Sue Bieber

DRE: SA637624000

(623) 810-9796
(602) 230-7600 (Office)

Real Estate Tips

Sue’s Top 25 Staging Tips


  1. Rent a storage unit – You need to make your home feel as spacious as possible so that people can envision how much space there will be for their possessions.  You will need to pack for the move anyway, so think of it as getting a jump on the move. You will probably need to pack or get rid of about 25% to 50% of the items in your home. Pack up all valuables, collections, personal items, clothes you do not need in the next few months, toys, seasonal items etc.  Haul all of these boxes to the storage facility along with any furniture that you want to save but doesn’t enhance the look of the home.
  2. Curb appeal 101 –The initial impression of the front of the home sets the tone for what buyers believe they will see inside.  Paint the outside of your home a current color.  Visit new home developments to see what is popular in your area.
  3. First Impressions Count - You never have a second chance to make a great first impression.  They say that buyers judge a home within the first 15 seconds of walking through the front door.  Will buyers fall in love with your home in that 15 seconds or will it leave a bad feeling that may not be corrected no matter how good the other rooms are.
  4. Clean, Clean, Clean – Have a professional cleaning crew thoroughly clean the house after you have packed up and hauled off the excess belongings.  Have the carpets, windows, and grout cleaned.  Many companies will do all 3 at one time
  5. Adjust your attitude – It is no longer “your home”.  It is now a house for sale.  You must “detail” your home the way you would “detail” a car you have for sale.  The way you sell a home is different from the way you live in a home.  It is temporary.  The faster the home sells the faster you be able to find your new “home” and make it fit your personal lifestyle. Try to not be sentimental about what you need to do or how you need to change the home to sell it.
  6. Depersonalize your home – You need your home to appeal to the masses.  You want as many people as possible to envision what they could do with “their home”.  Pack away all family pictures, mementos, collections, anything that will distract people from viewing the home as theirs.  Buyers will spend time looking at the wedding photos, the grandkids, or the clock collection and that means they are not looking at the home! You want a neutral palette so they can envision what they will do with the house.
  7. Sell – Give away – Throw away – Now is the time to get rid of anything you don’t need in your new home.  Invite kids, friends, or relatives to take the items you don’t want.  It feels good to pass it on to someone who will appreciate it.  If items are expensive you can take them to a consignment shop. Hold a garage sale or call Goodwill but now is the time to get rid of it.
  8. Have only one purpose per room – Don’t make rooms a combo office/bedroom or exercise room/bedroom.  It makes the home look as if there isn’t enough room for everything they will want to do.  Bedrooms sell better than an office or exercise room so if you have the beds turn it into a bedroom first.  Store the exercise equipment or if you don’t use it, now is a good time to sell it or donate it.
  9. Make an entrance – The front door is where the buyers will spend a few extra minutes as their Realtor unlocks the door.  The door should be freshly stained or painted with new hardware and lighting fixtures.  Pots of flowers at the front door such as red geraniums and a new welcome mat can give buyers that “welcome home” feeling.
  10.  Conquer clutter - Buy covered baskets to hide the last minute mess before your home is shown.  Under bed storagebins, magazine holders, rolling bins and similar organization tools can make the room feel more organized and less “messy.  Make sure bookshelves are not packed.  Empty space creates the feel that the home has plenty of storage space.
  11.  Less is more – Most homes have furniture that is either to large for the space or else they have lined every wall with furniture.  Your house will look much larger with minimal furniture.  Also consider placing furniture away from the walls to create good traffic flow and conversation areas.
  12.  Use sliders to move furniture around – They make moving furniture easy and allow you to slide everything around to see if there could be a better layout.  You can always move everything back if it doesn’t work and you may be surprised how much you enjoy your homes “new look”. You might even consider switching whole rooms around such as the dining room and family room.  Just because the chandelier is in one spot doesn’t mean it has to stay there.
  13.  Let the light in – Take down heavy draperies and replace with sheers that let more light in.  When your home is shown, make sure all lights are on and all window blinds open.  Homes that are dark are depressing and will never appeal to a buyer.
