Reveal Home Staging - Blog

Reveal Home Staging - Blog

The Home Seller’s Preparation Checklist


Download your very own checklist by clicking here. Miss our previous blog posts about getting your home ready for the market? Be sure to click the links below.


First Things First | Making Your Home Ready For The Market

Making Your Home Ready Pt 2 | Bathrooms & Bedrooms

Making Your Home Ready Pt 2 | Bathrooms & Bedrooms

Now, it’s on to the bathrooms. Again: think fresh, clean and up-to-date. Put away your daily routine items — no one wants to look at your toothbrush. (And do you really want anyone you don’t know having access to it???) Say no to that used bar-soap. Add fresh white towels, fresh white flowers in clean modern vases, and make sure everything is dazzlingly clean. That means a shiny tub and toilet, all mold and mildew removed from any grout or shower areas, hard water stains removed from shower doors, and mirrors cleaned. Again, clear countertop areas will reveal the potential of the space.

In the family room, hallways, bedrooms, game room, and office: take note of how many personal items you have on display. Family memories in the form of photographs and mementos are sure to grace your shelves and alcoves. But now is not the time to be sentimental. No! You must be ruthless. Begin to box-up any personal items in order to create a clear, neutral space to display a few tasteful items. You want to create an environment that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in your space, and not associate the home with someone else.


Though it is hard to remove these valuable family memories from your space, it is crucial to achieve your end goal: selling your house as fast as possible for a great price! Likewise, a room full of furniture may have served your purpose when you had a houseful of guests, but now, it’s time to re-think and pare down to a few key pieces and small groupings.

Finally, in the bedrooms and other rooms where closet space is a necessity (think pantry and even laundry room), begin to clear out unnecessary items. In fact, it is recommended that closet items be reduced by 2/3, to highlight storage capacity and create the idea of spaciousness.

Stepping out to the back yard, the same mantra as the front yard applies. Fresh, clean flower beds, or flower pots, remove the yard art, keep the grass mowed and weed-free, and if you have a privacy fence, be sure it is in nicely-maintained condition.

Now it’s time to go get the car and pull it into the garage…but wait…that’s right, you know what to do…less is more, clean it up, make it sparkle, organize it! Yes, the garage can be just as important as the rest of the home. Do not use the garage as a storage area – invest in a storage unit to temporarily store the items you have removed. You worked this hard to get the house in tip-top shape; let’s not disappoint the potential buyers by giving the impression that the house doesn’t have enough storage space for everyday living.

These tips and tricks will make the home more inviting and allow prospective buyers the opportunity to not only mentally place themselves and their possessions in the home- but more importantly- shows them just what they want to see: their future castle.

By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging

First Things First | Making Your Home Ready For The Market

You have made the decision to sell. Now what? Contact a Realtor, stick a sign in the yard, and sit back and watch the prospects roll in? Not so fast. It’s time to shift your thinking a bit and see your castle from the viewpoint of prospective onlookers. It’s time to get real with yourself.

Next time you are out and returning home, don’t pull on into the garage. Come with me, park out front, across the street from your home, and let’s take a tour.

You are now a potential buyer looking at your home. What do you see?

Here is what the majority of buyers hope to see – a nicely manicured front yard: weeds pulled, yard art removed, a couple of nice flower pots with cheerful welcoming flowers, plantings mulched, shrubs trimmed, a front walk free of weeds or stains, clean windows, a nice front door that shows no signs of weathering, a fresh welcome mat, and a doorbell that works.

Let’s go inside. What is your first impression? What do you see and smell? Believe it or not, this can make or break a sale. Does the Eau Du Fido immediately greet you before he or she does? Can you tell what culinary delight you enjoyed for dinner last night upon entering? Is the entry clean and free of clutter or dust-collecting items?

Cabinets Before and After Home Staging

Fresh and clean is the go-to mantra for everything you do here-on-out, which means removing cobwebs from hard to reach areas, cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures, dusting all surfaces with a good, natural cleaning product. Laundering all pet beds and cleaning all pet areas is a must. Cleaning or removing carpets or rugs which hold lingering odors, and vacuuming dusty drapes or window treatments will remove any stale, stuffy scents. Freshen comforters or duvet covers by laundering or replacing, and pare down the throw pillows to just a few, neatly-placed in highlighted areas.

