Real Estate News

Home Staging Tips

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Exterior: Curb Appeal

  • Take down any past seasonal items, including holiday decorations.

  • Take a look at your property from across the street and identify things you can do to make your home more presentable.

  • Clear away children’s items and store them.

  • Put away gardening tools, home improvement equipment and materials.

  • Mow the lawn and clear it of clippings. Be sure to remove any dead or decaying plants.

  • Dispose of any litter.

  • Remove any animal droppings.

  • Put down fresh mulch or pine needles in flower beds.

  • Sweep driveways, decks, porches, sidewalks, walkways, etc.

  • Ensure your lawn, walkways, flowerbeds, and driveways have a clean line with edging.

  • Clear out any moss/algae or even pollen from the roof, gutters, siding, eaves, etc.

  • Open up the view, invite more sunlight in, and make sure walkways aren’t obstructed by trimming trees, shrubs, and bushes.

  • Clean light fixtures.

  • Paint front door and trim if it is tired or chipped. A buyer’s eyes

  • find the front door immediately upon arriving at the property.

  • Update doorbell, house numbers, knockers; they should be coordinated and appear new, not tarnished.

  • Consider front door accessories such as a kick plate, new hardware.

  • Fix sticky door handles or locks. They make it difficult to enter and do not make a good first impression.

  • Clean light fixtures.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any items that do not lend themselves to a simplified, showcased environment.

  • Window screens and screened doors.

  • Boats, RV’s, watercrafts, ATV’s, etc.

  • Children’s Toys

Interior: Front Entrance

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust all surfaces.

  • Keep wall hangings and pictures at eye level.

  • Remove window treatments.

  • Ensure furniture does not hinder traffic flow.

  • Hang coats on similar hangers arranged in the same direction, and hide small items in baskets.

  • Determine if there are any odors to get rid of. Ask someone who doesn’t live in your home to help.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in the property upon its sale.

  • Any valuable items or collectables.

  • Personal items—such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Area rugs.

  • Any signs of pets.

  • Any catch all tables and shelves.

  • Boots, shoes, ball caps, and any seasonal items.

  • Children’s toys.

Interior: Family Room / Great Room

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust and clean all surfaces.

  • Dust any TV’s, stereo equipment, etc.

  • Keep wall hangings at eye level.

  • Clean every detail of the fireplace to show care.

  • Arrange a limited number of neutral pillows to add a warm look and feel to the room.

  • Play soft music—if it is coordinated with music in other areas. Do not play different music in each room.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any window treatments that aren’t a necessity. They should not distract from any potential view, be outdated, or dominate a room. If they do so, take them down to depersonalize a room, open up the room, and/or maximize sunlight.

  • Children’s toys and games.

  • Wall hangings and pictures. Set aside only one large picture per wall, or a group of three smaller pictures.

  • Two-thirds of everything stored on bookshelves. Display remaining items in an organized and attractive way.

  • Any valuable items and collectibles.

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Any items stored under furniture.

Interior: Formal Dining Room

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpet.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until shining.

  • Clean and tidy table and chairs.

  • Arrange any electronics.

  • Rotate square tables so they are at an angle from the wall, to make the room feel more spacious and maximize traffic flow.

  • Display a fresh flower arrangement in the center of the table.

  • Keep wall hangings and pictures at eye level.

  • Create a small vignette of a bottle of wine, a few wine glasses, and a carafe on a hutch (if available).

  • Open window treatments for every showing (if drapes remain).

  • Window treatment should not distract from any potential view, be outdated, or dominate a room; otherwise take them down to depersonalize the space, open the room, and maximize sunlight.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any window treatments that aren’t a necessity.

  • Any valuable items and collectables.

  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in the home after the sale.

  • Buffet off the hutch, to open up space.

  • Table leaves and additional chairs.

  • Area rugs.

  • Wall hangings and pictures (set aside only one large picture per wall or a group of three smaller pictures).

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

Interior: Kitchen

  • Clean and polish floors, any stainless steel, reflective surfaces, and /or tiles.

  • Ensure every detail of EVERY appliance sparkles.

  • Wipe down walls and baseboards.

  • Ensure all glass, fixtures, faucets, and windows glisten.

  • Dust and clean the top of all cabinets.

  • Renew wood surface by applying appropriate products.

  • Clean all hardware, especially cabinet doorknobs and drawer pulls.

  • Clean backsplash; if tiled, bleach and reapply sealer.

  • Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty on a daily basis.

  • Prevent odors by emptying trash and disposal daily.

