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Staging your home for quick sale

March 15, 2011
By MARIO D'ARTAGNAN, Real Estate in Perspective

Many homeowners are preparing their homes for sale. One consideration is the concept of "home staging," where the seller takes the necessary steps to maximize the placement of furniture, eliminate clutter, and look at his or her home through the eyes of a buyer.

The following are quick tips for staging your home, written by Barb Schwarz, the creator of Home Staging.

INSIDE - clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3 or 5 items. In general, a sparsely decorated home helps the buyers mentally "move in" with their own things.

Rearrange or remove some of the furniture in your home, if necessary. Many times homeowners have too much furniture in a room. When it comes to selling your home, thin out overcrowded rooms to make the rooms appear larger.

Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. If it hasn't been used for three months put it away! Clear refrigerator doors of messages, magnets, pictures, etc.

In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tub, shower stall and commode top. Keep only the most necessary cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels in one or two colors only.

Take down, reduce or rearrange pictures and objects on walls. Patch and paint all walls, if necessary.

Review the house interior, room by room, and:

1. Paint any room needing paint.

2. Clean the carpet and draperies that need it.

3. Clean windows.

If you need room to store extra possessions use the garage or rent a storage unit.

Leave on certain lights during the day (your agent will show you which ones). During showings, turn on ALL lights and lamps. Play light FM music every day in the house, for all viewings.

OUTSIDE - Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., to the garage, or, if applicable, take them to the dump.

Check the gutter and roof for dry rot and moss. Make sure they are swept and cleaned.

Look at all plants. Plants are like children they grow so fast. Prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows. You can't sell a house if you can't see it!

Remove any dead plants, weed all planting areas and put down fresh mulching material.

Keep your lawn freshly cut, edged and fertilized during the growing season.

Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as little planters, flower pots, charcoal, barbeques, toys, etc.

Check the condition of the paint on your home, especially the trim and the front door. The first impression, or "curb appeal," is very important.

IN GENERAL - Try to look at your house "through a buyer's eyes," as though you've never seen it before. This exercise will help you see what needs to be done. Any time and money invested on these items will usually bring you the return of more money and a quicker sale.

These quick tips were provided by Barb Schwarz. Her website is: Stage, ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), and ASPM are Federally Registered Trademarks of All rights reserved.

Mario D'Artagnan is a broker associate with Paradise Realty, specializing in domestic and European clientele. Mario is a former Florida Real Estate Commission investigator, a former real estate instructor, and a published author. He has also been a keynote speaker on the topic of agency law. Mario is also a U.S. Air Force veteran. For more information or questions, contact Mr. D'Artagnan at:, or call 239-565-4445.



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