Table of Contents
Home Staging Checklist – SHS Free Staging Course Unit 4
Our home staging checklist will walk you through staging any home.
If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.
Home staging checklist for outside areas and curb appeal
- Tidy, trim, and mow all lawn areas and beds.
- Patch bare spots in the lawn and make sure the grass gets watered so it’s nice and green.
- Remove branches that might be blocking windows, lake, mountain, or other nice view sight lines, or giving the yard an overgrown look.
- Add some pretty potted flowers near the front door, if seasonally appropriate.
- Make sure the porch, deck, and walkways are washed and free of leaves.
- Put away yard tools, empty pots, toys, trash cans, and lawnmowers.
- Make sure the pets are picked up after. Hire a pooper-scooper service if necessary.
- If the front door is painted and could use a new coat, consider using red if it works with existing house colors. Red front doors look great and convey an energetic feel upon entering.
- Make sure the exterior, porch, and deck areas are spic and span and free of cobwebs and dust.
- Make sure outdoor light fixtures are in good working order.
- Remove cobwebs and clear any corners where leaf debris may accumulate.
- Think about hiring someone to pressure wash your hard surfaces and give the house a soft wash – choose your service carefully so you’re using a company that won’t cause damage to your home. Read reviews and see how long they’ve been in business.
- Consider an updated mailbox and house numbers.
- Add fresh new doormats outside front and back doors.
- If the home has a large porch, make sure there’s a seating area or porch swing.
- Make sure the pool and hot tub areas are clean and free of leaves.
Home staging checklist for throughout the house
- Put away clutter.
- Remove excess furniture.
- Clean thoroughly. Hire professionals if cleaning is not your strong suit.
- Paint, if needed. White and neutral colors work best, and the paint should be in good condition and look fairly fresh.
- Replace window coverings, if needed.
- Put away seasonal items that aren’t needed, along with valuables, wardrobe items that aren’t needed, and knick-knacks or excess artwork/decor.
- Make simple updates like new switch plates or cabinet pulls.
- Straighten books on shelves and please remove books about controversial topics and books about dealing with health problems, divorce, or other serious life concerns that buyers do not need to be thinking about as they tour the house. Yes, everyone does face life difficulties, but in staging we are creating an environment that doesn’t need to contain reminders of life’s challenges. We want to focus on the positive.
- Remove plants that aren’t thriving, add new plants if desired.
- Use psychological staging to edit or add.
- Make decor updates like throw rugs and pillows.
- Add vignettes.
Now let’s get into the room-by-room home staging checklist:
Entry and living areas
- Remove any clutter that may accumulate near entryways such as shoes, coats, leashes, and mail.
- Edit and arrange decorative items on mantle and tables.
- Make sure artwork is appropriate and that the space has been properly depersonalized.
- Arrange throw pillows and style other accessories as needed.
- Add flowers/plants.
- Make sure countertops are clear of clutter. Leave only the most essential items in order to accentuate counter space.
- Remove refrigerator items like magnets, photos, lists, etc.
- Place a pretty bowl of fruit on the counter.
- Update dish towel and throw rug if necessary.
- Organize cabinets and other storage areas.
- Make sure there are no trash odors.
- Make sure the dining room is functioning as a dining room and not a multi-purpose room. No sewing machines, printers, bill-paying stations, or spill over from the kitchen like bulk packs of cereal and paper towels, or occasionally used small appliances.
- Set the table as if a dinner party is happening. (Silverware can get stolen easily, I hate that it’s an issue but it’s something to think about, so you may want to skip using it.)
- Check to make sure artwork is appropriate and the room is depersonalized.
- Replace shower curtain, rug, and towels if necessary.
- Remove all clutter and personal items from counter tops. Keep grooming items in a drawer. Zero people want to see your toothbrush and shaving stuff!
- Make sure everything is sparkling clean, including grout.
- Keep all step stools, kids’ bath toy baskets, laundry hampers, etc. out of the way (ideally, put away in a closet) to maximize floor space.
- Create a spa-like atmosphere with luxury towels, pretty soaps, etc. if desired.
- Update bedding if necessary. A new duvet cover can do wonders – you don’t have to buy a new sheet set if you have a white or neutral set in good shape, just go for a new duvet cover.
- Remove all clutter and make sure the room is depersonalized.
- Make beds neatly and style with throw pillows.
- Edit and style decor items on dressers and night tables.
- New nightstand lamps can give you an inexpensive update.
- Remove seasonal items (winter coats etc.) that aren’t needed.
- Create space by editing and organizing.
- Make sure items are neat and tidy.
- Create more space by packing up items and putting them in storage.
- Make sure closets appear spacious, not cramped. Do this by paring down to only what you need during your listing period, which will hopefully be a short time frame due to these staging tips!
- The more stuff you can put away in a POD or storage unit, the better.
- Have the sellers keep litter boxes clean – scoop at least once per day.
- Avoid smoking in the house. Nothing will put buyers off like the smell of cigarette smoke.
- Air out the house.
- Use Febreze as needed.
It can seem like a lot but try not to skip anything on this list. Each small detail adds up to an overall impression of your home, even the smallest details that buyers may not even consciously recognize can contribute to the level of appeal your home holds. You’re creating space, order, a sense of calm, a sense of contentment, and you want buyers to walk away with the feeling that things in the home have been taken care of and that life is good and secure in this house. You don’t want chaos or a sense of things being ignored and not cared for.
Now that you have the home staging checklist, we’re ready for step-by-step instructions for how to stage a house.