General Staging Principles and Recommendations


    • Staging is marketing.
    • Staging is not decorating.
    • Decorating is personalizing. Staging is de-personalizing.
    • You are selling your house, not your stuff.
    • Staging is showcasing your home’s space and focal points, allowing buyers to mentally move in.
    • The six C’s of staging: Clean, Current, Color, Clutter-Free, Creativity and Commitment.
    • Hire an experienced and accredited staging professional. We are too emotionally attached to stage our own home.
    • Select a stager with the experience, knowledge, tools, rental art and accessories and the team of subcontractors for you to prepare your home for sale.
    • Stage Now: before the Broker’s Open, before professional photographs are taken, before your home is listed. The best time to sell a home is in the first three weeks on the market.


    • When you go into a model home you will see that they are usually sparsely decorated. In a resale home you want to apply the same principles. Reduce clutter and the overall number of items. You want buyers to see your home, not your things.
    • Sell, donate or throw away now items you will never use again.
    • Pack and store items now that you will not use before you move. You are going to have to pack anyway. It will save you packing time and expense later.
    • Pack up all valuable items to protect them. Consider taking them to a safe deposit box.
    • Pack up all collections. They become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal points of your home.
    • Reduce the number of books on bookshelves.
    • Reduce the number of family pictures on shelves and tables. Remove family portraits from walls.
    • Consider rearranging or removing some of the furniture. Many times we have too much furniture in a room. This may meet your personal needs, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out to make rooms appear larger.
    • Clean. Have your home professionally cleaned.
    • Remove, rearrange or substitute artwork as recommended. Generally, limit to one large piece on a wall or a small coordinated grouping. Make sure art is hung at eye level on an empty wall or at the appropriate height relative to a piece of furniture underneath.
    • Professionally paint all rooms in need of a fresh coat. Neutralize as recommended. Repair all cracks on walls and ceilings.
    • Professionally clean or replace carpets as needed. Offering a buyer a credit to pick their own new carpet or a discount off the price is far less effective. Pick a light to medium-colored neutral.
    • Clean, remove or replace drapes as recommended.
    • Professionally clean windows and make sure they operate freely. If the seal is broken on a double-pane window, replace it now.
    • Check all light fixtures. Replace all burned out light bulbs. In dark rooms or hallways, increase the wattage of bulbs.
    • During “showings” turn on all lights and lamps.
    • Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in light and the view. The extra cost of additional heating or air conditioning is a necessary cost of selling.
    • Take a hard look at houseplants. In many cases they need to be pruned and/or the number of plants reduced to create more space. If plants don’t look healthy, throw them away.
    • Fireplaces need to be cleaned out. Glass doors should be cleaned. Mantels and hearths need to be cleared off except for recommended decorative items.
    • Create 1/3 empty space or more in every closet. Empty space communicates an abundance of storage space to your buyers.
    • Be sensitive to odors; buyers are. Excessive odors from cooking, smoking, pets, babies, laundry or mildew will turn off buyers. If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays and keep windows cracked open for ventilation. Tips: There are great products in pet stores for pet odors. Pure Ayre odor eliminator kit with blacklight flashlight is recommended for pet urine in carpet. Professional carpet cleaners have special ozone machines that can help with difficult odors. You can’t sell it if you can smell it.
    • Repair any items that are broken. This will communicate that your home is well maintained. Broken items will be identified during inspection. Buyers may walk away, ask for a discount or will ask for them to be repaired anyway, so do it now.


  “The Way You Live in Your Home and the Way We Market and Sell Your House are Two Different Things!” — Barb Schwarz

About Design Perspectives LLC

My name is Amy Anderson, President, Design Perspectives LLC. I offer my clients comprehensive design assistance for their home from conception through implementation. Services range from design consulting, to remodeling, to decorating, to staging to live or sell. I have a unique background which sets me apart in the interior design field. In addition to my experience in art and design, my undergraduate degree is in civil engineering. As a result, I am able to interpret blueprints, visualize designs 3-dimensionally, communicate effectively with contractors and raise critical questions during a remodeling project. My clients may fully envision their finished project in advance through the use of product boards, drawings and computer-aided design tools. With ten years of sales, service and management experience at IBM, I am fully committed to excellence and customer service, and bring strong communication and listening skills to my client relationships. I understand teamwork, project management and attention to detail. As a home designer, I am able to combine these professional skills with my artistic talents. I am thrilled to be pursuing my passion which benefits us both. I love what I do … my heart is in my vocation. I work diligently, enthusiastically, passionately …. assisting my clients in the creation of a beautiful and livable home.
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