Staging to Sell

Real Estate Agents ProvidenceSoooooooo many sellers getting their properties ready to go on the market right now. I can tell that June is going to be a VERY busy month. I know I have three listings whose sellers all want to go “live” during the first week of June. I will definitely be taking the upcoming long weekend to rest up and hopefully my clients will be able to squeeze in a little fun as well while they really dig in to getting their homes “show” and “offer writing” ready!

The National Association of Realtors just shared the timely infographic of advice below on how to stage and style a home on a budget. So many great ideas that are both affordable, simple, and impactful when presenting your home to prospective buyers.
Staging your home on a budget for a fast sale

First impressions are everything.

Make sure your curb appeal is all it can be… weed the gardens, mow the lawn,  tidy up the mailbox, mulch the beds.  You want a nice clean presentation as buyers pull up the drive way.

And make sure to consider your front entry and door…  fix any loose bricks on the steps, paint the front door, clean the windows,  and I always love to add a potted geranium for a classic pop of color 🙂

Once inside, a good cleaning and some fresh paint really go a long way.   If you have pets, make sure buyers don’t see or smell traces of them.  Some buyers will turn around and walk right out if animals aren’t their cup of tea or if they have allergies.

Clear out as much furniture as possible keeping only those pieces that truly help to define the room.

When placing furniture, try to keep corners clear as this will help to give the room a more open spacious feel.  (Lighting in the corners also will help with that.)   Speaking of lighting, if you don’t have over head lights, make sure to have lamps to give off ample “glow” – especially for evening showings.  You don’t want buyers calculating how much it would cost to have an electrician come in to wire for more lights in the ceiling.

And, yes, get rid of the clutter and “stuff”.  You want buyers to feel relaxed and want their eye to continue traveling around a room or space.  If you have committed to selling, you have committed to moving so just start packing!!

Keep bedding simple if you can – white quilts or comforters are great to brighten up a space.   Keep decor on couches and chairs simple as well – one throw and a couple of pillows should be fine to add some pizzazz.  (And please don’t spread the throw out across the back of the couch, it just breaks up the space way too much and draws too much attention.)

Clear off those kitchen counters and bathroom counters.  It is so important that both of those spaces appear clean and neat.   Toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, medicine, etc. should all go neatly under the sink or in a drawer.  Spice racks, coffee pots, mixers, toaster ovens, etc. should be removed from counters to show off the space in a kitchen.   (I suggest having a laundry basket handy for showings so you can load all of the extra “stuff” into it and then take it along in the car with you.)  Fresh fruit and fresh flowers are great for livening up a kitchen with color.

Outside in the backyard, group outdoor toy sets, arrange seating areas so they look deliberate, and get rid of anything that may look like “junk” to a buyer.  Seeing anything “broken” during a showing can set the tone for a buyer.  If something has been sitting for a year or more waiting for you to fix it… just get rid of it 🙂

Ultimately, you need to look at your home with Buyers’ eyes.  Be critical because buyers will be for sure!

Check out listings on-line and see how you feel about the rooms presented in the photos.   Take your own photos of the rooms in your home – do they look open and spacious or is your focus drawn more to the “things” scattered around the room.  People love to blow up pictures on their computer screens so background details matter.

And if you are thinking about selling, always feel free to contact me for a consultation on things to do around your home as well as what your home would be worth in the current real estate market.

Call/text 508-930-5259 or e-mail me at  I really enjoy helping and working with you to decide on the best solutions to capture buyers’ attention to sell your home.

Jen McMorran, Realtor
Jennifer McMorran
First Time Home Buyers &
New Construction Specialist
real estate for real people.

Real Estate Agents Providence

Kensington - Jen McMorran

Serving clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Selling from Declutter to Close!

Want to sell your home?  Start with the basics.

Together we can get you from Decluttering to Sold!

Welcome Buyers to your HomeAs a Realtor, I suggest that before you think about major projects that could be completed to attract buyers, first stick to the basics. Elizabeth Weintraub had some great suggestions and I added a few of my own based on years of working with a variety of buyers and sellers.  You would be amazed how these simple concepts can make an extraordinary difference.  (And, you’ll likely note other sellers who have overlooked them when you are out looking for your new home!)

