I can't stress this enough. The key to home staging is editing. You must edit, and then edit some more, and then edit some more.
The morning my realtor came to take photos for the listing, I had just come back from a weekend of house hunting and did not feel totally prepared. Yes, the house was clean, but it was not pared down and streamlined. After I saw my agent's photos, I realized that I still had some work to do before it was "open house" ready.
In the kitchen, I still had too many items on the counter tops, and a few too many photos on the refrigerator.
I also cleaned the fronts of the cherry cabinetry so that it would shine!
This photo of the family room was fine, but I did not like that lumpy blue blanket in the photo, so I put it in storage.
In the basement photo, I removed the decorative evergreen tree:
My realtor took some shots of the property. This photo showed the remains of my grapevine tree that my husband had thrown on the burn pile. Not very scenic!
I decided to make the fire pit a little more inviting by adding some lawn chairs. The chairs really drew your eye to the property at the bottom of the hill, making the fire pit a real focal point which could be viewed from the deck as well as the bedrooms at the back of the house.
Here's a good solid staging tip: If you think your rooms are ready for open house, take photos of them. You'll be surprised what your camera will see that you may have been ignoring on a daily basis.
Good home staging can make the difference between a house that sells on the first day and a house that lingers on the market for months. If there is one thing we have learned about today's real estate market, it is this: a properly staged home will get snagged up within twenty-four hours of listing. A home that looks a little too lived in will have its current owners living in it for longer than they anticipated.
My editing continues...I'm now pairing down for the packers. If you don't have to pack it, then you don't have to unpack it, either!