  • Keep the inside of cabinets clean and tidy.

  • Arrange any square or rectangular table on an angle so it appears to be the smallest it can be to create more space.

  • Display a fresh flower arrangement on the table, or a fruit bowl on the counter.

  • Open drapes for every open house or showing, if you choose not to put them in storage.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any window coverings (if view permits), to maximize natural light in the room.

  • Any valuable items and collectables.

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Area rugs, with the exception or using one to distract from dated or unsightly floor patterns.

  • Anything you normally wouldn’t find in a kitchen.

  • Any signs of pets such as food dishes, toys, or litter boxes.

  • Trash cans and compost bins.

  • Cleaning supplies (store securely and out of reach).

  • Any items kept on any surfaces, such as items on tables, window ledges, countertops, etc.

  • Knives and other sharp objects (store high and out of sight).

  • Any cooking ingredients.

  • Refrigerator stuff; it should be clear of magnets, children’s art, etc.

  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in home upon sale.

  • Any added shelving or cabinets. It may give the impression that there is not enough storage space in kitchen cabinets and/or pantry.

Interior: Formal Living Room

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust and clean all surfaces.

  • Keep wall hangings at eye level.

  • Clean every detail of the fireplace to show care.

  • Arrange a limited number of neutral pillows to add a warm look and feel to the room.

  • Open window treatments for every showing (if drapes remain and the view is becoming and not unsightly).

  • Play soft music—if it is coordinated with music in other areas. Do not play different music in each room.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any window treatments that aren’t a necessity. They should not distract from any potential view, be outdated, or dominate a room. If they do so, take them down to depersonalize a room, open up the room, and/or maximize sunlight.

  • Children’s toys and games.

  • Wall hangings and pictures. Set aside only one large picture per wall, or a group of three smaller pictures.

  • Two-thirds of everything stored on bookshelves. Display remaining items in an organized and attractive way.

  • Any valuable items and collectables.

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Any items stored under furniture.

  • Anything you wouldn’t normally find in a living room, such as a treadmill.

  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in home upon sale.

  • Any signs of pets such as food, dishes, toys, or litter boxes.

Interior: Home Office

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust and clean all surfaces.

  • Arrange electronics and/or computer in an orderly fashion. Ensure cords that are in use are arranged neatly.

  • Keep wall hangings at eye level.

  • Ensure personal information is kept out of sight (KEEP COMPUTER TURNED OFF).

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Two-thirds of everything stored on bookshelves. Display remaining items in an organized and attractive way.

  • Any work-related items not used daily.

  • Any electronics not used daily.

  • Any valuable items and collectables.

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Any signs of pets such as food dishes, toys, or litter boxes.

  • Any items stored under furniture.

  • Any fixtures not intending to stay with the house after it sells.

Interior: Bonus Room / Rec Room / Game Room

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust and clean all surfaces.

  • Keep wall hangings at eye level.

  • Clean every detail of the fireplace to show care.

  • Keep any computer areas clean and free of clutter and wires.

  • Arrange furnishings to display a lifestyle of fun and leisure.

  • Arrange a limited number of neutral pillows to add a warm look and feel to the room.

  • Open window treatments for every showing (if drapes remain and the view is becoming and not unsightly).

  • Play soft music—if it is coordinated with music in other areas. Do not play different music in each room.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any items not lending themselves to a simplified, showcased environment.

  • Any special collections, or any expensive or personal items, such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any window treatments that aren’t a necessity. They should not distract from any potential view, be outdated, or dominate a room. If they do so, take them down to depersonalize a room, open up the room, and/or maximize sunlight.

  • Wall hangings and pictures. Set aside only one large picture per wall, or a group of three smaller pictures.

  • Two-thirds of everything stored on bookshelves. Display remaining items in an organized and attractive way.

  • Anything sitting on tables, except a lamp and one discreet item.

  • Any signs of pets such as food, dishes, toys, or litter boxes.

Interior: Laundry Room

  • Clean floors, walls, windows, baseboards, trim, light switches, fixtures, and hardware.

  • Do the laundry, and place dirty laundry in the washer or hidden in a nice hamper to clear the area.

  • Clean the dryer lint tray to indicate good care and not imply any fire hazards.

  • Keep both the washer and dryer clean and looking as new as possible.

  • Keep workspace clear of any clutter, clothes, and/or garbage.

  • Arrange appliances and create a work space to appear like a laundry room. if laundry room is an unfinished basement, ensure it feels like a room and not just a washer and dryer placed in the basement.

