Top 5 MOST IMPORTANT Projects to do when selling your home!

Home preparation is a crucial part of getting top dollar for your home. These are the items that should happen before your home is staged. While a professional stager may recommend all of these items in a home evaluation, these recommendations are NOT considered staging, simply maintenance and preparation items.

Top 5 MOST IMPORTANT Projects to do when selling your home!


Closet Organizations – A well-organized closet highlights the storage capabilities for your potential buyers.

  • Remove everything from the floors.
  • Store purses, scarves, sweaters, t-shirts, and other smaller items in decorative bins.
  • Remove empty hangers
  • Remove seasonal clothing and pre-sale pack
  • Organize your clothing by category and then by lightest to darkest colors.

  • Create even spaces between the hangers.


Garages – Buyers are buying space and simply the more you show them, the better.

  • Pre-sale pack and remove off-site area all items not used on a weekly basis.
  • Create areas that remind your buyers of where the garden -yard equipment is stored, the sporting equipment, household paints and automotive items.
  • Organized items in bins, on hooks and/or shelving to create a sense of a well-organized space.
  • Repair and clean the walls, floors, work benches, doors.
  • Turn on all lights and clean windows.


White Glove Clean – White Glove clean goes beyond the standard into another level of sparkle.

  • Every ceiling, wall, corner, floor, door, window, light fixture, ceiling fan, switch plates, floor/ceiling vents, (you get the idea) has to be scrubbed, dusted, detailed to a clean and sparkle like it was brand new.
  • Check /clean air filters to dryer vents to furnace filters.
  • Don’t forget to clean/vacuum the blinds and drapery throughout the house.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms must shine. Detail these areas to show your buyers the pride of ownership and that this house is well maintained and desirable.
  • Freshen it up with a lemon polish for furniture and wood moldings.


Stacks and Piles – In almost every room of your house you must be careful not to leave items in stacks and piles as it distracts from your buyers dream and catapults them in the world of everyday living.

  • Envelops, loose paper, coloring books, notes, newspapers must be stored away and out of sight.
  • Items like folded clothing, towels, and blankets, also out of sight.
  • Office papers, reports, bills, calendars, toys, games etc. also out of sight.


No Household Chores – The most important impression that is made is the one you create.  It is important to allow your buyers to feel that they are getting exactly what their heart desires.  Never showcase the fact that your house comes with work.  So leave no stone unturned and improve your selling position with a GREAT presentation!

  • No dishes in the dishwasher or on the sink.
  • No laundry in the laundry basket where your guests might see it.
  • No trash sitting in kitchens or bathrooms
  • No unmade beds
  • No left out brooms, mops, dish strainers, toilet bowl brushes, etc.

Call for your personal professional home evaluation before you go on the market

If you are considering selling your home in the Greater Indianapolis area, please contact us today. We’ll set up an appointment with one of our home staging consultants and evaluate your home with clear, specific recommendations.

How does Effective Home Staging help you leverage your market position when selling?

Posted by admin under Home Staging in Indianapolis

Staging is about marketing, plain and simple. Just as nearly every other product for sale, selling a home should be no different. There are entire industries revolving around the concept that the colors you use on a label, the music piped through a store, and even the shelf, or location on a shelf in a grocery store will determine the value that consumers will place on a product. Still, with selling a home, many people believe that putting a sign in the yard, taking photos with their iphone, and putting it on the MLS is sufficient.

Leveraging your market position through home staging

pleasant run home staging indianapolis

The process of home staging begins when the seller meets or talks to the stager. Here we can evaluate the level of service needed. We can determine how serious the seller is about preparing their home, their budget and time frame that they require.  Once we’ve had an opportunity to evaluate both the seller and the home, we can create a strategy to help the seller move forward.

The staging process is different for occupied and vacant homes. The results, however, should be roughly the same. The home will be properly prepared to hit the market in the best possible condition. By creating and packaging a product that consumers (home buyers) are looking for, they will be willing to move quickly, and pay the highest possible price based on market conditions.

Don’t leave your home’s marketing position up to chance

Seller’s love their homes and so do their friends. Seller’s love the home typically because it has been personalized to them through colors, furniture choices, and placement. Their friends and family love it because it is a reflection of someone they care about. Perspective buyers have none of these influences, however. Moreover, even the friends and family who love the space usually wouldn’t personally want to live in it themselves. Only an impartial outsider can really help determine what needs to happen to put the home in the condition that will make buyers swoon.



What's the difference between an agent giving me advice & a professional home stager?

More and more it seems that we hear agents saying that they are Home Stagers, or that they provide home staging information to their customers and therefore don’t need a professional stagers. They are already “doing it”. So, that begs the question on whether there is in fact a difference between hiring a professional stager and getting the information from your Realtor.

Can Real Estate Agents be home stagers?

Yes. Anyone can be a home stager actually. The industry is fully unregulated. There are even training companies that specifically target and teach agents to become a stager. These are typically 1-3 day classes. Sometimes agents are in the same class as those training to become home stagers (although typically the home stagers have additional days added to their classes).

home staging accessoriesThe question of can a Real Estate Agent become a home stager is easy to answer. The question of whether they should be home stagers is a very different one. It is one that has actually been discussed at length inside the home staging industry. There really isn’t a blanket statement that applies to every agent. Historically there have been a few who have been able to wear both hats. But the truth is that when you look at the responsibilities of a professional home stager the question becomes, “Why would an agent be one?” or “Do you really want your agent selling your home, or staging it?”

