Staging a Home

Staging vs. Decorating

Once you decide to sell a home you must shift your mind set. You are now a seller trying to sell your largest investment for the most amount of money. We do not sell a home the way we live in a home. It’s not easy to live in a home that is staged to sell but it will be worth the effort.

What is staging?

Staging is not decorating. Decorating is making your home your own. You surround yourself with things you love and bring you comfort.

Furniture is positioned in ways to facilitate watching TV; Coffee tables are placed near your favorite chair; Your bathroom counters will have all your favorite products; Your dining room table might have become a working desk or storage area; etc. This is normal. It’s our home and it evolves into a space that brings us comfort.

Once we decide to sell it’s time to make changes. Start early because it takes time to make your home shine! Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Pack
  • Clean
  • R,R & R
  • Edit
  • Stage
  • Curb Appeal
  • Professional Photographs


The first step to getting your home ready is to pack.

Start with the garage. Pull everything out and review what you will be keeping, selling, donating or throwing away. Go ahead and arrange items that you will be keeping up against the walls to make as much space within the garage. If you can’t or don’t want to rent a storage unit, I would use the garage as storage while your home is on the market. Make sure not to block the water heater, washer/dryer or attic access if applicable.

Go room by room and pack most or all knickknacks. Go through all cabinets and drawers and pack any items you will not be using within the next few months. Remove furniture that overwhelms the room and are not necessary. Go through closets and pack all out of season cloths and shoes.

Pack all personalized items such as family pictures, certificate/diplomas, etc.

Pay extra attention to storage spaces and counters. You want the storage spaces to be at most half full and counters to be cleared.

Furniture overwhelms this room
Furniture overwhelms the space and makes it seem smaller
Furniture overwhelms the space and makes it seem smaller


There are services available to complete what is called a make-ready. These companies will bring in a team of home cleaners that focus of items that home owners typically over looks. The home should be cleaned to look like new.


  • Baseboards
  • Ceiling fans
  • Light switches
  • Railings
  • Doors
  • Walls
  • Cabinets
  • Air vents
  • Window seals and ledges
  • Bathroom and kitchens
  • Carpet, tile/grout


  • Windows
  • Power wash: brick, siding, sidewalks, driveways, fence, patios etc.
  • Clear gutters and splash guards
  • Entry doors
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Pool
  • Outdoor seating
  • outdoor fireplace
Repair all leaky faucets

R,R & R – Repair, Replace and Remove. 

  • Repair anything that is broken, leaking or non-functional
    • Leaky faucets
    • Slow draining tubs or toilets
    • Loose doors, cabinets, toilets etc.
    • Missing or damaged shingles and flashing
    • Any rotten wood in and outside the home. Make sure to paint/seal wood after making repairs
  • Replace anything that can not be fixed and its critical to the home’s function or might limit financing.
    • Inoperative food disposals, dishwashers, fans, lights, water heaters and HVAC
  • Remove anything that can not be fixed and is NOT critical to the home’s function or might limit financing. This step will limit negotiations in the future.
    • Damaged or rusted gutters
    • Fencing
    • Damaged or broken window treatments
    • Non functioning window units


Now that you have packed all unnecessary items, cleaned and made repairs, it’s time to look at each room and edit the spaces.

Go room to room and take pictures of each room from each angle. Let’s look at the space the way a buyer will see the room in pictures. Download the pictures onto your computer and look at the space on a large screen.

Does your room look dated? Remember that you want your home to appear as NEW as possible. Things that make your home look dated:

  • Lighting
  • Wallpaper
  • Window treatments
  • Paint colors
  • Flooring
70s wallpaper
Window treatments and paint color update
Window treatments and paint color update
Window treatments and paint color update
Paint color is too bright and dates the room
Flooring dates the room