Stage This: Get Your Home Ready For Show

Stage This: Get Your Home Ready For Show
  • Opening Intro -

    Shakespeare had it right when he declared that, "all the world's a stage" in his pastoral comedy, As You Like It.

    That's especially true when it comes to selling a house as your home should be staged, a move that can stir up buyer interest and elicit bids for your home.


Getting your home ready for show is a process that some people leave to the professionals. Oh, yes, there are people that professionally stage homes, but you can avoid their steep fees and do the job yourself. Read on for some tips on how to get your home buyer ready.

1. Start outside first. No potential buyer will see your home’s wonderful interior if the outside of the home is a mess. You don’t need to go overboard with the landscaping, but you do need to have a yard where the lawn is freshly cut, the leaves are raked and the dead flowers removed. Sweep the front walk, the driveway and other foot paths. Wipe down the front stoop or porch and paint the front door. Make sure that all outside lights are working and are bright.

2. Remove the clutter. Most every home has clutter, whether that be kitchen counters full of small appliances or too many seating areas in the family room. You do not need to pitch it, but you do need to store away what takes away from your room. A friend with a good eye can help you here, offering advice on what must go.

3. Room colors. Once you have removed the excess furniture, you are ready to make some important changes to the room. Like painting the walls. Cleaning the carpets. Finishing the floors. Consider putting some pop in a room that is dark, by painting one wall a vibrant, splashy color to offset the muted colors used elsewhere. You do not want to shock potential buyers, but you do want to convey a room that is inviting and cozy.

4. Resize a room. Homeowners pinched for space know that they are up against larger homes that abound in room. It may be that your buyers want the smaller space, but also need some help understanding how their lives will fit in a smaller area. This can mean grouping furniture differently, by creating conversation areas and choosing colors that are warm and relaxing. You can make any room look bigger by painting the walls the same color as your drapes.

5. Get cleaning. Your home should be spotless and that means going over each room to remove dust, built up dirt, clean counters, wash windows, and mop floors. Vacuum with care and run a dust mop over those wood floors. If you do no have time to do the work yourself, hire a cleaning company to come in just before you show your home. It is an investment that is certainly worth it, one that help move your home.

6. Fix maintenance issues. Go from room to room and look at everything from the faucet in the guest bathroom to the wallpaper in the kitchen. Any problem that is not handled is a potential show stopper for a home buyer. Make the repairs and if you cannot do the work, then bring in a repair crew to get the job done.

7. Air and light. One problem with living in a familiar setting is that you may be immune to certain smells. The kitty litter box in the corner of your kitchen next to the refrigerator. The musty smell in a hall closet. Your husband’s cleaning solution in his work area. Just before you have your first visitors open up the windows to let in some fresh air. Do this even on a cold day to quickly clean out smells that have been hanging around. When done, shut the windows, pull back drapes, open up the blinds and lift curtains. Much natural light will give your room an open and cheery look.

8. Set the mood. There are a number of smaller touches that can yield a big impact on home shoppers. But be careful here: your best efforts may have people wondering if you have something to hide. With the audio system set low, play a track of classical music or an instrumental, not loud enough to make conversations impossibly, but just loud enough to get noticed. Fresh cut flowers in a glass vase look absolutely lovely as the centerpiece for a dining room table. Yes, bake those cookies that will be inviting and evoke positive imagery. Put these in the oven just as your agent shows up — she can remove them when done and with you out of the way.

Managing Expectations

Your home does not need to be perfect when you show it, rather it needs to ready to show. Not everyone will be pleased with dark wood trim or an interesting pattern in your kitchen flooring. Provided that everything else looks great, these matters can be overlooked and fixed by a happy buyer after closing. Yes, your home is a stage — now go out and give it your best performance!


HGTV: 15 Secrets of Home Staging —

Bankrate: 20 Tricks to Selling Your Home —

Author Information

Kiersten Gurry is a freelance writer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She writes on a wide variety of topics in the home improvement for First Impression Security Doors. She is very knowledgeable about security doors and iron gates in particular.



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Categories: Home Decor

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".