Staging – Part II: 5 Easy Steps

Staging – Part II: 5 Easy Steps

Our Guest Blogger, Vickie Jackson, returns this week with Part II of Staging.


Staging Your Home in 5 Easy Steps
As an ASP® (Accredited Staging Professional) home staging consultant, I am empathetic to how overwhelming the idea of selling a home, and then moving, can be for some of my aging (or even not-so-aging) clients.

You’ve accumulated a lifetime of stuff, and are now faced with deciding which treasures to keep and which to eliminate, as you downsize to a smaller home.  Preparing your home for sale can be stressful, but if you take baby-steps, you can minimize the amount of stress you put on yourself, depending on your personal timeframe for getting your home sold.

From here forward, I’ll refer to your home as your “property” or “house,” because I really want you to stop thinking of it as your “home,” while you’re getting it ready to put on the market. If you can derail yourself from the “but this is my home” train of thought, the preparation-for-sale process will be a lot easier on you.  Staging a house involves more than just rearranging furnishings, because you are creating the “total package” for your potential Buyers. That said, here are some basic steps for positioning your house for sale:

1. Pack Up Your Stuff.
That’s right. Get rid of it. Now’s the time to pass on family heirlooms, donate to charitable organizations, have that garage sale, and decide what’s going with you to your next home.  If you haven’t used it in the past year, ditch it. You may even have to rent a storage unit temporarily to empty out your house. Your goal is to get your house sold and to move, right? Since you’re going to have to pack anyway, you might as well do it now.

no-clutter12. Clear Away Clutter & De-Personalize.
See Step #1. Tchotchkes distract the Buyer from actually “seeing” your house. You don’t need to display all 200 pieces of your salt & pepper shaker collection, and those porcelain dolls may be your babies, but truthfully, a roomful of them staring as a Buyer walks into the room tends to creep people out. You want Buyers looking at your house, not your family photos and personal effects. I recommend my Sellers pack away their valuable collections and all family photos, and save them for their next home. If you minimize what you display on surfaces, and create “white space”—space that isn’t filled with accessories or furniture–
your house will give the impression of being larger than it is.

home_staging3. Rearrange Your Furnishings & Paint.
Depending on the type of paint you use, prices can range anywhere from $12-$50 per gallon—that’s an inexpensive fix to get a big return on your investment. Use neutral colors (off-whites, tans), and remember to include the trim and doors. Consider hiring a painting contractor if you’re not physically capable of doing the painting yourself. Professional painting can cost anywhere from $200 for one room, to $1500 for the entire interior, and depending on the square footage.

Again, you’ve just made your house move-in ready for that Buyer, and negotiated a better price for yourself. Try looking at your house with “new eyes.” My favorite part about helping my clients stage their houses is to totally rearrange furnishings, take pieces from their typical placement, and use them in entirely different parts of the house. If this isn’t your forte, ask your Broker if
they can help you, or refer you to someone who offers that service.

4. Scrub & Deodorize.
No matter how clean and tidy your house looks, if there’s an unpleasant odor, that is what Buyers will remember. If they’re looking at several houses that same day, they will remember “The Stinky House.” If you’re a smoker or a pet owner, there are companies that can come in and deodorize your house. And just as negative odors can affect Buyers, so can too much of a good thing. Keep scented candles or wax warmers to a minimum, so that there is a hint of scent, but not so that it appears you’re covering up other odors. Mold and mildew are big red flags to Buyers, so make sure your bathroom fixtures, shower & window tracks, walls, & ceilings are mold-free. Have your carpets professionally cleaned, and really do a deep cleaning of all surfaces including appliances, counters, furnishings, and
floorings. Remember to look up for cobwebs. Place warm-toned light bulbs in your fixtures.  And if you can’t do the spruce-up work yourself, hire someone who can.

5. Enhance Curb Appeal.
Curb appeal applies to everything you can see when the Buyer drives up to your property, including exterior paint, landscaping, fencing, and walkways, so make sure your house says, “Welcome Home!” Depending on the season, invest in some flowers (in-ground or placed in pots or planters), and if it’s winter, remove dead foliage. Lawns, trees, and shrubs should be trimmed up. Pressure washing your sidewalks and your house can brighten everything up and eliminates the “there’s work to do” feeling for Buyers.  By investing your time, elbow grease, and maybe a little bit of money, staging your house can give you an edge over your non-staged competitors, and increase your property’s salability by 30-50%, reduce your need for negotiating repairs, and put more money back into your pocket.

Vickie Jackson

Your regular blogger, Cindy Mund, will return on October 30th.  Thank you Vickie for guest blogging this week.  Readers: Enjoy your week ahead!

Matthew Williams

Stillwaters Estates complies with Federal Fair Housing Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status, and disability in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its housing programs and activities. Stillwaters Estates is also Fair Housing compliant regarding State, County and City definitions of protected classes. The Fair Housing / 504 Coordinator has been designated to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulations implementing Section 504 (24 CFR, part 8 dated June 2, 1988).

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you fill out a form.

When requesting information on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address or phone number. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To send periodic emails.  The email address you provide, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your request, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.  Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, please just notify us by email at [email protected]

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you enter, submit, or access your personal information.

Do we use cookies?

We do not use cookies.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

California Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

Because we value your privacy we have taken the necessary precautions to be in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. We therefore will not distribute your personal information to outside parties without your consent.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our websites privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will update the Privacy Policy modification date below.

This policy was last modified on March 8, 2013

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below.
2800 Cooks Hill Road
Centralia, WA 98531
[email protected]