Home Staging Tips and Timing

by GraceAnn Simoni

It’s the time of year when so many people put their homes on the market. So I asked Contributor GraceAnn Simoni to share some home staging tips and advice, and some telling Before and After photographs of her work. GraceAnn is a an Interior Redesign and Staging Specialist and Instructor from the Chicagoland area.

Home Staging – When should it start?

  • When the listing is given to the realtor?
  • After the first realtor tour?
  • When negative comments come in from potential buyers?

The process of getting a home ready to sell should begin, in my opinion, before the realtor is even called. Too often the home seller waits till the last minute to seek advice about the ‘show-ability’ of the home.

Sitting Area Before Staging

Sitting Area After Staging

Show-ability = Profitability

You live in your home but you are selling a house, a property. As a home stager, we need to remove the personality of the current owner so that potential buyers do not feel they are just ‘visiting’ someone’s house, but that they are looking at their new ‘Home’.

Staging is marketing in the same way retailers use displays to showcase the product, gain attention and make it appealing to the largest number.

Family Room Before Home Staging

Family Room After Home Staging

So in essence we are marketing your home to the realtor first. There is a perceived value to consider in addition to the comparable pricing in the area.

If the realtor feels the home will be a ‘tough’ sell she may suggest listing at a lower price. Why let that happen, when so much of home sale preparation can be done for no or very little money?

‘Sweat equity’ is the term I use. How much do cleaning products cost? How inexpensive are boxes to start the packing, sorting and donating? You won’t feel that you are under the gun if you start the process as soon as you decide to move.

Eliminate some of the stress by putting together a plan. This may start with the sorting, pre-packing, donating and cleaning. Then call in the advice of a professional to help you further ‘market’ your home by:

  1. Staging the furnishings to create great traffic flow, and
  2. Highlighting the best parts of the house.

Dining Room Before being Staged

Dining Room After Being Staged

A Qualified Staging Professional is the expert in this part of the plan. Many times it begins with an assessment based of a ‘buyer’s eye’ perspective, eliminating all the negatives that may ‘stick’ in their mind as they view the property.

Spare Bedroom Before Home Staging

Spare Bedroom After Home Staging

The staging pro’s assessment should begin with the street view of the house. It will not matter how much you work on the inside if the buyer is turned off by the outside. They may never even enter; I call those ‘drive-by showings’.

You and your team need to ready your home for some great photos. Take a look at some of the listing on the MLS or the newspaper. There is nothing worse or more detrimental to the sale of a property than BAD photos. 80% of buyers first ‘shop’ on the internet before even calling a realtor to show them the property. What is your property saying? “A photo is worth a thousand words” or thousands of dollars could not be truer in this situation.

So when getting ready to sell a home, remember you are first marketing and showcasing your property to the realtor, and then making it easy for her to market it to the buyers.
Make sure you house is photo ready and has great show-ability by calling in the professionals early.



GraceAnn Simoni of Yours Redesigned Naperville, IL, is a Redesign and Staging Specialist and Instructor, and a member of Interior Redesign Industry Specialists (I.R.I.S.).

If you need help getting the The Home You Want With the House You Have™ visit www.yoursredesigned.com.

If you were selling your home next month, what room in your home would you tackle first?

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