Home Staging - Dos and Don'ts

Real Estate Agent with Edina Realty

It seems that home staging has been hot button over the past couple years.   There are staging companies galore, and many tout that sellers who stage their homes can net upwards of 10% more for their home than someone who does not stage.   Still, many sellers ask if it is worth the cost.  

In our West Savage marketplace, where an averge of 2-3 homes sell each month out of an average inventory of 27 homes, it is no surprise that competition can be fierce.   And with that type of competition, price is always going to be a factor. 

Yet staging can play an important role in making your home stand out aginst the competition. When a buyer chooses a home, it is often times based on a feeling they get when they walk in the door.  The ability to create a warm and inviting feeling is critical.  And it need not cost a cent.

Despite the competitiveness of sellers, some of the things we see in homes (or on online marketing) never ceases to amaze me.   During showings, simple, yet little things, like a refrigerator full of magnets and memos, to blinds shut tight as a drum, can create a crampled, dark and cluttered feeling when buyers walk in the door.  

Serious showing "violations" like dirty underwear strewn on the bathroom floor and "kegger party" photographs plastered on the walls (yes, we have seen this numerous times in some of the seemingly nicest of homes) creates an all-out distraction for buyers.  Their eyes instantly gravitate away from the home and onto the "scenery".  

Bottom line:  When a home is on the market, it should look clean and uncluttered. 


My favorite DOs and DON'Ts:

DO clean clean clean clean clean. 

DO remove most, if not all, personal items. 

DO incorporate plants, fabrics, and colors into the home, and keep base colors neutral.

DO showcase rooms as their original intention.  

DO pay attention to the front walkway, front door, and even the garage door. 

DON'T use fake plants. 

DON'T hang pictures too high on the wall.  Eye level is best.

DON'T push furniture up against windows.    

DON'T keep blinds closed during showings.  Open them up and let the light in. 

DON'T forget to weed gardens and landscaping. 


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Bridget Cella
Re/Max Connection - Sewell, NJ
e-Pro, Realtor

I definitely think the staging can be important, getting them through the door is the first step!

Jul 08, 2009 02:56 AM #1
Charissa Robinett
INTERIORS by Charissa LLC - Joplin, MO

This is very refreshing coming from a realtor.  Staging is a relatively new thing in my market and it's going to require alot of education on my part to get realtors on board.  Do you have any suggestions for reaching them?  Thanks in advance!

Charissa Robinett, Student ASID, IIDA & NAHB
"the key to unlocking your home's potential"

Sep 05, 2009 12:52 PM #2
Chad & Sara Huebener
Edina Realty - Savage, MN

I would maybe try highlighting in some fashion a staged vs not-staged home.   Try taking two similarly priced and styled homes, and show pictures of the listings as they appear on your MLS.  I would also include showing data from your front desk if you have it.   

We have found that when a home is staged poorly or the seller will not stage the home, getting buyers to "feel" the house is just too difficult and offers suffer in either price, or they simply do not come at all!

Sep 10, 2009 08:14 AM #3
Barbara Jennings
Academy of Staging and Redesign - Huntington Beach, CA

Excellent tips.  Love the way this room was staged.  It is inviting and helps feature the rooms assets. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

Nov 28, 2009 05:31 AM #4
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