Home Staging

Posted By on July 16, 2009

I’m buying a house, and I’ve already had two days of house hunting under my belt. Watching the home staging shows on HGTV, I could see how home staging could be important, but I always thought people should be able to look beyond whatever is in the house to see the true beauty and potential of it. I was wrong. It is essential for homes that are occupied. Even vacant houses could use a few key pieces to show off the room’s use and potential.

In one house I saw just tonight, the description read that the house was “well-maintained” and had new carpet. Cool. We walked in. Either a renter or the owner was in the process of moving out. Junk was everywhere, and I asked the realtor if I could keep the Spiderman doll if I bought the place. The carpet was far from new. In fact, it was wrinkled and lumpy. This “well-maintained” house had a dirty and outdated kitchen and bathrooms. There was a weird door that we couldn’t open and wondered if they hid the bodies on the other side. In the driveway, a van with a heavily damaged front end sat. We didn’t stay long.

If you’re putting a house up for sale, you need to stage it. If you feel clueless about staging, ask your real estate agent for names of home stagers they use. Ask stagers about their certifications and what they did for training — much like you would when hiring a professional organizer.

For those interested in tackling home staging, here are a few tips:

  • Remove personal photos and mementos. You want to make sure people can picture themselves in the space.
  • Remove unique artwork and collector’s items. The stuffed deer head and the nude statues should find a happy temporary home somewhere else until you move to your new place.
  • Remove extra furniture and decor that makes the place feel too crowded. If you’re not sure, ask a friend for their opinion about what should come out of the room. For example, guest rooms should have a bed and a bedside table. Anything else can be too much. If your room looks too crowded, it is.
  • Clean out the closets, drawers, and medicine cabinet. House buyers are nosy. They’re going to open cabinets to see how much storage you have. Several years ago, I went to an open house with two friends who were house shopping, and the historic house was overstuffed to the gills. I opened the bedroom closet, and the stuff stacked in the closet came up to my neck. No wonder the place wasn’t selling.
  • Finish your DIY jobs. Have cracks in the wall from your repaired foundation problems? Patch them up. Need to finish putting the baseboards back on? Do it. Take care of those odd jobs.
  • Clean up the front and backyard — particularly the front yard. You want to have good curb appeal. Trim the trees, plant some flowers, and cut the grass. Keep the lawn looking good.
  • Paint the walls a neutral color. If you choose colors such as beige, mocha, and sage, you’re on the right track. I know you loved your walls of many colors, but buyers want to see the house, not your artistic side.
  • Take out your trash. Light candles the day of showings or bake some cookies to create good smells in your home. If you have pets or smoke, your house will stink. You may not smell it, but visitors do. You may want to have friends keep your pets while the house is on the market, and smokers should light up outside. Some paints now come with odor removers just for smokers and other issues.

Several HGTV shows feature home staging tips. Also check their website: www.hgtv.com. Bookstores feature many tomes about home staging. By staging your home, you don’t have to worry about a potential buyer like me become totally appalled at a “well-maintained” house filled with junk, icky carpet, and a dirty kitchen.



4 Responses to “Home Staging”

  1. Thanks for blogging about this subject I found you on bing and I will return back for more updates. Keep up the great work.

  2. Facaderens says:

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  3. Kathy Lang says:

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  4. Ellen Delap says:

    Staging is critical! Get the right person for the job and your home will sell incredibly fast. Need names? Ask Janice!