How You LIVE IN a Home & How You SELL it, ARE 2 Different Things!

The one constant in staging training is that The Way you LIVE in a Home and the Way you SELL it are 2 Different things! (1)

The key is to OPEN up the rooms.  Once you decide to make the “Move,” many tasks will come to mind and where do you start???  Well everyone knows you must De-Clutter.    Consulting a REALTOR® or Stager is a good start as they may be able to help you save costs by using your own property and personal items – sometimes by just moving them around a bit to show the rooms off to their best advantage and removing unnecessary props.    Here are some items that will be on their lists to remove so you can get a head start on the appointment.

PERSONAL PHOTOS:  I am the worst for showing off my Grandkids but when you have a captive audience in your home to buy your home, you don’t want them looking at little Johnny or little Suzie, or you either, for that matter, to see if they know you!  Just think if they do know you – the house is forgotten and they are on to chatting about you.  Store the beautiful pictures to put up in your new home.  Leave the walls available for them to imagine their own pictures or better yet, put a mirror on the wall so they can see themselves in the house!

VALUABLES: I cannot stress enough – put your jewelry, watches, valuable “tchotchke”, small Hummel’s, anything of value or sentimental value that someone might pocket while walking through your home – AWAY.  Better safe than sorry.  Especially during an “Open House”, your REALTOR® will always try to walk through the house with the visitors but cannot be in every room at all times; especially when many people come in at once.

MONEY:  Most people are basically very honest and REALTORS® are licensed & bonded, but don’t put anyone in a situation that can tempt fate. Put coin collections away, pick your cash up off the dresser and store piggy banks in a box ready to take to your new home.

PERSONAL PAPERS – BILLS:   If your home office is like mine, it is easier to leave bills out so you don’t forget to pay them.  However it is normal for people to sneak a peek at a paper lying unattended on the counter.  Perhaps get a small box for the time being to put all your bills into until your new office is set up.

SHOES:  Many people like to remove their shoes when they enter a home, but if your doorway is littered with lots of shoes, it just looks … well…. Littered!  Hey, if it is their shoes, that is another thing.  Put your shoes in a closet for now or in your own rooms.

GUNS AND AMMO:  NEVER leave a gun or ammunition out.  Just good common sense and the new buyers may wonder WHY you have a gun in the first place? Is this not a safe neighborhood?  Don’t create problems.

MEDICINES:  REMOVE from the house – put it in a shoe box and put it in the trunk of your car.  Don’t store it under the sink – Remove it. Yes we are also talking about any Prescriptions.  Every year we get complaints to our Real Estate Board that drugs were taken from the home.  Again, best to just remove temptation and have it gone IF someone is searching for them.

KITCHEN COUNTERS:  Remove every THING from the kitchen counter. Really! The cleaner you can leave the counter, the more buyers dream of being in there. If you store appliances on the counter, it gives the appearance that you do not have enough storage space. If the counters are cleared the kitchen will look clean, inviting and help the clients think about cooking there instead of cleaning the counters off.

REFRIGERATORS:  Take down all of Johnny and Suzie’s drawings, magnets from the trip last summer, appointment slips for next week’s dental appointments….. Clean the handle, front and sides so that it shines.  If you can, clean out the inside too; many people look inside just to see if anyone is living in the home and what they eat.  Trust me – it is a natural human reaction.  Also, if your refrigerator is clean and organized, clients feel like you take care of the rest of your home the same way.

BIG FURNITURE ITEMS: Sometimes we may have a beautiful piece of furniture that belonged to Grandma that we just cannot get rid of.  When you discuss the staging of your home with your REALTOR® or stager, they may suggest you move it to the garage or may find another room it will accent.  But by now you will be more than half way there, to have your home seen for itself and not have buyers distracted by extraneous “stuff”!

We KNOW it is hard work keeping a home up and making it look ready for a potential buyer to walk through at any minute.  Get the kids to help – make it a game.  See how long it takes for them to pick everything up and put it in a box, in the closet, or garage, that did not get stamped for approval to leave out.  Reward them with favorite dinners out or a special movie or another treat they especially like to keep them helping you keep the house spic and span and picked up.

If you have any questions about staging or need help from me or my associate stagers, give me a call when you are ready.  There are more tricks and recommendations but just remember, when you are ready to move, you are going to be putting all these things away in boxes anyway, so why not start now.

Dawn O’Neal
REALTOR® for over 20 years now – let me put my experience to work for you!
ealty World Executive Advantage
Real Estate Broker License #01101500

Exceeding Expectations ~ ALWAYS! TM
A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®

(1) Barb Schwarz of  is the originator and authority on staging homes and has trained many REALTORS(R) and stagers.

About Dawn O'Neal

Dawn O'Neal - WASHINGTON - Professional Realty Services Sequim - Managing Broker CALIFORNIA - Independent Broker~Owner~REALTOR® GRI, CRS, LTG®, RRC®, PMN® ASP®, e-PRO®, SRES®, CIPS, TRC®,SFR®, CHS®, CDPE®, Ombudsman and Trained in Negotiations & Mediation from Pepperdine University School of Law I have been self employed since 1975, a REALTOR® since 1990. I am a member of the Sequim Association of REALTORS® IN WASHINGTON and WAR® plus Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and CAR® in CALIFORNIA Plus NAR®. I work predominantly with residential clients, some commercial properties, 1031 exchanges, & extensively with Seniors. I have received many awards with RE/MAX and Realty World attaining both their top award of Hall of Fame & earned many designations. I love to work with clients in person or through emails & the Internet. Please visit my web page for a full profile, testimonials & my passion – Breakfast With Santa. CA DRE#01101500 WA License #26510 My Motto - Exceeding Expectations - ALWAYS!
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