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Top '10' Secrets of the "How To's" of Staging
By Lani Leuthner

Secret #1
What do you see first?

Let’s go outside of your home….this is where you begin…..what do people see when they stop to look at your home?

Start by doing these simple steps to get a big bang for your buck:

1. Mow lawn and maintain mowing during the selling process
2. Rake leaves and remove twigs and debris
3. Repair any cracks in sidewalks
4. Clean flower beds and plant colorful plants
5. Paint front door a cheery color
6. Power wash your house
7. Replace out dated light fixture and mailbox
8. Place a new Welcome mat at front door
9. Pick up and put away all children’s toys, bikes etc.
10.Trim bushes and trees that are hiding your front door or windows.

Secret #2
Is your entry welcoming?

“This is the First Impression that will either excite a buyer or sabotage your sale.”

“When people walk into your home….they want to see neat and clean, actually they want to see “Spotless”. They will check your closets, they will look at the paint, they will look for dust and cob-webs….don’t be surprised…..Be Prepared!”

1. If you have a center hall table, placing a large fresh flower
arrangement is advisable.

2. Entry floors should be clean and shiny.

3. If your homes paint is in good condition….make sure to wash off all
fingerprints at light switches, door openings, etc.

4. If your home needs painting….do so, and keep the color light and
airy. It’s better to invest a small amount of money at this point in the
game to get a better price at time of sale.

5. Remove all clutter and pack away.

6. Your hall entry/coat closet should show 3 to 4 coats only. Buy
new wooden hangers and hang them all in the same direction.
Remove shoes, boots, toys etc. from bottom of closet.

7. Place large, same colored baskets on upper shelf for glove and hat

8. Replace outdated ceiling fixture.

Secret #3
Are you neat and clean?

“I don’t want to beat a dead horse……but, Neat & Clean is vitally important…..it really could mean the loss of a sale if your house does not present itself like the “House For Sale” down the block. Your main intent is for people to say “I want to live here”.

Let’s go over a few things:

1. All windows should be washed inside and out…you can hire a
window washer if this job seems to difficult and time consuming.

2. Every room should be clutter free….this is a good time for packing.

3. Remove heavy drapery or outdated curtains, they are sometimes to
taste specific and can throw people off.

4. Remove excess furniture….this will make the room appear larger and
many people cannot visualize their furniture in your rooms.

5. Clean wall-to-wall carpeting to remove stains and odor

6. If you have hardwood floors….show them…..if they need to be
sanded and re-polyurethaned….do it, hardwood floors are what’s
“In” today.

7. If you have a formal dining room….try to only use dining table and
chairs. The table should be at its smallest, take out the leaves…..so it
shows off to have a lot of walking area around table and looks bigger

8. Clean existing chandelier or update with new light fixtures.
9. Set the table and put flower arrangement in center.

Secret #4
Sniff….do you smell anything?

“We have to remember that if we have animals, they do have an odor and they do have accidents. Someone coming into your home may be allergic to the dander…..and they will feel that in a very short time. My suggestion is to remove the pets while your house is on the market and being presented for sale.”

1. Remove all pet food containers, dishes and cat stands and dog beds.
2. A thorough cleaning will remove all cat and dog hair

“Now on the other side of Sniff….do you smell anything? Is that home cooking, welcoming aroma of baking bread or cookies in the oven. A pot of fresh brewed coffee or a pot of chicken soup on the stove is always welcoming….of course you have to be home to do this.

Air fresheners are also helpful too.”

Secret #5

“Yes….closets, they can be a problem. When someone opens your closet doors (and they will) they want to see plenty of room. They want to be assured that they will be able to have enough room for their things.

1. Pack away everything that you have no need for now.
2. Put your clothes in same color order.
3. Place shirts and blouses together, skirts together etc.
4. Keep the floor clean just showing a few pair of shoes
5. Just as I said before use baskets on the top shelf for other storage that cannot be seen.

6. If you have a removable closet in your room…take it out…that shows that you do not have enough storage in your room.

7. Your kitchen cabs. should be orderly, straight and clean.

Secret #6

“Packing goes along with de-cluttering and emptying closets…..something we don’t want to do but is very important.”

1. If you have already hired a moving company, they will drop off all kinds of storage boxes to help you with your move….and well in advance.

2. If this is a DIY project…..you can rent a storage container that can be placed on your driveway ….very convenient.

3. Pack away as much as you can without leaving your home uncomfortable.
4. The more space and airiness people feel and see the better.
5. When we are talking about kitchens….you only want to show a max. of 3 items on your counter.

Secret #7
Emotional connection points?

“We want to try to have the visitor to your home feel connected in some way by making areas in your home “Delicious” or “Glamorous”…..try by creating special areas that they can see themselves enjoying.”

“Here are some examples:”
1. Placing a bowl of your favorite soaps by the tub with candles (lit) and plush towels bathrobe and slippers.

2. Placing a coffee pot and a couple of your favorite mugs on the kitchen counter with napkins and spoon….ready for company.

3. Set up a cozy reading space with a book and a throw / blanket.
4. If you have a garden….place a couple of chairs and table with a tray and pitcher of lemonade and glasses to share.

Secret #8
Lights on?

“Light, lights, lights……let’s keep everything light; either by repainting to brighten your space or by turning on all lamps when showing your home. Candles lit on the dining room table or in the bath…..very important also if you have a fireplace….make sure the fire is burning…..very welcoming and homey.”

“Take the time to go into each room….look at the lighting situation…..if need be purchase lamps if that is needed or update ceiling fixtures. You can purchase puck lights for under kitchen cabs. or place in dark closets for very little cost.”

Secret #9
Downplay the negatives?

“Although you have lived in your home for quite some time….it is understandable that you may not recognize the negatives…..so bring in some friends or close relative, and ask them their opinion about what is not great about your home…..then you will try to downplay that negative.”

“As you walk through your home room by room, look at what glares at you…..that is a negative.”

Some examples:
1. Remove all personal photos…..I am not saying that your personal photos are a negative, but people will be distracted by your family.

2. If you have wallpaper borders….remove them…..it is probably too taste specific.

Secret #10
Emphasize the positives?

“Let’s look for the beautiful focal points in your home that you can emphasize….such as a fireplace, beautiful windows, built-ins, etc. and play them up. Bringing in fresh green plants, placing them on the floor in a corner or on furniture always brings a completed look.”

“There are so many answers to any one problem issue….but what you should be looking for is that the people who step foot in your home say, “This is the home I envisioned and it’s the perfect reflection of me and my family.”
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About the Author

Lani Leuthner, LRL Designs
188 Old West Point Road E.
Garrison, NY 10524

Contact Author: request info

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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