You have hired a stager, so what is next?

You have hired a stager, so what is next? The hired stager may be doing a two-hour touch up, an occupied staging, or vacant staging. No matter the service, your home should be prepared and ready when the stager arrives to get the best value for their services.  A stager’s time is best spent beautifying your home and not cleaning and organizing.


The collectables, knickknacks, kids toys, travel souvenirs, and years of memories have accumulated.  A staged home looks and feels different than a home that is lived in. Removing clutter helps to physically and visually create more space and open up the room. Is there too much furniture in your home? You may need to eliminate some pieces or position the furniture for a better flow of the space. Some clutter needs to be removed while other rooms contents need to be reduced and repurposed. Take a look at your bookshelves, can the items be rearranged or do items need to be removed?  Pet accessories like beds, food bowls, and crates are everyday items to you but may be seen negatively in the eyes of potential buyers. Countertops in bathrooms and kitchens are also key places to look to eliminate clutter. The items and accessories that make a house a home need to be cleared to create the model home feel in areas throughout the home. Decluttering may seem minute, but this attention to detail is essential to home staging services.


Personal items and touches make your house a home and truly a reflection of you. When selling your home, the property should appeal to a large market of buyers and be less personalized. Bold wall colors, family photos, that weird one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, or very taste specific items need to be neutralized. The depersonalizing process helps to transition the home to appeal to a large buyer’s market. During showings and open houses, the focus should be on the potential of the home and not your personal taste or decoration selections.


There may be a few projects that have been lingering or need to be added to your repair list. Any repairs you have been avoiding should be done prior to staging. You want potential buyers to view the home as well maintained so don’t let small repairs negatively affect the value of your home. Do you need to hire a painter or handy man, or will you get busy on your checklist yourself? Replace bulbs in light fixtures, have the doorframe repaired, change out that electrical outlet plate, and fix the wobbly handle. Repairs aren’t just inside, think about the exterior of the home too. Evaluate your curb appeal, landscaping, patio space, roof, and garage. Take care of any necessary repairs before the stager arrives; you want buyers to perceive the home as well maintained and not as a questionable purchase.


The final step before the stager arrives is cleaning. This is not your weekly cleaning routine, but a detailed deep cleaning that you may want to hire a professional to do. Be sure to place attention to detail in cleaning the baseboards, carpets or floors, metal, dusting surfaces, and wiping down the furniture. The stager needs to start with a clean working space so the home should be cleaned before the stager arrives. Stagers are focused on the furnishings and accessories to make the home more saleable and should not be bothered with cleaning the spaces or preexisting furnishings.

Declutter, depersonalize, repair, and clean are the key areas of focus before the stager arrives. Ask your stager for any additional pre-service guidelines.