DIY Staging Tips for Sellers!

Real Estate Agent #20592705

Ah…it’s spring! As the weather warms up, more and more ‘For Sale’ signs are appearing in our neighborhoods. When I work with my sellers, I make it a point to discuss staging. I can’t stress enough how important depersonalizing and decluttering are in the staging process!

I know it can hurt to hear that your personal touches need to be removed in order to make your house more appealing to buyers, but you’re selling your house, not your stuff. Depersonalizing involves removing your personality so that buyers can mentally visualize themselves moving in. Yes, I understand that your taste and style are important to you. Your rooster wallpaper, the collection of pigs and turtles, and your impressive holiday village collection truly represent your style and personality. But when a potential buyer with different taste walks through your door, your strongly themed decor can be so distracting that it prevents the buyer from connecting to the space. Pack away ornate or theme-based pieces and replace them with more neutral objects. Make sure buyers don’t miss your beautiful crown molding and fireplace because they can’t see beyond your vintage doll collection. Personal photos also need to be packed away. Buyers will be distracted by photos of you and your family, making it harder to picture themselves in your house. They WILL look at your photos! Home buyers are curious and want to know about the people living there. Depersonalizing your home of all family photos from walls, dressers and tables will help home buyers psychologically move into your house.

Besides depersonalizing, decluttering is one of the most important steps you can take before your house is ready for its debut. Out-of-season clothing, toiletries, medications, bathrobes hanging on the bathroom door, dirty dishes, dirty laundry, etc., should all be picked up and placed neatly out of sight. Pack up trophies and certificates. For storage, you can use under-the-bed bins. For storage in your drawers and closets, use trays and baskets. Buyers WILL open drawers and closets, so make sure everything is ready for prying eyes! It will take commitment from everyone in the household to keep things neat at all times. You’ll want to be ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. Requesting a reschedule of a showing may cost you a buyer!

Odors also play an important part in the home selling process. A home may have everything on a buyer’s wish list, but if it has a strange odor, the buyer will likely disappear. I know it’s difficult to hear that your home has a strange odor, but it’s important to listen and be honest with yourself. In my many years as a Broker/Realtor, I have found that rugs hold unpleasant odors. It’s almost always a good idea to either replace the rugs or remove them altogether. If you have beautiful flooring such as wood flooring, never cover it up with rugs! Those beautiful wood floors will sell your home!

If you have any questions, let me know. My style is to be honest and upfront about staging matters. I find that my sellers usually appreciate honesty, even though it may sting a bit at first!

Jim Barta

Comments (2)

Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

 Jim Barta, this  is an excellent post - I like your honesty with your Sellers to declutter and depersonalize and the importance of keeping the home ultra neat and clean. A hanging bathrobe is almost too personal when left out in the open, too personal and detracts from a room. One showing I will always remember is an awful home-remodeled kitchen but horror upon horror was when I opened a door right off the kitchen, I was met with a hidden washer and dryer. Why hidden??? Well, the soiled and unwashed laundry was piled high - TO THE CEILING - and overflowing to the floor on top and in front of each appliance. Gosh, I wanted to close that door quickly but one of the buyers was already in the small 6 by 6 foot room behind me.  Your post is so important -  but still, there is a TV program called, The Hoarders.  To some people, they unfortunately see their homes as perfect for putting on the market.  

Apr 20, 2015 08:51 AM
Jim Barta
Faribault, MN

Thanks Jane Chaulklin-Schott! All of us in the business can relate to your story! It's always challenging when we bring a buyer into one of "those" homes! Thank goodness we also work with many wonderful sellers who are motivated to listen and follow our advice! 

Apr 20, 2015 09:16 AM