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The Creative Home Podcast | Episode #196

This episode is brought to you by 30 Easy Tips to Get your House Sold. Looking for a quick checklist that will help you focus on what to do to get your house ready to sell? Check out my free download, 30 Easy Tips to Get Your House Sold, and get your house ready today!

Lots of homeowners question the need to stage their home while others know it is totally worth it. I also get asked, well, do YOU stage your own home when YOU sell it? And my answer is a definitely YES! But there are a few things that I DO NOT do when staging my house and there are a few things that I DO when staging my house to sell quickly. Let’s get into the episode so you can learn those 5 things.


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Five things I do not do when staging a home

by Kasia McDaniel | The Creative Home Podcast

Five things I do not do when staging a home

Now as a homeowner, you know there are a few things that you just live with like a broken door or a chipped tile. We kind of put blinders on to the things around the house because we’ve lived in it for so long. And when it came time to sell my house in Virginia, I was a new stager then, and I realized that I had to take the same advice that I give my own clients. Sometimes you don’t want to hear it but you gotta swallow the news just like everyone else. I too have stacks of paperwork on my desk, the dishes in the sink, the scattered toys in the playroom. I am not different than you. Some stagers actually hire another stager to come into their home to give them a “reality check” because again you’ve lived in your home and can’t have an objective eye to the stuff in your home (or it can be hard to be objective). So let me share some of the advice that you probably have seen around the Internet that is really not necessary. This is also advice that I DO NOT give my own clients or do myself when staging a home.


1| DO NOT set the dining room table when staging a home

This is one of those things you see on TV. But TV and reality are 2 VERY different things. No one I know lives with a set dining room table. I have to yell at my kids to set the table each night for dinner anyway. Our table gets used for homework, projects, paperwork you name it. So to have it set for an open house or for pictures is just not realistic. It also looks like you are trying too hard. Plus if you have nice china and silverware, you don’t know if kids will be around who could accidentally knock off the china or use the silverware for their version of “swordfighting” because they are bored. Instead you can have a nice centerpiece on the dining table like candles or flowers.

2| DO NOT do major renovations

Once you start with one room, then the rest of the house may not look as good and it turns into a domino effect. If you are worried that your house is not updated enough, there are probably some simple little things you can do like paint the cabinet doors or replace handles or replace the boob lights on the ceiling. But those are minor compared to a whole new kitchen at $60K+. We were thinking of remodeling our master bathroom but got quotes for $60K. Instead we replaced the counters, sinks, faucets and scrubbed the tile for about $2K.

3| DO NOT store boxes in a room when staging a home

Yes you are moving and you probably have started packing up. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my free download, 30 easy tips to get your home ready to sell.  In it, I share tips that will get you started on staging your home which will require some packing.

If you have to declutter and pack up things to help stage it, do it before the photographer shows up and then store the boxes in an attic or neatly in the garage. Do not leave the boxes lined up in the room. It just makes it look cluttered even more. Boxes take up a lot of space and 90% of buyers can’t imagine the space without them. Remove them to show how big the room really is so that buyers can see the whole room.

4| DO NOT put a tray on your bed

Just like setting the table, this is over the top and not necessary. Normal people don’t live like this with a breakfast tray in their bed. As a mom, I don’t want the crumbs associated with it that fall into my bed. So stop putting silly things like trays on the bed. It doesn’t add to the ambiance. I doesn’t make it feel homey. What does work? A bed with neutral bed sheets and a clutter free room. Think of a nice hotel room that you just want to jump into bed.

5| DO NOT bake cookies when staging a home

One of my favorite movies is Leap Year with Amy Adams and she plays a home stager in the movie. In one part, she tells the realtor to bake some cookies before the clients show up and she’ll have “3 offers by noon”. You can certainly have cookies or munchies at the open house or showing, but there really is no need to bake anything to make it “smell like home”. There actually should not be ANY smell in the home.

So now, what are the 5 things that I DO to stage my house? The same things I tell you in my free download, 30 easy tips to get your house ready to sell.

1. Declutter – this is a big one and I go room by room

2. I pack up and donate stuff that I don’t want to take with me

3. I may rearrange my furniture in the rooms now that the clutter is gone (see my Living Room Layouts Diagrams if you need help here)

4. I then look at the colors in the room and work with accessories that I have on hand to stage the home

5.  Finally I look at wall colors to see if they are neutral enough to help sell my house.

If this is something you need help with, then check out my 1 on 1 staging consultation. I tailor the staging advice specifically to your home so that we prioritize the work based on what we have to work with, your budget and timeline. We go through each room and discuss everything that I mention above on the things that I DO when staging a home. Each home is different and some rooms may need more help than others. But I would love to help you get it all straightened out and picture perfect for the photographer.

So I hope you learned what 5 things I DO NOT do when staging a home that you don’t have to do either and then 5 things that I DO so that buyers will fall in love and make offers on your home.

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