Staging Your Home Checklist

I have put together a list of items to help you start the process of staging your home for sale. I would be happy to meet with you and discuss specific ideas on how to make your home look its' very best. I hope you find this information useful and would love to hear your ideas!

 

  • Remove all clutter from the house, things like piles of papers, overstuffed shelves, collections that have outgrown their space, etc. This can be the hardest part of all but it will make your home look and feel bigger.
    • Are countertops free and clear? This should include hiding the mail center and placing unused appliances out of sight.
    • Have you removed unnecessary furniture throughout the house? Make sure walkways are clear and take a hard look at cramped rooms. If these are items not going with you to your next home then consider having the yard sale now not after you've sold the house. Let buyers see how large your home truly is.
    • Remove the art gallery and coupon collection from the refrigerator. Make sure people are looking at your house, not at all the photos.
    • In your closets, you should take out the luggage and move it to storage or the car. Fill the luggage with your off season clothes to make your closets look bigger. Again, donate the items you aren't taking with you or simply won't ever wear again. Closets should be organized and not look packed with items.
    • Clean out the garage, shed and laundry room. Help keep the focus on your home's good features.
  • Check the bathrooms.
  • Are the surfaces clean and clear? Use touch-up tub paint to seal small cosmetic nicks and consider removing toiletries or downsizing to a few.
  • Are shower curtains and doors hung properly? Consider replacing the old and discolored shower curtain liners. They cost less than $5 and otherwise will stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Is the flooring clean and fresh?  
  • Are towels neatly hung? Now is the time to bring out those guest only towels!
  • Hide all that you can in drawers and medicine cabinets.
  • Close the toilet lid, the bath will show better that way.
  • Check the walls.
    • Is paint and wallpaper fresh and clean? Spend a few minutes touching up the paint or a day removing the old wall paper border. These can really date a room. A secret for white walls is remove scuffs with the Magic Eraser Bar. It also works well on cabinets. It really is magic!
    • Are the walls free of holes? Spackling the walls for all holes only takes a few minutes per room and really makes a difference. Be sure to go over the hole with touch-up paint if the wall is a dark color.
    • Are there any colors or objects on the walls that need to be removed? The black ceiling is not helping make the home look bright and airy. I've seen it many times. Have the kids undo their look with some quick flat white ceiling paint.
  • Check the floors.
    • Is the carpet clean and free from stains? I highly recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned. Also, consider the new systems for pressure washing the grout in your floor tiles.
    • Are hard surface floors clean and free from stains?
  • Check windows and window coverings.
    • Are all the windows clean? Trick of the trade, if you have windows overlooking your screened pool, make sure the screens in the windows are removed. Often they aren't and by removing them it allows a lot more light in the house.
    • Are draperies and blinds clean? Give them a quick wash or bring out the vacuum cleaner.
  • Pet check.
    • Are there any signs that this is a pet's home? Be sure to clean and hide kitty litter, pet toys and bedding.
    • Make sure that either the backyard is clear of all poodle bombs or people are warned before going through the backyard. This is the end of the showing when a buyer steps in dog poop.
  • How's the aroma?
    • Try to air out the home prior to showings.
    • If air freshener is necessary, use well before showings as a consideration to those with allergies.
  • Set the mood prior to showings and Open Houses.
  • Open draperies and blinds.
  • Turn on all the lights to a nice level so the house is inviting. This is the single most overlooked step.
  • Turn on the radio to a soft music station, set the volume on low.
  • If you have time, cook a batch of cookies to have the warm, welcoming aroma permeating the home. Or cheat and use one of those candles that smells like cookies baking!
  • Consider making a sign for any features not obvious like sound systems or undermount microwaves.
  • Don't have signs telling people not to look in this or that closet. Remove any items of value or concern. Lock up guns and consider storing them at a friends. Hide prescription drugs and jewelery.
  • If you have vacant rooms, consider calling a friend to borrow a bed or additional furniture. Chances are they would be happy to help. Another option is to use all those boxes you have (now that you have de-cluttered) and put them in the shape of a bed. Add extra comforters (from those same toned-down closets). You will now have focal point on what would have been an empty room!