Home Staging Tips

Home Staging Tips

 

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 the 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 doorbells, house numbers, and knockers; they should be coordinated and appear new, not tarnished.
  • Consider front door accessories such as a kick plate and 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, RVs, watercraft, ATVs, 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 collectibles.
  • 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 TVs, 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 is stored on bookshelves. Display the 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).
  • The 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 collectibles.
  • 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, 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 the wood surface by applying appropriate products.
  • Clean all hardware, especially cabinet doorknobs and drawer pulls.
  • Clean the backsplash; if tiled, bleach and reapply the 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 collectibles.
  • Personal items such as family photos, religious symbols, etc.
  • Area rugs, with the exception of 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; should be clear of magnets, children’s art, etc.
  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in the 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 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 is stored on bookshelves. Display the 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.
  • Anything you wouldn’t normally find in a living room, such as a treadmill.
  • Any fixtures not intending to stay in the 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 computers 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 the computer turned off).
 

Sell, Donate, or Store:

 
  • Two-thirds of everything is stored on bookshelves. Display the remaining items in an organized and attractive way.
  • Any work-related items not used daily.
  • Any electronics not used daily.
  • Any valuable items and collectibles.
  • 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 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 is stored on bookshelves. Display the 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 look as new as possible.
  • Keep the workspace clear of any clutter, clothes, and/or garbage.
  • Arrange appliances and create a workspace to appear like a laundry room. if the 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 the bed to display a plush and luxurious look. Display bed linens (turned down neatly) to display 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 the bedroom is immaculate before every show.
  • 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 collectibles.
  • 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 is stored on bookshelves. Display the 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 curtains or doors and ensure there is no sign of soap residue.
  • Ensure windows, mirrors, fixtures, chrome, and brass fixtures glisten.
  • Ensure the grout is like new.
  • Eliminate any rust spots from the shower, tub, and/or sinks.
  • Display window coverings if required.
  • Display fresh flower arrangement in a vase on the counter.
  • Display the 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 (placed under the sink or elsewhere).
  • Reading material (placed 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 the impression of spaciousness.
  • Tidy small items you use daily by storing them 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 are stored in a closet that doesn’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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