Let’s continue to take the tour of your home room-by-room. Note anything that is broken or in need of updating, such as red walls in your formal dining room, shiny, bright, brass fixtures and cabinet hardware, or dated wallpaper. Be very observant – really look hard for things like wall or window cracks, grimy electrical/light-switch faceplates, or features in the home that no longer operate correctly.

In the kitchen, clear the countertops of appliances such as the food processor, coffee grinder, or juicer. The clearer the surfaces, the more you showcase what a great workspace your kitchen has to offer. Make each surface sparkle – that means scouring the oven, microwave and refrigerator. Remove hard water stains from the dishwasher, and clean tile grout and cabinet fronts. Organize the insides of cabinets and drawers and box up most of the extras, leaving only the essentials to highlight the amount space available.

Next time: Part 2 Bedrooms and Bathrooms.

By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging

The Cost of NOT Using a Home Stager

INTERIOR Design and Professional HOME Staging: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

In today’s highly-competitive home sales market, a seller must create mass appeal.  Online perusal is usually the first step buyers take, before even crossing the threshold of a potential property.  Within the first few clicks of a computer mouse, your home must immediately invite, entice, and beckon potential buyers to move from the comfort of the armchair to your front door.

This is where the expertise of a professional home stager comes in, like a knight on a white horse, to rescue you from yourself.  Yes, we all love, or at the very least, are pretty comfortable with, our living spaces.  These abodes have been created from the heart with warmth and are adorned with memories in the form of photographs, knick-knacks, and collected items that have sentimental meaning–even that pretty wallpaper you lovingly picked out, ahem…a while back.  You still like it, though wallpaper is decidedly out–but hey, it just might come back in style, right?

And this is the difference between design and professional home staging.  Design takes everything you love and artfully places it into your home–it is all about you.  Your beloved, and very expensive, Southwestern pottery collection gives you happiness every time you see it, the many pieces of collected driftwood, scattered about various shelves and surfaces, take you back to the very places you stooped to pick them up. Yes, I’m guilty, too; yet what meaning would these items have to a potential buyer?

Staging is the process of creating and editing your space in a way that will instill a new memory for potential owners–now, it’s all about the buyer.  It’s setting the “stage,” or property, so the buyer will envision life within those walls, because they are not distracted with the details of the present homeowner’s life.

Most buyers know after about two minutes into the showing if they are going to be negotiating an offer.  Staging creates the perfect environment to allow this to take place.

A professional home stager will take into account important aspects of the real estate market and the target buyer, and will highlight the positive features of the property through the use of neutral color palates; removing worn or dated items; rearranging furniture to draw the eye to important architectural aspects of each room; updating fixtures or cabinet hardware; sprucing up entryways and sidewalks, and enhancing front garden beds with cheerful plantings; as well as, and most-importantly, depersonalizing and decluttering each space.  Yes, the driftwood collection will have to go!

You may ask yourself, “Why would I need someone to do this for me?  I have great taste, and I have a very nicely-decorated home.”  The answer is all about return on investment.  Studies show that professionally-staged homes have a 9-10 percent increase* in offers, fetch higher bids, and most always sell quicker, because they have mass appeal and are pleasing to potential buyers.  In short, they set the stage and sell the dream.

Everyone has a different dream.  Presenting a tastefully-appointed space that is functional, well-organized, and welcoming in a neutral fashion allows more potential buyers to experience the vision of living in your wonderful abode.  And that translates into a bottom-line which leads to greater opportunity for more dollars in your pocket for designing your next living space.



Professional Home Staging


Goal:  to create mass appeal Goal:  to provide personal happiness
Edits, removes, depersonalizes Adds, embellishes, personalizes
Uses neutral color palates Uses owner’s color preferences
Removes/replaces dated furniture, fixtures Highlights that quirky old chair, etc. Items hold memories, are conversation pieces or family heirlooms – must keep it
Furniture Placement: Symmetrical to accent the home’s architectural features Furniture Arrangement: Asymmetrical because you like it that way
Artwork: pleasing, yet understated Artwork:  bold or eclectic, family-oriented
Staged to be functional, welcoming Designed to be pretty and pleasing
Less is more More is perfectly okay with you, or not
Staged to sell Designed to live
Bottom line = return on investment Bottom line depends on design budget
Initial investment: up to 1-3% of asking price, with 9-10% ROI* Initial investment: varies based on taste and financial budget


*Source:  NAR, National Association of Realtors