Staging Day Preparation Plan & Checklist
In order to get the most out of our time together, it is recommended that you follow this checklist to start preparing your home to be transformed.
Disassociate yourself from your home – Staging success starts when you begin to view your beloved home as your number one commodity to sell! It’s impossible for a home owner to be “objective” with their belongings and home. That’s what I’m here for. It will also help to say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a car or piece of furniture I put on Craigslist”.
Commit to the Process – In this more competitive marketplace, there's no room for half-heartedness! Disassociating from your home and making sure it’s the best-looking home on the market in its price range is a first step. The staging process can be tough, but it gets results and allows you to sell your home faster and for more money if you follow through the on the entire staging process for optimum results.
Consider having the home professionally cleaned – One of the primary goals of our staging time is to get fantastic photographs of your completed rooms, so that the 9 out of 10 buyers viewing the photos online schedule an in person tour! The best way to get the most out of our time, as well as great photos is to have your home professionally cleaned beforehand.
- De-clutter and clean every inch.
- Packing and Purging Starts Now – Donate, resell or start packing away the items you know you won’t need in the next six months. Carefully label the boxes and stack them in your storage locker or garage. Clear the items that I have placed blue tape on from each room. One of the primary goals for our staging time is to create a “sense of space” for the buyer and in order to do that, we need to clear out excess items that will not speak “positively” to our buyers.
- Pets and their belongings must be placed out of the way. Please secure them so they don't escape outside as I come in and out often.
- Turn TV's and ceiling fans off.
- Hide trash cans out of site.
- Dishes done, laundry put away, and beds made with properly sized bedding including mattress covers.
- Clean out and organize closets, cabinets, pantries, and even the refrigerator. Buyers will open everything! If closets and cabinets are crammed full it will appear there is a lack of storage space. Remember to clean everything off the outside and on top of the refrigerator too.
- Clear your kitchen counters of excess and unused appliances - Consider packing excess glasses/dishes, so that we can find a convenient home for those items that you still need on hand. Place your best cookbooks, kitchen décor items and a complete table setting for 4-6 people with your best napkins and place mats out for the staging day.
- Clear off bathroom counters shower and tub of any personal products and place them in a plastic toiletry tote that you take in and out with you to be stored away out of sight when there are showings. Place your best towels out for the staging day.
- Dust furniture and clean out cobwebs.
- Clean all counters, mirrors, shower glass and windows inside and out.
- If there is a fireplace(s), clean them out and remove as much of the soot stains as you can.
- Clean out all drain strainers and air vents.
- Clean all woodwork and polish or paint white.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs and add lighting in dark corners. This makes your home appear larger and more welcoming.
- Vacuum and/or dust mop daily.
- Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans and remove fingerprints from light/fan switches and surrounding areas.
- Paint the walls a neutral color like beige, off white or pale gray to appeal to a larger pool of buyers.
- For window coverings, built-in appliances or lighting fixtures you want to take with you please remove and/or replace them before you show the house. If a buyer never sees it, they can’t want it. Once they see it and want it, it could create a problem.
- Depersonalize the home by removing all personal items such as family photos and collections.
- Secure or remove all valuables such as jewelry, money, personal documents, credit cards, precious antiques, electronics, etc., so they don’t get damaged.
Garage, Utility Room or Basement
- Pack, haul away or put into storage anything that is cluttering up the garage utility room or basement.
- Put away tools, paint, chemicals, cleaning supplies and other hazardous items. Children often accompany their parents when touring a home.
- Wash down the floor and clean up any oil and grease stains.
- Clean patio furniture and arrange in a simple conversational grouping.
- Keep garden art to a minimum. Remove garden gnomes, wind socks, and sports memorabilia, etc.
Exterior of the Home
- Power wash patios, sidewalks, decks, driveways and exterior surfaces of the house.
- In winter, keep the driveway, walkway and entry porch free of snow and ice.
- Update exterior lighting if needed. Motion sensing is an attractive selling feature for buyers.
- Replace, paint or stain any rotten decking.
- Make sure the exterior walls and trim are in good condition. Repaint and make repairs wherever necessary.
- Check the condition of the roof for dry rot or moss and replace any missing shingles.
- Clean the gutters and make sure all downspouts are attached and guiding water away from the house.
- Make sure the doorbell functions properly.
- Clean and repair railings, remove rust or damage and paint.
- Place a new, high quality welcome mat in front of the door for cleaning shoes and boots.
- Maker sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
- Prune and trim trees and hedges and cut them back if they block windows.
- Remove moss, weeds and dead leaves.
- Keep the lawn cut, edged and fertilized. Re-sod any bare spots in the grass and mulch the flower beds or at least freshen the mulch by turning it over.
- Plant bright colored annuals or group pots filled with flowers in groups of three near the entry and throughout the garden if possible to coordinate with patio or deck furniture.
- Remove toys, bicycles from the yard and neatly store in the garage.
- Remove trash and debris and hide trash/recycle cans out of view or inside garage.
- Store away grilling fuel like bags of charcoal or propane tanks out of site.
- Store away lawn and garden tools, wheel barrels, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
- Repair broken fences and gates and paint or stain as needed.
- Pools and hot tubs should be cleaned and skimmed daily.
- Clean the birdbath and place away from the house.
- Clear the driveway, sidewalks, and walkways and park cars away from the house.
- Patch holes and cracks in walls.
- Replace any broken window panes or panes that have lost their vapor seal.
- Fix doors and drawers that don’t close properly or jam.
- Have a professional repair or replace damaged floors.
- Fix leaky faucets and make sure all drains and toilets flush easily.
- Replace damaged tiles on any surface.
- Re-caulk where ever needed such as tubs, showers, sinks and in between tiles.
- Repair or replace any light fixtures inside or outside that are not working.