear Space/Clutter Free: Communicating to the buyer how to maximize the home's structure and floorplan is essential in showing a home well. Unnecessary personal belongings make it more difficult for a buyer to imagine living in the space, making it a home of their own, or simply seeing how their furnishings will fit. Ridding the home of excessive personal items helps the owner emotionally disconnect from the home and helps the buyer more easily picture their own belongings there. A compelling space is simple for the eye and brain to process.

  3. Life in the Home: Empty home don't show as well as furnished homes, because they suggest abandonment. Subconsciously, empty homes create questions about why the other owners left it. People feel comfotable when a home signifies life and vitality. Light, plants, fresh fruit, the smell of something baking in the oven or of fresh laundry create a feeling of life in a home. We are multi-sensory beings and sellers need to capitalize on all of our senses in order to maximize the return on their efforts.

  4. Color: Neutral colors in a home encourage people to visualize their own belongings in the space. While most people plan on selecting their own paint colors after they move in, providing a clear palette on which to do so encourages buyers to let their imaginations run wild.

  5. Kitchen: Not all homes offer spacious kitchens like the ones enjoyed in newer floorplans. The appearance of a large amount of counter space will positively impact a buyer's decision. Whether your listing has the benefit of a large kitchen or not, maximize the appearance by clearing the countertops of appliances and other items often left sitting on countertops. Little things like alphabetizing spice racks and turning all cups the same direction also encourage the impression of more space and organization.

  6. Repairs: Instead of adjusting the home's listing price to compensate for repairs, consider the growing desire for "move-in ready homes." As cleanliness is perceived to mean "cared for," the presence of easy repairs indiciates that a home has been neglected. The appearance of neglect will reduce the selling price of a home. Simple fixes like repairing a squeaky door or a leaky faucet will pay for themselves by reducing the time required to sell the home.

  7. Floors: The floors in a home are used every day, thus they can show a lot of wear and tear. People view the condition of the floors as a clue to the level of wear they will find in the rest of the home. Polish and clean all floors so they are as close to perfect as possible. Additionally, rugs are a great way to warm and define a space. Helpful tip: the carpet remnants are often less expensive than decorator rugs and can make a significant difference in a room.

  8. Windows: Great windows that provide good light are very desirable in a home. However, if the home doesn't possess great windows, a similar appearance can still be created. Window treatments are often one of the first and most discussed items in a homne. Aside from aesthetics, they can make windows appear larger and brighter and are a great way to put your listing at the top of buyers' lists.

  9. Scale and Composition: Again, you want your sellers to allow buyers to imagine themselves living in their space. Finding a balance between staging a home and not making it appear flat can be difficult. However, having appropriate scale and composition to the home's furnishing will help to maximize its potential as well as make it visually compelling. Having the correctly sized artwork, lighting, rugs, furniture, and accessories creates a better visual memory and can make a small home look larger.

  10. Curb Appeal: The home exterior sets the stage for what a buyer should expect on the inside of the home. Once formed, first impressions are hard to erase, so keep the same basic principles of clean, clear, and appropriate scale on the outside of a home as on the inside. Besides ensuring that the lawn is cared for and infused with life, lighting walkways welcomes buyers to a home in addition to making them feel safer to explore.

Staging not only helps to reduce the amount of time a home is on the market, but - when done properly - also helps to achieve higher listing prices. A little bit of effort and money can substantially increase the success of a home.