The Do's and Don’ts When Preparing to Sell

Home Stager with Home Staging by Vivian LLC

Another great post on the do's and don't of getting your home Market Ready! This enumerates exactly what a buyer/realtor team needs to accomplish. When you bring in a Stager to join the team, the journey becomes easier and less stressful.


Original content by Kristine Ginsberg

The Do's and Don'ts When Preparing to Sell

                                                                First the Don'ts:

1. Think you'll have more negotiating room if you list your home above fair market value - big mistake!  There's a good it chance it will sit on the market and become stale. A good realtor will tell you this and you need to listen!   

2. Put scented candles in every room or use air fresheners. Buyers aren't stupid and it's the equivalent to skipping a shower and putting on perfume or aftershave - you're not fooling anyone!  Clean, clean, clean  - it's the only "smell" everyone likes!

3. "Clean up" by stuffing everything into the closets. Buyers are nosey and open cabinets and closets to check out storage space. They want to know that their stuff will fit - closets filled with junk don't invoke any confidence.

4. Neglect yard work. A buyer's first impression starts with curb appeal. Unkempt lawns, overgrown bushes and shrubs scream neglect and only help your competition.  

5. Leave toys, personal papers, magazines, shoes and coats lying about.  Yes, I know most of you are saying, "who doesn't know that?!"  Check out MLS or and see for yourself!  

6. Assume buyers will be happy to complete your unfinished DIY jobs! They won't - end of story.  

7. Assume buyers will think your pets are as cute as you do. They won't - not all people are animal lovers and this can be a big deterrent. (Just for the record, I love animals, but they don't enhance a potential buyer's experience while visiting your home.)

                                             The DO's:      

1. Listen to your agent when they tell you what your home is worth.  They are the experts, have researched your neighborhood, used comparable comps and know the demographics of your area. Your emotional attachment to your home will cloud your judgment 9 out of 10 times, making it impossible to be objective.

2. Any personal collections and photographs should be stored away. Buyers need to visualize themselves living in your home; your deceased grandmother's antique spoon collection is not going to help!  

3. For a 150% return on investment, paint the inside of your homein neutral colors before listing! It's the best way to clean it up and gives the impression of a well cared for home.    

4. Fix all the negative distractions- (leaky faucets, running toilets, broken doorbells, torn screens, broken cabinets and doors.) Buyers see flaws before they see the positives and immediately start adding up all the Benjamins it will take to fix these eyesores.

5. Outdoor space reigns supreme in today market. Highlight and emphasize decks, porches and patios by creating dining and lounge areas.  It wouldn't hurt to add some potted plants, outdoor pillows and lanterns. This could be your edge over the competition.   

6. Create a natural, clean, fresh smell by grinding up a few lemons or limes in the garbage disposal. Kitchen odor is a big turnoff and it's easy to avoid. In addition, always take out the garbage before showing your home - no explanation needed.

7. Throw out all dusty flower arrangements you bought at the dollar store 10 years ago, including flower swags that went out in the 80's (if they were every in at all.) Real plants are always best, however they do make excellent silk ones that can pass for the real thing. In addition, natural elements are in - think GREEN. Sticks, berries and potted flowers add life to a home making them the perfect accessory.   

8. Call a professional home stager to complete the job! They put the cherry on the Sunday by making your   home rise above and stand out from the competition using furniture placement, defining and updating rooms by accessorizing, while creating continuity and flow throughout your home and highlight its architectural features. In addition, a good home stager knows your neighborhood's demographic and stages accordingly to appeal to the widest range of buyers.  

Home Staging Morris County - Kristine Ginsberg - (201)602-2562

When you're looking to sell quickly and for top dollar, Elite Staging and Redesign of Morris County knows how to get the job done right. We will use proven techniques to create warm, inviting, updated spaces that will appeal to the masses. In today's competitive market, every home can use an edge and that's what Elite Staging is all about.

Home Staging Website: Elite Staging and Redesign

Morris County Staging Before/After pictures: Portfolio



Comments (5)

Stanley Stepak
Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH - Avon Lake, OH
Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake,

All very good points to consider.  The dusty flowers drive me nuts even in my own home.

Feb 02, 2011 02:38 AM
Lori Bowers
La Quinta, CA
The Lori Bowers Group

Very good tips. I listed myhome for sale and am working on  this. It is not so easy as it sounds. I now know how clients feel and what they all do for us.

Feb 02, 2011 02:39 AM
Vivian Gilbert
Home Staging by Vivian LLC - Potomac, MD

Stan, dusty flowers drive me crazy too.


Feb 02, 2011 03:48 PM
Vivian Gilbert
Home Staging by Vivian LLC - Potomac, MD


Every time clients see all the work that is done to stage their property they are amazed. It takes a lot of work to make houses market ready. It is well worth it! thanks for the comment.


Feb 02, 2011 03:50 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Listen to your agent when they tell you what your home is worth.

First, last and always.  If you don't trust your agent - get another one.

If you don't take our advice - we get another client that will!

Feb 03, 2011 02:57 AM