Home Selling in Phoenix>Question Details

Trulia Phoen…, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

What are the best practices for staging a home?

Asked by Trulia Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ Mon Apr 15, 2013

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Terry Bell’s answer
Well, it all depends on the type of home, whether it is a quick mover and just needs some little touches, curtains, flowers, I always like a table and chairs so buyers agents and clients can sit and discuss writing a contract! Obviously the more expensive and difficult to sell homes need more. But I think it's really more about getting a home ready to be put on the market, and sellers should be talking to agents for advice on which repairs are the most bang for the buck before they worry about staging furniture.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 4, 2013
I have been staged and on the market several times, with military moves.I am currently in that position again.

Here are a few tricks I found while trying to LIVE in a house on the market (anything to help the process be less hassle. We have open vanities in the bathroom. This makes it impossible to throw things out of sight quickly, therefore, I have a basket, about 16"x16" that matches my other storage baskets in my master closet. I put all of my daily grooming things in it including my hair dryer, and just stash it in the master after getting ready. I also found decorative boxes big enough to hold toothbrushes paste, deorerant ets. and each vanity has one for those things. I have acutally found it working better than drawers, but it makes for quick pick up. I put hand towels in these, so my hanging towels stay neat and trimmed.
Another trick, for my teen, I have her dust her room daily, wash when she comes home, keep all the laundry caught up, so no smells leech out from anywhere. We daily wipe sinks, and fixtures, so that scrambling out quickly is always an option.
We have our pet things all in one place with a basket to throw everything in and put into the garage, and out we go with our pet in hand. It is a fine balance to let the home look homey, tidy and still not too personal, but we have gotten good at it, and stage for others now.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
De-clutter the house, remove personal photos and items. Make sure there is enough space in each room for the buyer to walk around. If not remove some furniture. You want to make your house neutral but still warm and inviting. If you have any strong personal color painted on the walls you want to re paint before listing. Open the window treatments and turn on all of the lights for every showing. Make sure every room is as clean as possible. Make sure the house smells good as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
We consulted with a stager twice, once for two hours and later for one hour. I audio recorded her recommendations to create a to-do list. Starting at the street, she told us everything we needed to do to step up the appearance of our property. The advice went much further than cleaning and decluttering. We learned: what furniture to retain and how to arrange it; paint colors; placement of decorative elements; where removal of wallpaper was essential and not essential; what we could do to update kitchens and bathrooms; replacement flooring options, etc. We also learned what we would describe as buyer psychology. Her recommendations were always followed with the reason why each change was recommended. She followed up the visit with advice about re-staining our golden oak kitchen cabinets to a java color (which we followed and added good value to our home). Overall, we found the advice incredibly invaluable, and we are confident her advice increased the value of our house by tens of thousands of dollars. If you live near PORTLAND, OREGON, contact ROOM SOLUTIONS STAGING, LLC You won't be sorry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
Get professional staging help, unless you are good at it yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
Keep the look simple. Staging an occupied home is often a matter of subtracting things like excess furniture, collections and photographs. Since the seller is planning to move, they should pack up out of season clothing, seasonal decorations and things that won't be needed for the next couple of months. Don't decorate the home for a holiday. If the home is on the market for a while, photos with the decorations will make the listing look stale.

