Preparing Your Home for Today’s Market: Do's & Don’ts From a Morris County Stager

Home Stager with Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC

Preparing Your Home for Today’s Market: Do's & Don’ts From a Morris County Stager


1. Not listen to your Realtor, and list your home above fair market value – today’s fair market value, not 6 years ago when homes were selling like hotcakes - face it, those day are over…....for now!

2. Clean your home by cramming all your junk into every conceivable storage space. Buyers look in closets and cabinets – it’s a given! If your closets are crammed with “stuff”, your sending a flag that their “stuff” won’t fit either.

3. Wait until the first open house to eliminate unnecessary furniture and clutter. Rent a small storage space or call on family to store the things you don’t absolutely need. This serves two purposes: shows the rooms bigger and you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to moving.

4. Assume buyers are going to take on all your unfinished projects like leaky faucets, broken doorbells, torn screens, and chipped molding. Today’s buyers want turnkey homes - they don’t want to finish your DIY projects - they just don’t!

5. Forget about curb appeal it’s the first impression; what buyers see on MLS and when they arrive at your home. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, put down fresh mulch and add a few potted plants for pops of color and use a  blower to remove debris from your driveway, walkway, steps and porch. Drive buyers in, not away!

6. Fill the house with scented candles, air fresheners and Glade Plug-ins that scream you’re trying to mask a hidden smell – you’re not fooling anyone. It’s like substituting perfume or cologne instead of taking a shower – it doesn’t work and is a huge turnoff! Clean is the only smell everyone loves!

7. Assume buyers are pet lovers – many are not and even if they are, they don’t love your pets! During showings and open houses, temporarily take pets out and all traces of them. This is a hassle, I know, but it’s temporary and you want to sell.            

Now for the Do’s:

1. Find a reputable Realtor who will price your home based on their research, knowledge and comparable comps, not what you think your home should list for. 80% of people think their home is worth more than it is.  You don’t know the market – that’s why you hired a Realtor, remember?!

2. Paint the interior of your home if it hasn’t been done in 10 years – it’s the biggest bang for your buck with a 150% return on investment. Painting is the best way to clean up, neutralize and rid your home of unpleasant orders that have permeated the walls. Stick to beiges, taupes, creams, grays – it goes with any décor. Red dining rooms are out folks – it is what it is!

3. Throw out any outdated, dusty floral arrangements and flower swags that went out with the eighties. Replace them with real plants, or buy silk arrangements that will pass for the real thing – just not at the dollar store!

4. Replace or fix leaky toilettes, broken cabinets, door hinges, knobs – you know - all the projects you’ve been meaning to do, but didn’t. Now’s the time!

5. Highlight and clean up outdoor spaces like patios, decks and porches. Create a lounge or dining area, replace old welcome mats that say anything but, or add a few potted flowers.  Outdoor space reigns supreme in today’s market so give it a facelift.

6. Make your master bedroom non-gender specific. Invest in neutral bedding – grandma’s quilt isn’t going to cut it – look for a “bed in a bag” and keep it simple.

7. Invest in a home staging consultation. Home stagers are experts on preparing your home for the market. They understand and can implement necessary changes that will give your home that competitive edge it needs in today’s market.

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Elite Staging and Redesign - Kristine Ginsberg - 201 602 2562


Home Staging Morris County - Staged to Sell, Designed to Live!

You have 90 seconds to make a great first impression once your home goes on the market. Consult a Morris County professional home stager serving Union, Essex, Sussex Counties for that competitive edge so your home stands out from the competition, selling faster and for top dollar!  

Elite Staging and Redesign offers home staging services to North Jersey homeowners, real estate agents, banks, builders, and investors in preparing homes to stand out in today’s real estate market. For a consultation on vacant staging, lived in homes or interior redesign projects call Elite Staging and Redesign at 201-602-2562.

Morris County Home Staging Website: Elite Staging and Redesign

Morris County Staging: Portfolio





Re-Blogged 18 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Calwhite 09/30/2011 01:27 AM
  2. Mike Mitchell 09/30/2011 02:18 AM
  3. Kathy Streib 09/30/2011 02:38 AM
  4. Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS 09/30/2011 04:45 AM
  5. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 09/30/2011 07:23 AM
  6. Todd & Devona Garrigus 09/30/2011 10:38 AM
  7. Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996 09/30/2011 10:52 AM
  8. Roy Kelley 10/01/2011 03:24 AM
  9. Cheryl Ritchie 10/01/2011 04:35 AM
  10. Gene Riemenschneider 10/01/2011 07:08 AM
  11. DeeDee Riley 10/01/2011 08:50 AM
  12. Jenny McCarty 10/01/2011 03:01 PM
  13. Beverly Femia 10/02/2011 04:16 AM
  14. Barbara Martino-Sliva, Top Producer 10/02/2011 03:23 PM
  15. Gabe Sanders 10/03/2011 12:19 AM
  16. Carla Freund 10/18/2011 07:20 PM
  17. Julie Baldino 10/30/2011 05:51 AM
  18. Kay Van Kampen 10/30/2011 07:30 AM
  19. Dale Taylor 01/02/2012 02:03 PM
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Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Kristine, I just saw this as a re-blog, and realized that I missed it. Now, if we can get our home owners to follow all of these Do's and Don'ts, their homes will be well prepared for any showings. They are more likely to get a faster sale too. 

