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.

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2945 Townsgate Road, Suite 300 
Westlake Village, 91361
818.519.8357

Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed.