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Home Staging

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If you’re selling your house, a home staging can be a big help to sell it more quickly and for a better price. If you’re entertaining a home staging is another way to set your best foot forward. When we sold our house 3 years ago we had it looking better than it had in all the 20 years we lived there. So, why wait 20 years to get you home (your biggest investment) looking tiptop? In just a few weeks, we cleaned the house, finished all the chores that needed to be done, boxed up items to remove clutter and relocated furniture to improve balance and traffic flow. We also added silk plants, fresh flowers, pictures, lamps, and other decorative accents to warm up the home. We did out best to make it look like a model home, so people could romanticize living there. The strategy worked. We sold our house in the dead of winter for just less than our asking price.

What is Staging

Whether you add fresh flowers and reduce clutter or haul away and replace major pieces of furniture, the goal of staging is to put a house's best foot forward. The term "staging" was coined in the 1970s by Barb Schwarz, a California based real estate agent and former interior designer. Remember to keep the focus to greatest number of prospective buyers. Try to keep the house impersonal enough to not infringe on a buyer's own sense of style. You want the buyer to see themselves in your home. This may mean removing most of your personal photos and collections. Your goal is to call attention to the home’s best features while avoinding any decor that's too distinctive--such as a bright painting or a busily patterned couch—that will pull the prospect's eye away from the home and toward its furnishings. In order to take a fresh approach some suggest that you empty each room completely, scrub it to a faretheewclean thoroughly, then put your furniture back one piece at a time. Evaluate after each addition. Add accessories carefully. Add only what makes the space look better. Better a little bare than overdone.

How to Stage a Home

Start from the outside and look at your house as if you were a perspective buyer or a guest who was seeing the house for the first time. Bring a notepad and make lists. One will be a ‘to-do’ list and one will be a shopping list
Ask yourself:
  • Is there curb appeal?
  • How does the landscaping look? Consider adding colorful flowers in planters near the front entry. Fresh mulch also adds a cohesive look.
  • How is the exterior lighting?
  • Is the entry welcoming? Consider a wreath for the door or hanging plants.
  • Is the lawn mowed, plush and weed free?
  • Are the trashcans out of sight?
  • Is the front door welcoming? Make sure it is freshly painted or stained. A coat of paint or varnish can do wonders. And the matt should be in good repair. A handcrafted seasonal wreath can add a welcoming look as well.
  • Once inside, the entry way should be welcoming as well. The house should smell fresh and be well lit. Dark corners will make a room appear smaller. Windows should be crystal clear.
  • The living room and family rooms should appear spacious. (Are there any pieces of furniture that could be removed to further this illusion?) An open book across the ottoman with a pair of glasses complete the illusion of a quiet place to unwind at the end of the day. Keep personal framed photos to a minimum. The buyer needs to picture their family in your home.
  • The kitchen is the number one room that will influence a buyer’s decision. Make sure they can see your kitchen as the center for their home and entertaining. To make your kitchen appear larger reduce the clutter on countertops as well as inside the cabinets. Put away coffee makers, electric can openers, and dirty dishes. Make sure your kitchen is clean and sparkling. Remove the magnets and photos you have on the refrigerator and add fresh fruit or flowers to the counter or Island. Potential buyers will open cupboards so make sure they look tidy and free of clutter. Create a table setting for two- one that will be remembered.
  • To make the dining room appear larger you may want to remove a leaf from the table. Set the table for an intimate dinner. Are there extra chairs that could be removed? Make sure the furniture and accessories are clean and polished. Replace burned out light bulbs.
  • The bath should look like it has never been used. It should be clean and fresh smelling with fresh soaps and towels.
  • Staging the patio or deck will give the illusion of a bigger home by adding more useable entertaining space.
  • Any home office room or corner should have desks that look like the ones in the furniture stores. Put away papers, clutter, post-it notes, phone books, cables, wires and extension cords. Art work is great but put away any framed certificates.
  • Pelple will be looking in your closets as well. To make them look spacious take out out of season clothing, shoes, suitcases, and any clutter. Decorative hat boxes and neat baskets will add a nice touch to shelves. If you have room an Island will add extra storage and a flat surface for a pretty floral display.
  • A fun trim to a linen closet is a lace border added to the edge of the shelves. Pack away extra towels and sheets to make the closet appear larger and more organized.
  • The master bedroom needs to look spacious and luxurious. If you have a king sized bed you may want to consider using a queen or double bed for a while to mazimize the room's space. Add bedding, a dust ruffle, and lots of pillows for a plush look. A bed tray with a cup, saucer, and the morning paper adds a wonderful touch to the foot of the bed.
  • Don't forget the garage. Pack up your stored clutter and get it out. Clean and repaint. Paint or epoxy the floor as well.

In summary:
  1. De-Clutter
  2. Clean
  3. Paint
  4. Rearrange
  5. Decorate
  6. Set the stage


  • Before a viewing turn on all the lights to add a cozy feel.
  • Get more tips from watching HGTV's many desiogn to sell shows


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