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How to Stage a Home

Here is the general step-by-step process for how to stage a home. This is the process for working with occupied homes. More detailed instructions will follow — this is your basic outline for the staging process.

If a home is vacant, some of these steps won’t apply. For a vacant home staging you’ll either be bringing in rented furniture or pieces from your own inventory. You won’t have to worry about depersonalizing or dealing with clutter.

  1. Remove extraneous furniture and deal with clutter. Edit and organize. Encourage sellers to pack items that aren’t needed while the home is listed for sale. I always like to tell sellers that staging is the first step in the moving process.
  2. Do a thorough job and remove family photos, etc., as we discussed earlier. In addition, encourage sellers to paint over personalizations like names painted in kids’ bedrooms. I know it’s a little sad, and sellers may not be thrilled about the idea. But you want buyers to picture their own child in the room, and it can be a little bit of a mental obstacle when it says “Madison” in giant letters.
  3. Make sure the home gets a thorough cleaning. Have the sellers hire a service to do a deep cleaning if they don’t want to do it. It will be worth the money.
  4. If any painting is being done, make sure it is completed before you move forward.
  5. Use your knowledge of home staging psychology to go over the home carefully. Make any changes you feel are necessary in order to create the kind of good vibes we’re after.
  6. Rearrange and replace. Switch furniture, make changes to décor, create better flow by moving furniture, add new throw rugs, towels, shower curtains, mirrors, or other items you’re adding/updating/replacing.
  7. Add accents like fresh flowers, plants, a bowl of fruit, a wreath for the door, etc. and create any vignettes you may be using. We’ll discuss vignettes in more detail in just a couple of minutes.