Oct 11, 2011 05:11 PM #61
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Kristine - Great advice & perfect photos. I was searching for do's and don'ts to share with clients. I'll be reblogging!

Oct 18, 2011 07:14 PM #62
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Great post & I'm glad you told them to get rid of the country ducks wallpaper & the swag draperies from the 80's.  Who cares how much they 'did' cost. 

Oct 30, 2011 04:12 AM #63
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

This is a fantastic list! It's amazing how simple a lot of this is, but when done can make a big difference on when the home sells, for how much and even if it sells!

Oct 30, 2011 04:53 AM #64
Dan Walker
Walker Realty - Salt Lake City, UT
Specializing in Gated Communities

A very over looked item is the front door itself, and not just the appearance of the front door. I know when I am showing homes that if the key doesn't work properly, if I cant get the lock unlocked without exerting brute force or I have to shove the door open I am very dissapointed right off the bat. 

Every agent's responsibilty is to check the door and locks that other agents are going to open and make sure they are functional! If you have a hard time just getting in the door it often all downhill from there.

You will usually find this where the owners always park in the garage and never use the front door. Check those locks and door knobs....make it easy to show and sell the home.



Oct 30, 2011 05:31 AM #65
Cathy Perry
RedKey Realty Leaders - Wildwood, MO

The quality difference between those cheap stems from the dollar store and some really beautiful silk flowers is amazing.  Sometimes stores like Home Goods will carry mark downs of the really good stuff.  I fooled an interior designer once with some silk peonies that were incredibly realistic, all they were missing was the ants.

And thank you Dan, #68, for your comment on keys that work.  I've had some horrible problems in that regard where Mr. Buyer has had to put his shoulder to the door to get it to open.  My son said he knew he was meant to buy the home he did because the key worked beautifully on the first try, and the whole home matched that great first impression.


Oct 30, 2011 05:50 AM #66
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

Great Post.  If you want maximum dollar then make the home shine.  Finish all the projects, paint, etc.  You are in a competition with a lot of other homes.  You need to play the game to win, not just show up.  I play to win and I won't take a home that is way over priced.  No one will be happy and I save me a lot of grief by being honest.  It costs me some listings but in the long run it saves me money and I stay more focused on the ones that I can sell for my clients.

Oct 30, 2011 06:20 AM #67
Kathy Strader
Memorial Staged Homes - Houston, TX

I hope some seller's read this post.  You hit the nail on the head!

Oct 30, 2011 06:57 AM #68
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Yes, Kritine, I missed it to!  Very well said and your presentation is charming.  As soon as the dust settles with the reblog, I'll be reblogging this one.  After all, I coudln't say it better myself.   Congratulatiosn on the feature. 

Oct 30, 2011 07:00 AM #69
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Krisyine,

Looks like it's going to be "Stagers day in the Rain". LOL

Great bunch and I do mean Bunch of advice, all good.

What do I have to do to get a "Home inspection day in the Rain" ? LOL

A well deserved Feature post.

 All the best my friend, keep warm inside, Clint McKie

Oct 30, 2011 07:00 AM #70
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Excellent tips for everybody in the real estate business, great post.

Oct 30, 2011 07:11 AM #71
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Excellent points and great tips.  You even made me look at my house and remove all the old plastic arrangements.

Oct 30, 2011 07:28 AM #72
David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Great post - every point was right on!

Oct 30, 2011 07:34 AM #73
Kate Akerly
Halstead Property - Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Residential Sales and New Development

Great advice on how to effectively sell your home!

Oct 30, 2011 11:17 AM #74
Jacki Kennedy
Staged to WOW Home Staging & Redesign - Baytown, TX
Staged to Wow, Houston TX

As stagers we all continue to talk about all these great do's and don'ts. So why do so few home owners seem to understand the value?

Oct 30, 2011 12:32 PM #75
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

Thank you for this post. I find the reference to grandma's bedroom and flower swags from the 80s especially a propos. I had a listing period with a seller who did everything I recommended, including price adjustments, but the seller would not budge on removing excess old-fashioned decorating nor agree to consult with a stager. Absolutely would not. The house did not sell.

Oct 31, 2011 05:10 AM #76
Debbie DeMarco
Staging by Design, LLC - Richmond, VA
Great tips and ideas!! Simple things to do to sell your house faster and for more money.
Oct 31, 2011 09:37 AM #77
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Kristine,  Great post.  Today's rain drops are all about stagers and your title suggested the same but you post contained so much more!

Oct 31, 2011 12:18 PM #78
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Great list of do's and don't, Kristine and you are right on with all of them.  I am a big fan of home staging!

Oct 31, 2011 03:25 PM #79
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

What a wonderful list! You hit the nail on the head and thank you for sharing.

Nov 03, 2011 04:37 PM #80
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Kristine Ginsberg

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