While looking for a home, have you ever stepped in a house where it looked like the seller hired an interior decorator and staged it like a model house?  You were so impressed and asked your Realtor® to immediately prepare an offer although the house next door is exactly the same as this one and even priced lower.  Sounds and feels familiar?


I just attended an intensive training on staging last week so I can offer more value to my clients especially the sellers.  I always believe as long as the property is clean and well arranged, it should do the job and sell.  Well, not really; Staging is using your timeframe and budget to prepare a house for sale so it will sell faster and get the best price.  In staging, the seller is the star, Realtor® is the director and potential buyers are the audience.  The star and the director should work as a team so they can portray their roles, execute their best and get audience impact based on their performance.  We are so emotional when it comes to our home because it holds a lot of memories to us and this is our kingdom, our pride and joy.  However, when you sell, you have to disconnect the emotional aspect and your goal is how it will appeal to the buyer to get the best and highest offer.  Less is more; this means you have to get rid of your personal collections that you accumulated over the years. You have to take down personal pictures everywhere, mementos acquired from all your trips, personal collections; change the painting although your favorite color is red or pink.  I know those are very important to you and it’s hard to let go; but you have to.  When buyers got to your home, they don’t care who you are and what you have.  They picture the house as their future home and everything has to appeal to them not yours.  Staging is de personalizing your home from you.  Most of the time, you just have to remove clutters all over the house.  To give a better curb appeal, remove all unnecessary items like hose, bikes, and dead plants from outside.  A nice flower pots maybe necessary if the garden is bare.  You may want to add mulch for a dramatic and fresh appeal.  No more 3 soft colors of paint from the outside, it cannot be as colorful as Disneyland. The interior should be a Q Tip clean as in detailed from top to bottom.  Remove all clutters like what should be there.  For example in the living room, a couch, center table, side tables.  No entertainment center, videos, toys etc.  Pretty tough I know but that is how you maximize the space which everybody is looking for.  Do yard sales, put items on Craigslist and if you don’t really want to get rid of them, rent storage for around 2-3 months.  You are moving anyway so why not pack all these.  You are already ahead of the game.  Clutter eats your equity.  Stay on off white color or tan on wall paints.  This reflects space and cleanliness.  The list goes on and on but these are the basics I can share with you.  It does not take a course to attain this; it just has to make sense to you.  It is a fact that when the house is staged, you get multiple offers and get the sales price or higher.  Buyers are embarrassed to lower the price to staged homes.  Imagine with all the clutters there and don’t be surprised to get at least $10,000 less on the asking price.  Is staging expensive?  Not necessarily.  Stagers can use what you already have in your home and just charge a minimal fee of $350 for consultation and around $600 for the actual staging.  If it is a big house, you may want to rent furniture as well.  The cost is very minimal but you get the top $$$ on your home.  This makes a lot of sense.  Remember ROSI, Return On Staging Investment.

After the class, we all went to a single house in Vienna to apply what we have learned in the class.  Each team has to stage at least two rooms in the house and I took before and after pictures.  I just can’t believe a simple room can turn into a showroom and we just use what the owners already have.  I went home after that and so excited to do mine.  What a transformation and I thought I already staged my home.  There is always a possibility and your creativity should go hand in hand.  If you do not have that, that’s what we’re here for.  Do not lose any equity just because your home is not staged well.  Don’t forget the lights that will add to it so you can get more actions and top dollars for your home.


Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. She earned a designation of ASP, Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at or call her at 571-432-8335 or email at  for a free confidential evaluation of your property, individual situation, property value, and possible options. 



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