Staging your Home

Property Manager with Martin Presence Group Brok.0995682636-ASA

You know, I’ve found that people have no VISION. If they walk into a home that needs some TLC, they cannot see what it COULD be.

I know I’ve mentioned that my wife and I have remodeled lots of houses during our marriage, and one thing we had was VISION.  We could walk into the ugliest, dumpiest house on the block and just see the finished product. And these were the days before the Fixer Upper, Pinterest, and HGTV craze. Of course, in her mind, her favorite and number 1 solution was ALWAYS, “let’s knock out that wall. And that wall. And let’s move that one over there” (I must also add that I totally dread the words ‘I saw this on Pinterest’!). We share a passion for turning the worst house on the street into the best house on the street.

Conversely, the majority of people can’t do that. When they walk into an ‘ugly house’, they see….UGLY. And most of the time, they turn around and walk right back out.  So when you get ready to sell your home, how can you keep this about face from happening AND get top dollar? STAGE. YOUR. HOME.  What does that mean and how much will it cost you?? Read on.

You wanna lure people in? Start outside. Curb appeal is huge. Clean up the yard…no trash!  Make sure the grass is mowed regularly while your home is on the market.  Trim the hedges and weed the flower beds! Sweep down the cobwebs under the porch and garage! Make sure your outdoor lights work….lighted homes look warm and inviting. Go the extra mile with a few fresh potted plants and a new doormat!

This is only the beginning! Once you get them in the door, you don’t want them to run back out! How can you keep them there? First, get rid of CLUTTER!  That is a huge turnoff for most people and you want them to see your house in all its glory! Clear surfaces as much as possible and organize your closet! Space, especially storage space, is a key component on most people’s Dream Home list. Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, CLEAN IT UP! Wash your windows. Clean the grout in your tile. Scrub the floors. Wipe down the mirrors. Keep the furniture dusted. Be careful with pet odors…some people are very sensitive to this, so be diligent in your cleaning efforts.


Now I know you’re thinking, “But we LIVE here”. That’s ok. You don’t have to have a museum.  Find a balance between “we live here” and “pigs live here”. 

Are you an overachiever? You’ve done all I’ve suggested and still want to do more? Great!  In our next blog, we’ll discuss further how to make your listing the hottest on the market!

Comments (15)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Great tips, Corey.  Love your line: “Find a balance between we live here and pigs live here”

May 18, 2017 08:50 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Some staging is needed but don't go over board and amke it a museum.

May 18, 2017 09:23 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Well said! Only about 10% can actually's so important to appeal to buyers both visually and emotionally, immediately upon them entering the home!

Love your line:  Find a balance between “we live here” and “pigs live here”

Sep 12, 2017 05:32 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, I totally agree that it starts by stopping in front of your house and making that visual PERFECT - that's the FIRST impression, Corey! And, ugly inside doesn't get it!

How cool that both you and your wife have VISION - I have it, hubby doesn't so, he says, "Whatever you want to do, honey!"  LOL

Great tips and I love the balance comment - perfect as well!

Sep 19, 2017 09:28 PM
Lauren Laski
VantaSure Realty - Parkland, FL
Peace, Love and Real Estate

Love this perspective, Corey. I think having vision is key when making a home look good or renovating. 

Oct 05, 2017 06:23 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Corey, you are right, and this is how and why investor/flippers can often make money upgrading and updating homes.

Oct 20, 2017 03:49 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Others picked up on it, too, but my favorite line is "find a balance between “we live here” and “pigs live here”. And the vision you mentioned? Most buyers either don't have the vision or can't afford the expense of renovations, and many prefer move-in ready. Give me ugly and "needs work" any day!

Oct 30, 2017 09:32 PM
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

Corey Martin you are spot on. Most people don't have vision and take things only as they see it before them. Renovating is even harder for most people to visualize, its tough making an ugly duckly into a palace without great vision and ideas. This is why we are seeing about 275,000 historic buildings and houses destroyed each year in this country. What a shame more don't have vision.

Thanks for your post!

Dec 05, 2017 08:08 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Home staging is an important part of a success sale.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 06, 2017 06:58 PM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

Great Blog Corey Martin - totally agree that 'vision' is huge, and that everyone does not have it.  It amazes me that some do not see beyond the difference paint can make, and that is one of the quickest and least expensive fixes.  And, curb appeal is huge, too.  Just having a clean and picked up house is not over-rated either.

Dec 10, 2017 07:39 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Corey, I agree that staging really helps a house to show better. The buyer should be able to imagine living there as well.

Dec 20, 2017 11:43 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

the balance thing made me laugh out loud.  I recently did a CMA on the "pigs live here" house and thought, yeah, I don't want to list this house because they are never going to find balance.

Jan 15, 2018 10:48 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Corey Martin ,

Love the post and your comment on the balancing between “we live here” and “pigs live here”.   So true!! I love it you and your wife have vision..good for you!

Feb 15, 2018 06:04 PM
Andrea Moore
Welcome Home Loans, LLC - Winter Garden, FL

Curb appeal is so important! I've often ridden by homes for sale with grass that could reach my knees. I think hiring a lawn service while the home is on the market could also be a big part of "staging".

Mar 02, 2018 07:59 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

There is a BIG difference between "knock down that wall" and staging. Time and money. Major modifications can add great value to a house, that is for sure. That is what we see on HGTV. And, yes, it does take "vision" also...and time...and money. Oh, did I mention time and money?

Our Team often helps sellers by making changes to their houses...counter tops, flooring, paint (inside and/or out), cabinets, light fixtures, appliances, etc. Those changes are done with less time consumed and at a lesser expense. Yet they yield major ROI to the sellers.

Then...we stage the home. We understand the value of staging. We own our own staging company!

Aug 12, 2020 07:50 AM