Responsibilities of a Professional Home Stager

Generally speaking, this is a list of the common responsibilities of a home stager.

  • Provide a detailed evaluation of the home’s appearances and condition. 
  • Advise what changes are appropriate given the age, value, and likely buyer demographic of the home.
  • Help to create and/or manage a plan on making appropriate changes.
  • Provide appropriate furnishings, artwork, and accessories as needed to showcase property.
  • Set up furnishings, artwork, and accessories as needed to showcase property. Remove after sale.

These all sound pretty easy, but the truth is that there are some underlying concepts that agents have a tendency to brush over.  I know that when an agent actually has decided to help pitch in with a staging job, what I usually hear is that there is really more to it than they thought.

indianapolis home stagingStaging is not adding towels and cook books.

One of the things that we’ve seen with many agents over the years is that they believe adding cookbooks to the kitchen and towels to the bathroom is staging. It’s not. Staging creates a measurable, marketable difference to buyers. It’s never about the stuff.

Staging is not about just adding furniture.

There is no special house in a box plan that actually works. Staging has to take the buyer demographic into consideration and create an emotional appeal to them. We carefully plan vignettes that will appeal to who is most likely to purchase the home, while keeping it neutral enough for buyers outside the expected demographic.

You can’t just take everything and move it.

Professional home stagers usually have an array of inventory pieces because we know that each house is unique. The idea of taking everything and putting it in another house and making it all work is unlikely. This is what most “staging real estate agents” do, however. Because they keep limited pieces, they simply try to keep it moving from one listing to another, without taking the architecture or buyer demographic into consideration.

home staging in carmelStaging takes time to do right

From initial plan to completion, staging can take a dozen or more man hours. If your agent is taking this time to do your home, they aren’t out there getting more leads or selling other listings. It also means that when they are out prepping their next listing, they may not be marketing your home.

Often times our responsibilities lie in being completely honest and straight forward when it comes to talking about sensitive issues.

One of the key things about telling the truth to sellers is that sometimes this information can be uncomfortable to hear. Sometimes they’ll think we don’t like their home, or their taste. Agents rarely like to be in that situation so chances are they will soften the blow, sometimes at the expense of what the seller really needs to hear.

Again… Can Real Estate Agents be home stagers?

To wrap all this up for you, while it is OK for real estate agents to be home stagers. There is still the question, “should real estate agents be home stagers”? Some can do it really well and some will do it on a base level. There are others, however, that will do it below standard. It’s great that they recognize the ability of home staging to transform a property, but are they really doing the best job for you when they do it themselves?

Can some Home Staging strategies become your new way of life?

Almost every time we complete a home staging job where sellers still live in the home, we hear, “Where have you been all the years we have lived in this home?” Often the things we “correct” are the very frustrations that sellers have been dealing with since they bought their home years ago. Universally we are told that sellers wish they had lived in their home this way all along. Perhaps it is time to take some of our best home staging techniques and begin living with them now.

Five home staging techniques you can live with now

organize your closets1. Organize your closets. Closet organization is one of the most important home staging tips for occupied dwellers. We live with too much stuff and buyers are likely to feel like there isn’t room for them. Take this message to heart now and start living a more organized life. Spend a little money on getting the same hangers throughout your closet, ditching the wire dry cleaning hangers (Often the dry cleaners will take them back, making recycling them easy.) Organize by type, then color. Get everything off the floor and use baskets, bins, or boxes to store items on the shelves.

2. Strip wallpaper and paint dated spaces. You stare at your walls hating them every time you walk into the room. Still, they are so much work. Well, shocker, but we are going to tell you to fix it before you put it on the market, so why not do it now? You’ll spend the time and money on it before you go, shouldn’t you enjoy it now?

3. Get rid of stuff. Look around your home and find what’s not really working for you anymore. Sell, donate, or throw away anything that is past it’s purpose. Look particularly at silk arrangements that are 7 years or older, anything in your house covered in dust (a good sign that you don’t use it or pay much attention to it). If you’ve been hanging onto a family member’s stuff (like Grandma’s old table) find out if another family member wants it. If not, then maybe the best thing you can do for her memory is to find it a good home and someone who will love it like she did, not just sitting there taking up space.

4. Change out your builder grade light fixtures. You just built a $300,000 home and the installed a $15 dining room light fixture. It  happens every day (and in all price ranges). Light fixtures dramatically change the appearance of a room. Go to a local home improvement center or light store and get one fitting of the style of your home.

buy artwork for dwelling5. Invest in lighting and large artwork pieces. I mentioned that you should change out your builder grade or dated light fixtures, but interestingly enough, most homes don’t have enough lamps or artwork either. These are common items that we’ll tell sellers to buy or rent when putting their home on the market. Most of the time living rooms should have 2-3 lamps in addition to overhead lighting. The master bedroom should have 2 lamps, and each additional bedroom at least one lamp – all in addition to overhead lighting.

As for artwork, it’s not at all uncommon for sellers to have nothing, or one small piece of art over their sofa. A general rule is that artwork should be 2/3 as large as the piece they are hung over. For sofas, that means that they probably need to be at least 3-4′ wide.

If any of these leave you scratching your head or wanting more information, call Home Matters. We can do a home evaluation and give you ideas on how to make your home staged to dwell, not just staged to sell.