As a professional interior designer in Bergen County, New Jersey, I often get to the “let’s sell” decision with long term clients.  I get them ”buyer ready”.

Did you know that 77% of buyers agents say that they recommend staging a home before listing it to make it easier to sell. You have to make your home worth buying at your price.

Here are some things to consider to help you make the decision to stage.

#1. What are the benefits of staging your home before listing?

  1. When you ask a professional to look at your home when you decide to sell, that person “sees” what you don’t. That’s because it is yours and you live there.  It’s very helpful in the move to have an objective person help you.

  1. Buyers imprint your home within seconds of entering—even as they drive up—so what they see will resonate positively or not. Staging helps buyers get a good feeling about your home.

  2. Staging your home in advance of listing helps you. One of the biggest steps in moving is de-cluttering. This helps you transfer your feelings about the home you’ve lived in so you can move forward to your new place.

  3. Staging helps a buyer see themselves in your home. Without all your personal stuff all around, they can see their stuff instead. If your home is inviting and current, they get it.  They don’t have to do a lot.  If it’s move in ready, they can just move their things right in.

  4. Making corrections now helps to sell your home. Cleaning your home so it sparkles and smells great includes inside the appliances, baseboards, windows, inside window sashes, air filters, and gutters.

Bathrooms and kitchens, even if not entirely up to date, benefit from the eagle eye of buyers. Sinks, tile, grout, shower doors, shower heads, under sink areas, kitchen back splashes that shine show that you do regular maintenance and take good care of your home.

#2. How do I start?

Start with looking at your home outside.

Spruce it up—weeding, trimming shrubs and trees, power washing the walkways and siding all make your home look fresh. Get rid of any green mold.  Make walkway repairs, if possible.

Add planters with colorful flowers by the entry to welcome buyers.  Repair chips, dents and exterior shingles.


Do all this before you take that all important photo of your home for the listing.

#3. What should I do inside?

Get rid of odors from smoking and cooking.  You may be immune to those odors, but they are embedded and unwelcoming.

Cleaning upholstery and carpet/area rugs will remove stains, and odors. Think of it as a step in the moving process.

In severe cases, smoke odor may permeate the sheet rock. In that case, the paint you apply first will be an odor absorbing paint.  That should do the trick.  Then you can paint your colors over it.

Open the windows and doors and let in fresh air instead of using air fresheners.  The cloying smell may suggest you are trying to hide something!

 #4. Should I paint?

If you have paint choices in your home that are “unique” or dated, refreshing and neutralizing colors are a good decision.  That doesn’t mean that every room must be white!

If you think the next buyer is going to do a major remodel on your floor plan as it exists, you might save the cost of the painter and reduce your asking price slightly to cover that decision. Make sure your agent brings it up, if appropriate.

#5. Any other tips?

Make glaring repairs now. If it is going to come out at a home inspection, and reduce the price of the house or eliminate your house from contention with others, do it.

If you started but did not finish a project, finish it.  No one wants to see unfinished work.

Clean out closets and drawers. Every drawer or door will be opened during a walk through.  Having lots of storage is a huge plus to buyers.  Here, less is more!

If you can remove 20-30% of what’s in the closet and show space between hangers, closets will seem spacious. If you are not going to use an item in the next 90 days, pack it up and get it out.

An off-site storage facility, rented for the duration of selling the house, will help you pare down. This applies to furniture, toys and sports equipment, as well.  You may find that what is out of sight is probably not even needed anymore!  Donate it or sell it!

Turn on the lights in every room, open the blinds and draperies when you show the house.

Change burnt out bulbs.

Add a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. Clean off the counter of non-essential appliances.

Buy new towels for the bathrooms that are put out for showing the house.

Even if your home is not “of the moment”, present it in the best way possible.

Think hotel bathroom and put away all the clutter…no makeup,  lotions, tooth brushes etc.

DON’T DO THIS!                                     THIS IS MUCH BETTER!

There is so much more to tell you and to get done.

Maximize your chances of a sale at a good price by working with a staging expert. Give us a call.  We can make a huge difference!

Good luck!