The Dirty Secrets of Home Staging

The Dirty Secrets of Home Staging

Home staging is nothing new. Thanks to HGTV and home flipping frenzy, It has simply been rebranded with a new emphasis on home decor and design enhancements. With this overwhelming supply of ideas, many home sellers are overlooking the simplest and the most cost effective ways to stage their homes for sale.

Deep cleaning is an essential part of home staging. A homebuyer will not care about a trendy new paint color or accent rug if the house isn’t deep cleaned. Look at the detail in your home such as windows, ceiling fan blades, light globes, and the yucky crevices around your water faucets, drains, and sink edges.  Not only are these clean details important in your staging, it will be helpful in the second phase of your home sale process. After a home buyer has written a contract to purchase your house and they return for inspections, they will begin to see the details they missed the first time.  You are essentially selling your house twice.  Therefore, it only makes sense to make these items part of the staging process. You don’t want your home buyer to get cold feet, change their mind, and cancel the purchase.

Impress the inspector. This is part of good home staging too.  Clean out your hot water tank and furnace closets. Wipe down your furnace and hot water tank to remove dirt and dead bugs. This will do more than make your appliances look better. It will show you have properly maintained them. You may even discover problems you should correct before a buyer sees them. This is yet another area where you are thinking ahead of the game to get the maximum benefit for both marketing your home and during the escrow process.

Buyers who are more sophisticated will notice these items just as much as the superficial decor and furniture placement.  By starting with the end in mind and working your way backward, you can make sure your home selling plan is solid.

Here are a few things to review to stage your home that are just as important as the fancy rug…

  • ___ Replace any burned out bulbs. Inside and out
  • ___ Clean windows (especially those with attractive views.)
  • ___ Clear out corners that tend to collect junk. These can make rooms seem smaller in photos.
  • ___ Clean Bathroom mirrors. Spots above sinks tend to show in photos.
  • ___ Clear counters in bathrooms and kitchen.
  • ___ Fold hanging towels neatly.
  • ___ Close shower curtains and toilet seats.
  • ___ Make the beds.
  • ___ Pick up kid’s toys and move any excess toys out to storage.
  • ___ Check the fireplace mantle – free of clutter?
  • ___ Arrange furniture neatly. Remove anything unsightly for photos and you can place it back afterward.
  • ___ Clear back porch of debris and arrange furniture.
  • ___ Put away yard tools.
  • ___ Trim trees and bushes.
  • ___ Mow lawn.
  • ___ Mulch flower beds.
  • ___ Open curtains and blinds to let in ample light.

When you are finished, step back and take a look as if you were looking at a magazine.  Would a photograph of your house right now (bathrooms, living room, exterior) look good in a magazine?  If so, you have succeeded!  Turn on the lights and we are ready to go!

For some laughs, take a look at this:

Preparing you for success,


Darryl Baskin is a 30 year veteran in Tulsa real estate and host of KRMG’s Future of Real Estate advising Saturdays at 1pm.  Broker/Associate with eXp Realty and has hosted The Future of Real Estate has can be heard Saturdays at 1pm on, fm 102.3, am 740