Preparing your home - a staging checklist

(June 06, 2012 )

Let's face it; there are a lot of homes out there that are not staged. Does this hurt the seller when trying to sell? Absolutely! Staged homes sell faster and for a higher price. That does not mean that you have to hire professionals and spend a lot of money. Hiring a staging company may be worth it to some sellers, but you can also do it yourself for free. To sell your home, you should be de-cluttering, neutralizing, cleaning, and making repairs. Here is a list of to assist you with getting your home "Show Home" ready.

  • Curb appeal - this is where it starts. Power wash the house and driveway, put away toys and garden hoses/equipment, do required paint touch-ups, trim the bushes and pick up garbage. If needed, repair and paint the fence. Make sure the exterior lights work. Remove grass growing between concrete. Park extra vehicles on the street instead of on the driveway. 
  • Decorate and stage properly - each room should be decorated and staged for the purpose that it was intended for. Bedrooms should be staged as bedrooms.
  • De-clutter – donate or pack what is not needed. Because you’re moving soon, this also helps to simplify the move.
  • Consider renting a storage unit - this may even make you money! Do not store boxes in the corners of rooms, including in the garage - this says the house is not big enough. Remove them from your home completely.
  • De-personalize – take down personal photos, diplomas, awards, and other strong influences. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the space.
  • Organize – things should be in their proper places. i.e. kitchen appliances in the laundry room say that the kitchen is not big enough.
  • Safety first - remove weapons such as guns, knives, and swords.
  • Repairs – buyers may request a price reduction based on needed repairs. Ensure regular maintenance is up to date! Items to fix: broken windows & mirrors, doors that don’t close property, holes in walls, leaky faucets. Replace burnt out light bulbs and the furnace filter!
  • Cleanliness - wash your windows, blinds and drapes; clean and tidy your closets and medicine cabinets; clean your fridge, stove top, oven & microwave; clean light fixtures; if you have pets – clean up after them daily!
  • Focal Points – what will the buyers see when they walk in? Have neutral & attractive focal points like mirrors, art, or plants. You may love your mini doll collection- but they may not.
  • Consider hiring a staging company - vacant properties, or ‘odd’ rooms can especially benefit from being staged.
Remember: buyers have likely seen your home once already on the internet.
Be sure to impress them when they come see your home in person!