For vacant homes, it's not necessary to furnish the entire home. Smaller bedrooms, laundry room, office, etc can be left vacant. The common area such as the living room, family room, kitchen, master bed/bath should get the most attention. If the home features a foyer, that should be nicely decorated to welcome people as they enter. The overall look shouldn't be too specific, but the furnishings don't have to be so neutral as to be bland. A modern look for a downtown loft may be perfect and Country French might really sell a large cottage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
I think it helps sellers who must continue living in their home while it is for sale, to see how important it is to de-clutter and reduce the number of furniture pieces in the rooms, and let all the light in, is for them to look online at the houses that compete with theirs. It quickly becomes clear that, as a buyer, you are drawn to the listings that have very little furniture, lots of floor space, and lots of natural light, way more than you respond to listings that have all the furniture and photos, magazines, tschotchkies that we all live happily with when our homes are not for sale. "Staged" houses sell more quickly for more money, as a retired real estate broker I have found this over and over again. I'm about to sell my own house soon and it's going to look a lot better once I have done all the things suggested here. And I think the military wife for those really good tips :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
Rent new sporty convertibles, waxed and detailed and parked in the driveway. Hire some Extra actors to walk around looking important--to make the mood work. A few surgical scrubs will be good attire along with a set of custom golf clubs in the back seat. The house will be sold before the buyers go inside. Of course NEW flowers edging the front yard, house and circular driveway. NO PINK FLAMINGOES or lawn GNOMES. SOLD!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
best is keeping the real-estate agent out agents like Mandy carl exit/and bob/Robert hoobler re max these agents come to you with big smiles and low ball you when your backs turn there tell you what you want to hear when the customer comes in the picture its turn around give him half the home needs this and that done clearly they work both sides so they get there money do not care if you get way less then you want its all about them making the sale
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 16, 2015
This is how it works with an agent YOU DO NOT CONTROL. I control mine with SCRIPTS---mainly KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT...all offers and discussions in writing. You would be surprised how fast you can sell if you can encourage agents TO SHUT UP.. no one cares about the five million dollar club or all their "other" listings or CASH offers on tract houses. Been there seen that TOO MANY TIMES. IT IS YOUR HOUSE.---YOU MUST BE THE BOSS---and in control. This is not a "hobby" you want your house SOLD FAST and with no contingencies...TODAY.
Flag Thu Jul 16, 2015
Declutter! Open the blinds and turn on all the lights. Please no air fresheners unless they're natural- many people are allergic to chemical scents from plug-ins and dryer softener sheets for example. Also, some candle scents make us sneeze!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
I'd like to mention with scents, I am currently staged and selling, and cookng odors can be a problem. I found that using a soft-scented candle such as vanilla, or other mild food scented pleasant candle, like lemon or apple, If i burn them while cooking or put one in the oven after cooking strong foods like onions, etc. it seems to nix that smell and neutralize it pretty well. Also I burn a few soft linen candles about an hour before a showing and make sure to blow them out 30 min prior if possible. I have had very positive comments on how the house smells clean. When I asked, "was it too scenty?" they said no, just clean. If i don't have that long, I don't burn or spray, unless I spray febreeze in a laundry hamper i have not been able to attend to, and I keep it stashed in the closet.
Flag Thu Jul 16, 2015
When decorating the home as simple as posible it will sale sooner!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
I am a big believer in staging! Even though a seller make think their home looks wonderful and ready to show after listing, a professional staging job will make it stand out from the competition and bring a "Wow" reaction from the buyer. It is best to use a professional stager who will work directly with the seller to de clutter, paint and do improvements that will add to the gross sales price.
The staging with furniture, paint, changing of fixtures, new granite counters tops in kitchens and baths is all part of staging and will allow your home to show at it's very best. Staged homes sell much faster and at higher prices than un staged homes.
Katherine J. Higgins
Broker Associate
Realty Executives, Inc.
6263 N. Scottsdale Road, #140
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Cell: 480-710-2020
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
The term "Staging" is actually copyrighted by Barb Schwartz, who invented it as a way of improving the looks of a tough-to-sell house, using theatrical staging techniques.

De-cluttering, painting, and cleaning, while all desirable, do not constitute Staging.

Bringing in furnishings, decor, paintings, carpets, and using specific principles, colors, locations etc are all part of staging.

Best practices you would learn in a 2 day course. Click on the link below; there is one coming up in Phoenix in late May.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
Ann is correct. Staging really only needs to be done to an empty place. Things like de-cluttering, painting, packing away personal photos and smelling clean is a given. However, I prefer to view an empty house and find other items in it distracting when I need to be checking the windows and ceilings for leaks...etc.
Flag Thu Jul 16, 2015
what's a bright light and make sure it smells good!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
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