De-Cluttering, The Most Important Part of Staging!

Posted by on April 19, 2012 with 0 Comments

by Jannis Vann, RESA member

Living clutter-free is not the norm for most of us in our daily lives, but as we prepare to list our homes for sale, making an effort to change these habits is the first step to proper home staging and living in a Listed House.

For those like me, who believe that out of sight is all it takes to have a clean house, we need to take a tip from a recent client. Her home was so organized!  Her storage areas were already staged, just in the way she lived every day.  Well organized cabinets, neat closets, not overly crowded with clothes and “stuff.” Pantry and laundry room were well appointed!  Many of the preliminary requests a stager makes were already done because she just lived that way.  Unfortunately, this is not the norm.

A big part of the job of staging a home includes all aspects the staging process, down to the closets and cabinets. People will open every door and drawer if it stays with the house. Think about that catch all drawer in the kitchen or the hall closet that holds everything but coats. Yikes!

If you are serious about selling your house and know you will be moving, start that spring cleaning early. Don’t wait until you have listed the house to get started. Preparation will not go to waste. Even if you wind up living in the house for a few months while the house is on the market, you will be living without the clutter and things you can do without anyway. Pack it up!

Start by making all your storage areas clutter free. Go through each area. Review what you have, store what can be done without for a while and consign or throw the rest away. You’ll enjoy your daily living more and best of all, there will be less panic when you do receive that offer wanting you to close in 30 days. Prepare to move and you will be on your way to your new home in record time and without so much stress.

Another idea that will help keep the house clutter free is to rent a storage area.  You don’t want to store these things in the garage or basement.  These areas need to be staged, too.  The storage space can be organized as well, allowing you to have access to anything there without the stress of having to find something that is buried in the back of the unit.  Depending on the season, store all holiday items in marked boxes and bins.  This will help with life in general. Finding things after the move will be a breeze.  Also, consider your formal items. It is unlikely you will be entertaining after listing your home.  Carefully pack up your good china and other special items for entertaining that are used only occasionally. This will free up a lot of cabinet and closet space in the house.  You will also be able to minimize any hutches or decorative areas that will need to be staged.

Now, take the time to clean, clean, clean!  The closer to “new” a house looks, the better it will show.  Remember, no area of the house is off limits.  Also, if you clean each area after you have de-cluttered you can do this a room or area at a time. It is not so overwhelming.

Once the house is clean and de-cluttered, staging will be all that is left to do. Staging will be like the icing on the cake. A professional can review your home during the de-cluttering faze to help you determine which pieces of furniture might best be removed. These can go to the storage unit along with the boxes and bins.  The stager will then come in and transform your spaces into rooms that will show the house at its best!

That sold sign will only be days away.

Jannis Vann, RESA member
Innovations in Staging

Filed Under: General Information

Holiday Home Staging Tips Make Sense

Posted by on December 15, 2011 with 0 Comments

Using Golds and Silver Are Beautiful!

by Amy Powers, Real Estate Staging Expert (

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Seller
Home staging in general is about marketing and merchandising a residential real estate listing.  This holiday buyers should not feel like a guest in your listing, they should feel at home! 
Here are a few tips to weather the holidays:
  • Starting at the front door, use a simple wreath, with a pop of color, preferably live clippings.
  • Use lighting that gives a warming glow to your rooms, removing bright white lighting.
  • Use candles throughout, natural lighting that offers natural warmth.
  • Instead of over-sized Christmas trees and holiday specific items, accent with silver and gold. These are neutral colors that everyone recognizes.
  • You can spray paint pine cones or magnolia leaves to create inexpensive and festive mantle displays.
  • OPEN HOUSE TIP: Does your listing have a banister?  Consider offering Holiday pics of the family  made at ‘their’ new home.


  • Play inspiring well-known music without words. This may help buyers feel like singing along and can add bounce to their steps.
  • Delightful music is a great way to connect with buyers. Music is a universal language that can make all types of buyers feel joyful in your home.
  • OPEN HOUSE TIP: If your listing has a large screen t.v. or movie theater room, play a popular seasonal movie like: Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol.


  • Only natural aromatics! Available almost everywhere, use a natural essential oil in a diffuser. Many people suffer from allergic reactions to artificial and over-powering sprays.
  • Light scented candles in bathrooms. This is a space you surely want smelling fresh and new.
  • Spice up the air, place cinnamon brooms behind doors or in closets.
  • OPEN HOUSE TIP: Simmer cider with orange slices, cinnamon and cloves.


  • Yes! The sense of smell contributes to the sense of taste.
  • Have a basket out near the door so everyone can pick-up and go home with a candy cane or treat with your listings key details on it.
  • OPEN HOUSE TIP: Use seasonal foods and beverages that will add another point of emotional connection to your listing.  A positive association is very critical.


  • Add satiny and ultra-soft fabrics to table tops that tempt the buyer to reach-in and experience the atmosphere.
  • Use lush, thick and fluffy hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen to soften the cold, hard surfaces of room typically filled with tile, granite, and porcelain. (Preferably white linens – clean and crisp.)
  • Beautiful throws over beds, couches and chairs add warmth, pops of color and texture.
  • Accent pillows can also offer extra texture.
  • OPEN HOUSE TIP: Create sitting areas that offer layers of fabric and encourage potential buyers to invest time enjoying their future space.
Buyers need to sit, touch, and use all their SENSES when viewing properties.
Make your listings THE COMPETITION this Holiday Season, by being Prepared and Market Ready.

Warm Wishes of Joy and Blessings this Holiday Season!

Share With Your Realtor Partners – Seller Pre-Listing Checklist

Posted by on November 29, 2011 with 0 Comments

I shared my simple checklist years ago, but since the information is still relevant and valuable, I thought it would be beneficial to share again.   Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics and back to information we learned at the start of our careers.  This is great information to share with your Realtor Partners.  It’s an additional way to further enhance your credibility and set you apart as their Home Staging Expert, who is committed to a successful and valuable partnership.

Although the checklist is best utilized prior to the house being listed for sale, providing this information after the house has been listed will still greatly benefit both the Real Estate Agent and the Seller.  So, if you have Realtor Partners with existing listings (hopefully they have a large inventory of listings), I would recommend reviewing these items and getting this checklist to them ASAP.  It could make the difference between a hassle free, sold property and a stagnant, unsold listing.

 Sellers Pre-Listing Systems

Sellers don’t typically check to make sure the HVAC unit is working properly or check to make sure their home is structurally sound.  Typically they’ll wait until the Home Inspector checks the mechanical or structural items during the Home Inspection.  Although, the Seller is probably not qualified to check all the systems in their house, they can definitely avoid potential problems and reduce costly surprises by doing just a few simple checks prior to putting the house on the market.

- Check all cabinets and closet doors to make sure they open and close properly.

-  Make sure your refrigerator door closes properly and tightly.

-  Check refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

-  Check all faucets and plumbing for leaks or drips.

- Flush toilets to make sure the tank is emptying and filling properly.

- Check commode to make sure seat and tank are securely installed.

- Check all electrical outlets, including exterior outlets.

- Check all light switches, including exterior switches.

- Turn on the AC Unit, even if it’s extremely cold outside, to make sure it’s working properly.

- Turn the Heating Unit on, even if it’s extremely hot outside, to make sure it’s working properly.

- Thoroughly inspect all ceilings, floors, and walls for cracks, moisture, mold or wood rot.

- Test smoke detectors.

- Check air vents and clean as necessary.

- Check operation of the washer and dryer.

- Check garbage disposal.

Filed Under: General Information

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