Commit to selling

  • 1. Disassociate yourself with your home
  • 2. Your home should now become a “house”, a product to be sold just like any item at a store
  • 3. Realize that this house will no longer be yours
  • 4. Say “farewell” to each room and look to the future


  • 1. Time to pack up personal photographs and other family mementoes. Do not distract buyers with your “stuff”.
  • 2. We want buyers to envision their personal treasures in your home and on your walls. We want them thinking about how they could make this their next home (and not be distracted by trying to figure out what type of people are currently living in the home.)


  • 1. If you can live without it while you sell, pack it up!
  • 2. If you don’t use it, either give it away or throw it away. Why pack it to store at your next house?
  • 3. Scale down your book shelves and leave some empty space on them by removing books, knick-knacks, photographs, etc.
  • 4. Clear kitchen counters of everything. Put soaps, paper towels, etc. under the counter. For ease, place it all in one basket then put away for showings.

Organize closets, pantries, and cabinets

  • 1. If your closets and cabinets are organized, buyers will assume that the rest of your home has likely been cared for as well. (If things are messy or falling out, that will definitely send the wrong message!)
  • 2. Stack dishes, mugs, and glasses neatly.
  • 3. Face canned goods and boxes all forward.
  • 4. Place clothes on matching hangers and have them facing the same direction. Remove items that are out of season to make the closet seem more spacious. (We never want buyers concerned about a lack of storage!)

Rent a Storage Unit

  • 1. While homes typically show better with furniture, less is more. Remove any pieces that may interfere with what should be walkways and doorways and those that are oversized for the room.
  • 2. Take out extra leaves from dining tables to create more space. Also store extra chairs.
  • 3. Make sure to leave furniture that helps to define a room’s purpose and make sure the “purpose” has sensible widespread appeal.

Replace/Remove Excluded Items

  • 1. Many sellers like to exclude favorite “items” when listing their homes.  Buyers on the other hand might like them to convey with the property (i.e. refrigerator, chandeliers, window treatments, swing sets, etc.)
  • 2. Better to remove them and/or replace them before the buyers know what they are missing.

Make Minor Repairs

  • 1. Cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • 2. Patch holes in walls and ceilings.
  • 3. Fix leaks.
  • 4. Fix doors that do not close and drawers that may get caught.
  • 5. Paint rooms a neutral color. Check out popular home décor magazines for current color palates.
  • 6. Make sure all light fixtures and light bulbs work.
  • 7. Update curtains, bedspreads, table cloths etc. Again we want buyers to see the home not become preoccupied with your personal style.
  • 8. Clean carpets and floors! You may be used to the spots on the floors but buyers are going to notice them all.

Make the House Sparkle

  • 1. Wash windows inside and out.
  • 2. Clean exterior making sure to get rid of any mildew, dirt, etc.
  • 3. Dust window sills, mouldings, heating elements, lighting fixtures, etc.
  • 4. Recaulk tubs, showers, and sinks.
  • 5. Polish faucets, door knobs, cabinet pulls, and mirrors.
  • 6. Make sure to eliminate any strange odors (pets, smoking, strong cooking, mildew/mold). Smells are an immediate turn off to many buyers and not a good impression.
  • 7. If carpets cannot be cleaned, replace them.

Curb Appeal

  • 1. The curb appeal of your home is the first impression you will make on buyers.
  • 2. Keep the yard clear of toys, trash, dead plants & shrubs
  • 3. Mow the lawn.
  • 4. Trim bushes.
  • 5. Paint trim, railing, and front door if needed.
  • 6. Think about shutters as a nice addition to your exterior.
  • 7. Have house numbers clearly visible and looking sharp. (Spray paint can do wonders on mailboxes and house numbers.)

Now Scrutinize!

  • 1. Walk up to the front door. Are you compelled to see what is inside? Is it welcoming?
  • 2. Go inside and check out each room. Linger in the doorways as a buyer would. What is your impression? Do the rooms impress you? Do they have impact?
  • 3. Should you move anything? Should you remove anything? Check out other listings on-line in your price range and make sure you can compete or better yet, that your home shows better!

Still confused? As a Realtor I work with all sorts of buyers and know what they are looking for in a home.  Though it is not always easy to deliver news to a seller about the state or decor of their home, it is part of being a Realtor.  I’ll be honest, but know it is because I am committed to helping you as a seller through the entire process – Decluttering to Close!