Bob Ratliff Blog: Educating Sellers the importance of staging

Educating Sellers the importance of staging

Educating Sellers the importance of staging

Listing agents know educating sellers the importance of a well staged home will receive the best offers, setting high expectations for a buyer’s. Staging a home will set the mood for buyer’s first impressions appealing to good or bad feelings. Selling a home or buying a home involves emotional factors.

Homeowners want to sell their homes but also have an emotional attachment and want to live in them and that’s where emotions will need to be shelved while the home is active on the market.

Recommending a third party “home stagger” can be effective in offering advice to homeowners to declutter, depersonalize, lighting and other décor suggestions.

Educating Sellers the importance of staging homes interior and exterior will appeal to the houses target market making first impressions memorable to buyers and offers.

Exterior items that should be addressed:

  • Lawn: mow, edge and rake
  • Trees and Shrubs: prune and shape
  • Sidewalks and Driveways: remove debris, dirt, and stains
  • Painting: neutral paint colors and trims
  • Doors and Windows:  Clean, paint, remove screens etc
  • Roofs and Gutters: clean out gutters, repair roof shingles as needed

Interior items that should be addressed:

  • Front entrance: paint foyer door, flowers, inviting aroma smells
  • Interior Paint Colors: neutral colors and not screaming accent walls
  • Lighting: clean windows, open all shades/blinds, clean fixtures, increase bulb watt
  • Walls: patch holes; remove cluttered walls, neutral paint colors
  • Closets: declutter, organize, and rent a storage unit for items being stored
  • Furniture: arrange for space, remove furniture, pack knickknacks, and pack photos
  • Bathrooms: caulk, paint, and remove rugs, counters free, check shower for mildew, replace worn out shower curtains.
  • Kitchen: remove clutter and counter appliances, organize pantry and cabinets
  • Garage: remove all storage items that clutter, organize

Educating Sellers the importance of staging has been brought to you by Cedar Park & Leander real estate professional Bob Ratliff, REALTOR®.


If you or someone you know is considering selling a home I welcome the opportunity to educate you or them on the importance of first impressions and professionally staging homes to sale.


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Comment balloon 37 commentsBob Ratliff • October 29 2014 01:09PM


Bob, this is sound advise and sellers acting on those suggested tasks both outside and inside makes all the differnce in the world when it comes to a sale!!!

Posted by Bruce Walter (Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana) about 4 years ago


This is very good advice, and if everyone follow it, it would make life easier, wouldn't it?  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 4 years ago

Bob those are very good lists for both the interior and exterior of the house, and are valuable for a Seller to look at before putting the house up for sale.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 4 years ago

Bob ...we have very few people here who do this ...I wish we had more ...It makes a huge difference!

Thanks for the post!

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) about 4 years ago

Bruce, thanks for taking time to comment its very much appreciated.

A/R, thanks for dropping by today.

George, thank you sir...

Rob, you probably do just as good as any stagger.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Wonderful advice, Bob.  Sellers need to remember that they are leaving this home for, hopefully, something better....clean it up, depersonalize and get it sold and move on!

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 4 years ago

Hello Bob, homes that are professionally staged do sell faster and of course show very well but most don't want to spend the money. Great advice!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 4 years ago

Bob, staging is so important. I like that you point out the exterior needing attention too. It's often overlooked. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) about 4 years ago

You are so right Bob, staging can be the difference between a sale or not. 

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) about 4 years ago

This is a most excellent post. Seller need to read this one for sure! I hope you Tweeted it and posted it to Face Book.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 4 years ago

This is very great advice for sellers. You should print this out to have in your listing presentation. Nice work on this article, Bob. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) about 4 years ago

Good morning Bob. Well done! You are so right and the list you put together was well thought out. Hopefully your clients pay attention to this advice.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) about 4 years ago

Thank you Ron...

Thank you Beth....

Thank you Amanda...

Thank you Noah...

Thank you Sussie....

Thank you Debbie....

Thank you Joe....

