Staging and Showing Your Home

When staging rooms in your home, your ultimate goals should be to create a rooms that are depersonalized allowing the potential buyer to more easily see himself or herself living in the home. You will also focus on clearing out high-traffic areas to maximize available space. Once the space is clear you can turn your attention to highlighting the key features of each room. Follow these recommended steps to keep you on track toward reaching your goals with home staging.

  1. See what customers see. Stand in the doorway to view the room as the customer would for the first time.
  2. Identify a focal point. In a family room, it might be the fireplace.
  3. Plan the room. Sketch out the room in a manner that emphasizes the focal point.
  4. Remove the clutter. Remove all accessories and other items that directly reflect the seller’s personality.
  5. Divide and conquer. Sort out what will stay and what items will be given away, thrown out or packed for the upcoming move.
  6. Downsize the furniture. Here less is more. Removing excess furniture and arrange remaining furniture to emphasize focal point.
  7. Bring back limited accessories. Use fewer accessories and those with a neutral, mainstream appeal.
  8. Fine tune your work. Step away from the project and return later for a fresh perspective. Make final adjustments where needed.

Showing your home

  • Your home should always be available for show, to maximize exposure to potential buyers. Your REALTOR® will give you advance notice whenever possible.
  • Leave home. You do not want potential homebuyers to feel like they are intruding or to feel rushed in touring your home, so you should leave home before the tour.
  • Lighting. When your home is being shown, turn on all the indoor and outdoor lights, even during the day. This prevents harsh shadows and brightens dark areas. In the evening, the glow creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, and makes a positive impression.
  • Fragrances. While subtle fragrances from a potpourri pot, freshly baked cookies, a drop of vanilla extract on a warm stove element or spice in a pot can create a warm welcome, heavy aerosol sprays can overwhelm. Remember, you do not want to offend visitors or trigger an allergic reaction!
  • Pets. Make certain that your listing agent lists information about pets that you own. If you can carry your pets with you when the house is being shown, that is the best option. If you cannot, put your pets in a penned area in the back yard, in pet cages or confine them to a room, with a note on the door.
  • Trash. Even if your kitchen trash has a lid or is under the kitchen sink, empty it and all other trash cans prior to a home tour. You want to create the impression that your home is neat, clean and odor free.
  • Keep the house tidy. Be sure that beds are made, everyday. Also, pick up stray papers, empty glasses or other clutter, and vacuum and dust regularly. Remember you are in competition for a homebuyer, and you want to create the best impression possible.

Before your house is shown the first time, ask your REALTOR® to walk through and give suggestions that you may have overlooked. You want to remove all the negatives or barriers to selling your home. This is a critically important part of the marketing effort.