Staging Tips to Prepare Your Home for Photos and Showings

Before you show a home to any potential buyer, you want to make sure the staging is perfect. Follow these general staging tips and your home will look better than the competition.

Clean Up Your Curb Appeal

Stand back and view your home as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason, as this is the “first impression” stage. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. To start, you can:

  • Mow the lawn, prune and trim hedging, rake leaves
  • Clear sidewalk and driveway of vehicles, garbage bins, toy bikes, etc.
  • Remove all weeds and grass in any cracks in the driveway and sidewalk
  • Make sure all exterior porch walls, doors and ceilings are clean, especially around the front porch
  • Place a new “Welcome” mat at the door
  • If you have pets, securely lock them away, and pick up any animal droppings in the front and backyard

De-Clutter Every Room and Closet

If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. De-cluttering can be daunting; however, it is imperative to selectively prune anything that distracts buyers from seeing what they are getting with your house. Begin de-cluttering by:

  • Tidying up all Bathrooms. No bottles or bars of soap, of any kind, should be in the bathtub or shower area, all throw rugs should be removed, and all counters cleared
  • Clearing and cleaning Kitchen counters. This is also the time to de-personalize your décor. Take the time to remove family photos, as staging photos may end up on the internet
  • Cleaning up the backyard. Remove all toys, tools, and garbage cans from the backyard, and remove the pool sweeper and pool accessories from the pool
  • Making sure rooms are clean, neat and most importantly — de-cluttered! Remember “less is more” and streamlined viewing should be in your sight always, as your property should showcase cleanliness and refinement while listed

Deep Clean

You’ve de-cluttered, and now it’s time to thoroughly clean your home. This includes windows, baseboards, all surfaces, walls, curtains, appliances, light fixtures, doors, handles, bathrooms — you name it! Other tips include:

  • All beds made
  • Window glass and mirrors wiped, leaving no streaks behind
  • Rugs vacuumed and floors swept

Replace and Repair

While de-cluttering and cleaning, you may stumble upon a light bulb that needs to be replaced or a small scratch in your hardwood floor that could use a touch up. These small details make a world of a difference when it comes to successfully staging your home. Help keep the buyer’s mind focused on the home and not the repairs by:

  • Replacing all indoor and outdoor lights. Especially in the bathroom, be sure to not mix and match light bulbs, as this commonly shows up in staging photos
  • Re-painting and touching up walls, decks, doors, and outdoor surfaces

Finishing Touches

Prior to selling, you may want to walk through your property and evaluate the flow. Decoration should be tasteful and understated, and items of sentimental value should be removed for safekeeping. Our Best Tip: take a picture of the room before and after to see what a difference you made!