  • Light area well, it opens up space and buyers feel more comfortable.

  • Empty garbage bin.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any empty containers that are not currently being used or are almost empty.

  • All items from countertops.

  • Any excess laundry supplies (keep out of sight).

  • Any remaining laundry that needs to be put away.

  • Anything not usually found in a laundry room.

  • Anything hanging on a laundry line.

  • Any signs of pets such as food, dishes, toys, or litter boxes.

Interior: Bedrooms

  • Vacuum and/or wash floors and carpets.

  • Wash marks off walls, baseboards, trim, light switches, doors, and hardware.

  • Clean windows, mirrors, and light fixtures until they shine.

  • Dust and clean all surfaces.

  • Decorate bed to display a plush and luxurious look. Display bed linens (turned down neatly) to display an ease of lifestyle.

  • Pick a monochromatic color scheme (if you can), because it evokes serenity. Add a limited number of neutral pillows to add warmth to the bedroom.

  • Make sure bedroom is immaculate before every showing.

  • If window treatments are a necessity, they should not distract from any potential view, be outdated, or dominate a room, (otherwise take them down to open up the room and maximize sunlight).

  • Play soft music—if it is coordinated with music in other areas. Do not play different music in each room.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any furniture not used for a specific purpose.

  • Any and all dirty laundry (even if stored in a hamper).

  • Books, bibles, and magazines.

  • Valuables and collectables.

  • Children’s toys and games.

  • Anything you wouldn’t normally find in a bedroom, such as a treadmill.

  • Wall hangings and pictures. Set aside only one large picture per wall, or a group of three smaller pictures.

  • Two-thirds of everything stored on bookshelves. Display remaining items in an organized and attractive way.

  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.

  • Any items stored under furniture.

  • Any signs of pets such as food dishes, toys, litter boxes, or pet beds.

Interior: Bathrooms

  • Clean walls and floors.

  • Clean all countertops and surfaces.

  • Clean the toilet, sink, tub, and/or shower.

  • Clean shower curtain or doors and ensure there is no sign of soap residue.

  • Ensure windows, mirrors, fixtures, chrome, and brass fixtures glisten.

  • Ensure grout is like new.

  • Eliminate any rust spots from shower, tub, and/or sinks.

  • Display window coverings if required.

  • Display fresh flower arrangement in a vase on the counter.

  • Display shower and/or tub by opening the curtain or shower doors by one-third.

  • Display a set of luxurious towels (to be specifically for open houses and/or showings).

  • KEEP THE TOILET SEAT DOWN!

  • Ensure there are no odors.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Decorative rugs and covers.

  • Non-matching and/or extra towels.

  • Personal things and those things you need daily (store in baskets and place under the sink or in a cabinet).

  • Trash cans, cleaning products, and plunger (place under sink or elsewhere).

  • Reading material (place in a magazine rack or elsewhere).

Interior: Closets and Linen Spaces

  • Clean shelving, interior walls, doors, and hardware.

  • Keep floors vacuumed and clear with the exception of neatly arranged footwear.

  • Hang clothes on hangers, with all items facing the same direction (wooden hangers if possible). Distribute clothing evenly along the rod to give impression of spaciousness.

  • Tidy small items you use daily by storing in baskets placed on shelves.

  • Store bedding inside its matching pillowcase for neatness and ease of use.

  • Coordinate linens by color.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Items you haven’t used within the past year (and pack those you haven’t used within the last six months).

  • All items being stored in closet that don’t normally belong in a closet.

Interior: Garage

  • Sweep and clean the floors.

  • Ensure walls are relatively clean.

  • Store garbage neatly and remove any odors.

  • Ensure windows, doors, hardware, light switches, and fixtures are clean and functioning properly.

  • Arrange required items neatly on shelves and in containers for a neat appearance.

  • Remove any spider webs or telltale signs of insects of any kind.

  • Ensure all chemicals are properly stored in bins, high on shelves.

  • Keep the door into the house closed (if possible).

  • Keep the garage doors down.

Sell, Donate, or Store:

  • Any items not being used on a daily basis, such as sports equipment or seasonal items.

  • Any items not usually stored in a garage, such as Aunt Susan’s old tea cart that you promised to refinish one day.

  • Tools and equipment that can’t be displayed to add to the lifestyle you wish to portray.

  • Any toxic supplies (put in plastic storage bins with lids, and put high on a shelf out of harm’s way). Empty paint cans and/or other toxic containers can be taken to your local environmental depot.