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Staging to sell

When putting your home on the market, preparation and presentation are the key to success. To sell a house quickly, you need to attract as many potential buyers as possible. High-quality, staged photos and videos are the best way to supercharge your home’s appeal and help it stand out in today’s competitive marketplace.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many realtors are using virtual tours and adding more photos to showcase a home. This means a walk-through of each room, including the closets and some cabinets. Unlike a one-time tour, a video and photos can be viewed repeatedly, making staging even more important. Fortunately, staging doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.

Excellent staging starts with curb appeal and, when done correctly, gets the prospective buyer excited to see the rest of the home.

Here are a few ideas to spruce up the outside:

  • Add new house numbers.
  • Plant colorful flowers.
  • Buy an inviting new welcome mat.
  • Freshen up the front door with a coat of paint.

If the property has outdoor space, showcase it. Place rocking chairs on the porch or set the dining table to help buyers imagine entertaining there. After all, this is what the Coast is known for.

Inside, de-clutter and depersonalize. While you treasure photos of loved ones, they can inhibit buyers from seeing themselves living in the home. Stow personal belongings until you’re ready to move.

Open-concept homes are the most popular, so move your furniture away from the walls. Place a board game on the coffee table to cozy up the living room and arrange furniture in groupings that promote conversation. Add a few new throw pillows and pretty lamps to brighten the space.


May, June, July and August are the busiest months for home sales, with about 40 percent of annual sales volume (an average of 2.1 million purchase transactions) happening during this period, according to the National Association of Realtors.

To stage the kitchen, remove everything from the countertops except one or two decorative items, like a vase of flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit. Pack up all dishes except one matching set, and freshen up tired cabinets with paint or new hardware. Scrub everything, including the walls, cabinets, refrigerator and backsplashes. Don’t forget the pantry and inside the cabinets.

In the bath, remove clutter from the countertop and clean surfaces until they gleam. Pack your products out of sight, and create a luxury spa look with a fancy soap dispenser, fluffy white towels, candles, a white shower curtain and a new bathmat.


  • Keep closets as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
  • Be conscious of odors from cooking, cigarette smoke and pets.
  • If walls are a non-traditional color, paint them with neutral colors.
  • Clean windows until they sparkle, and leave all shades and curtains open for showings.
  • Use plastic bins to store kids’ toys under beds.

Keep your home neat and tidy while it’s on the market. Video and photos can influence their decision, but many homebuyers will want an in-person tour before making an offer.


  • Clean all “presents” in the yard to ensure potential buyers can walk the property without worry.
  • Keep cat boxes immaculate and tucked away.
  • Make a final pet hair sweep before you leave.
  • Use air fresheners that eliminate odors, not just mask them.

Susie Siemiontkowski is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. Reach her at (228) 875-1272 or, and learn more about her at

Written by Susie Siemiontkowski

Susan Siemiontkowski is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. Reach her at (228) 239-2621 or

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