  14.  Keep the temperature comfortable -  This is especially true if you live in an area that is cold in the winter or hot in the summer.  People will not stay in a home long if they are freezing or sweating.  The goal is to make the home comfortable for them to stay as long as they want. 
  15.  Do a “smell test” – Homes that smell, don’t sell.  It’s as simple as that.  Any pet odors, cigarette odors and smelly closets will kill the deal quickly.  Put odor-absorbing containers in closets and in places that will not be noticed.  I am sure you have all heard of the trick of baking cookies or lighting a scented candle when showing a home.  The reason is simple – it works!  People’s senses are an important part of the emotional component of buying a home.
  16.  Neutral colors are best – Painting is the cheapest thing you can do to brighten up your home and it’s one less job the buyers have to tackle themselves.  Today’s best neutral colors are in gold or taupe shades.  Gone are the days of painting everything “basic resale white”.  The off-white home is not appealing to today’s buyers.  Visit model homes in your area to see what is popular in the area that you live.
  17.  Paint it black – If you have older mismatched furniture or a yellow 70’s dining set, it can be given a new life by painting it black.  White furniture is also a tried and true lighter version of this concept.  Black can be a neutral yet dramatic look to add to the home and can update a piece in minutes.  Go for the impact, the drama, and the updated look a can of spray paint can provide.
  18.  Clean off the kitchen counters – Put away the toaster, the spice rack, and the blender.  Keep the counters clear with only one appliance such as the coffee pot and some fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit. People always complain about not having enough counter space in a kitchen so make your home appear to have plenty.  Consider a portable island if your home has the room, you can take it with you to your next home.
  19. Fresh flowers and plant make the difference – Buyers don’t respond well to plastic flowers or dusty silk plants and arrangements.  Throw out the old and replace with a vase of fresh flowers or blooming plant on the table and live potted plants.  Raid your yard for any blooming branches or flowers you can find there.  Even a single rose in a bud vase by the sink adds a touch of elegance.
  20. Finish those projects – Repairs can make a big difference in whether or not your home will sell.  Buyers will hire a professional inspector to check everything out before the close and if there are too many things wrong, it can kill the sale.  Consider hiring your own inspector before the home hits the market and then hire a professional to fix the leaky faucets, the broken tiles and all the other unfinished projects you never quite got around to.
  21.  Get rid of pests – Hire an exterminator to spray for bugs, check for termites and to make sure nothing is going to turn off potential buyers.  If you have any wasp nests or bees make sure you have this taken care of before buyers arrive.  Go around the outside of your home with a critical eye to see what the potential buyer might notice.
  22.  Pets – We love our pets. They are a part of our family.  Be aware that some buyers don’t want a home that has had animals in it.  Make sure there are no pet smells and try to hide beds, litter boxes, and food bowls when you have showings. Take the dog for a walk or see if the cats can visit a friend when you know potential buyers are coming over.
  23.  Bathrooms – Spotless! That is the goal here.  Keep the counters, sinks, and bathtub clean.  Have fresh towels hanging that no one uses so they are always perfect. Hide makeup, shampoo, and all your daily items in a bin that can be put under the sink or in the closet and brought out only when you need them. Create a spa-like feel by having a basket on the counter with towels tied with ribbons. Scented soaps, lotions and candles all add to the pampered feeling.  Think upscale boutique hotel.
  24.   Accessorize for the finishing touch – Now that your home has been pared down and is spotless it is time to add accessories to catch the eye.  Group accessories in odd numbers.  Three is the best with a high, medium and low height variance.  Group by color, shape, texture or theme.  Odd numbers like 5 and 7 can work well.  If you have a candleholder or vase on each side of the fireplace, that is good for balance and uniformity.  You may consider adding 2 other items to each side to make a grouping of three for more impact.
  25.   Ask an honest friend – Pick a friend with good taste and a discerning eye to walk through the house as a buyer and mention anything she sees that you may have overlooked.  A fresh pair of eyes can be a big help.