All your comments are very much appreciated, many thanks.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Staging can indeed make the difference in selling and getting top dollar or just selling......sellers need to listen to the professionals.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 4 years ago

Thank you Barbara Jo & Corinna

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Home sellers in your area should read this post and call you to list their home for sale.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 4 years ago

Good morning Bob,

Excellent post on why staging  home can make all the difference in selling and getting top dollar! Great presentation and Debbie is right..should be in your listing presentation!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 4 years ago

Thank you Gita....

Thank you Dorie....

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Good Morning Bob: When the exterior looks shaggy and bland, the buyers might get turned off easily. Curb appeal is important. Great pointers.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) about 4 years ago

Thanks Maria......

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

What do you tell a seller who has not updated their house since 1969? We have avocado green appliances, green carpeting, and harvest gold curtains along with the grapes on the dining room table. We can't pull up the carpeting because there's only plywood underneath.
The house is clean and maintained as far as everything operating as it should. It is very dated. Suggestions?

Posted by Donna Brown about 4 years ago

Staging a home is so critically important. We never get a second chance at a first impression!

Donna, #21, needs to price her home to sell and get remodeling bids for buyers!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 4 years ago

Donna, pricing is the key and a seller needs to know they can't price their home with the market unless they're willing to update. Lower the price or offer an allowance. Hiring a savvy real estate agent who isn't scared of telling a seller what needs to be done is your first step.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

I always try to get my sellers to go and look at new homes and point out how well they are staged.  If builders spend thousands on this shouldn't all owners to get top dollar?

Posted by Art Welch, Broker (Superstars Realty) about 4 years ago

Jan, in today's market especially in Austin TX its very important to stage your home for first impressions to capture buyer offers.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Art, that is very smart I also offer this when listing a home so they can get a feel of their competition.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

Hi Bob -- I think you are wise to point out a third party(stager) can be a key player in the real estate picture in creating a "product" that can make the difference from "a listing" to "to a sale".

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 4 years ago

Michael, not every home needs a stagger but we know the ones that do and it's nice to be able to refer a third party, thanks for dropping by today.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 4 years ago

The best thing a stager can do is offer a low cost or free initial consultation.  They are the best at selling their business.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 4 years ago

I find this is mostly true of high end homes. The sellers really do need to take the personal out of the home and make it more model ready.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 4 years ago

Staging - ASP staging really does make a difference. The cost of staging is far less than the first price reduction. I think every Realtor/Broker should promote and even push staging as part of their listing presentation. You, the agent, will make more money, the Homeowner will get their property sold for (usually) top dollar and in a shorter amount of time, and the stager makes the money and therefore stays in business to help you!  It's a win / win for all involved.

Vacants need staging . . . BUT . . . the owner occupied listings really need the professional stager to come in and help them with ALL the years of 'memories' that is just eating up equity!  Either sell, donate, store or pack up ALL those 'memories' and delete all that extra furniture!  And, by all means, wait to have MLS pics done AFTER the listing has been staged!

OK . . . you are right . . . I am passionate about staging and seeing the transformation after a property has been staged! I love to tell everyone about the benefits of staging.  Thank you, Bob, for promoting this industry in your post!  Staging works and is an INVESTMENT with a great return! 

Posted by Virginia Youngblood, DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM® (DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company) about 4 years ago

Bob, this is a very doable list. When staging begins to cost significant money, many sellers experience sticker shock.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 4 years ago

Advising a seller about there property certainly can help the sales process. We have a lot of vacation rentals here. Not much to stage.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 4 years ago

Boy I could say this all day, staging is of top importance. Just talk to someone who doesn't understand why their house hasn't sold in 90 days.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 4 years ago

Karen, #30, sums it up and I agree that for executive or luxury homes, it's essential to have the home staged professionally to not only attract qualified buyers but showcase the home at its highest value.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 4 years ago

Bob Ratliff, Broker Associate - REALTOR® 512-587-5689 , lot's of good ole commonsensical info here. Staging can take an emotional toll on homeowners. Especially those who've been in the same home for a good part of their lives. It can be a tight rope for all parties concerned. But if you want to market a property quickly and efficiently you really need to do it. 

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) about 4 years ago

Hi, I really enjoyed coming across your blog among the many archieves. Thanks for being apart of Active Rain.

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) over 3 years ago