Staging your house is the very first step in our 7-Step Marketing Plan to sell your house for more money in half the time, and that's because it can either make or break a house in the eyes of a buyer. Properly staging a house involves walking through each room and analyzing exactly what buyers will be looking for when they're seeing your house for the first time, and then removing everything that gets in the way of making a great first impression. Essentially, you need to look at your house from the eyes of a buyer, and stage it so ANY buyer can feel at home from the moment they walk through the door.

Now we totally get it - This is really tough for you to do as a seller because it requires an objective view of the features and benefits of your house, without feeling the warm and fuzzy feels that you get when you take a look at your home. That's why our real estate team offers all of our sellers a complimentary staging consultation where our stager lists the EXACT things you need to do to prep your house for a top-dollar sale. Yet for now, we've got the COMPLETE staging checklist for you to use that details every single item a stager could possibly recommend when you prepare to sell your house.

The General House Stuff

  • Thoroughly clean & tidy every room
  • Sweep & mop any hard flooring
  • Steam clean carpets & drapes - Consider replacing carpet if stains are prominent (buyers tend to overestimate the cost for new carpets) & remove the drapes if you intend on taking them with you when you move
  • Dust all flat surfaces
  • Repair cracks and holes in walls
  • Paint interior walls with neutral colors, like beige, gray, or white
  • Remove excess & oversized furniture
  • Rearrange furniture to maximize space
  • Organize closets & store out-of-season clothes
  • Remove all small appliances, toys, magazines, pet items, & knick-knacks
  • Remove family photos, personal collections, & medications
  • Secure valuable items, including cash & jewelry
  • Burn scented candles or plug in an air freshener
  • Turn on all overhead lights
  • Open curtains & blinds to let in natural light & show off views
  • Turn off TVs
  • Relocate pets during showings
  • Utilize rugs to create interest & a sense of space in rooms
  • Make sure any fireplaces are in working condition

The Exterior & Landscaping

  • Clean &/or paint the exterior, including trim, doors, & shutters
  • Clean the front door, doorbell, address number and welcome mat - These are the first thing a buyer will see!
  • Power wash the siding, windows, & sidewalk
  • Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed - Be sure that the roof warranty for any repairs/replacement is transferrable to the new buyer
  • Repair large cracks in the driveway & sidewalks
  • Mow & water the lawn
  • Trim shrubs, rake the leaves, & cut tree limbs away from the exterior of the house
  • Plant colorful flowers & shrubs
  • Store any toys or outdoor equipment in a shed or the garage
  • Pick up pet waste
  • Clean out dibris from gutters & downspouts
  • Sweep the entryway
  • Stage the front porch or back deck with furniture & potted plants

The Kitchen & Bathrooms

  • Mop & clean any hard flooring
  • Completely clear the countertops if possible
  • Clean any appliances & fixtures that must stay visible
  • Clean and organize pantries, cabinets, & drawers
  • Scrub tile so grout is free of stains
  • Replace old caulking around sinks & bathtubs
  • Remove stains from sinks, toilets, & bathtubs
  • Close any shower curtains
  • Close all toilet seat lids
  • Display fresh towels

Remember: Staging does NOT have to be extensive OR expensive!

Most of these checklist items can be done for little or no money, yet makes a world of difference to potential buyers. A move-in ready home appeals to the largest buyer pool, so the cleanest and sparkliest condition you can get your house in before you list, the better! More buyers interested in your house means you'll most likely have the freedom to move sooner AND with more money in your pocket when it comes time to sell your house.

Now get to staging! Your house isn't going to just sell itself šŸ˜‰