Home Staging: 10 Commandments

Home Staging Expert Q&A, Part 3

Mid-Century Modern Home staging in Madison WI homes for sale

Recently we had the pleasure of talking with Katie Rusch, a Madison-area interior designer, home staging expert, and home décor extraordinaire! Katie had so much great stuff to share with our ROOST readers, that we’re sharing our conversation here in four installments.

If you missed them last week, you can check out Part One and Part Two. Read Part Three below – and stay tuned for more!

ROOST: Are there any "10 commandments" when it comes to staging? Things like "always take down taxidermy" or "always remove family photos"?

Katie: Yes! Here are my top 10 home staging commandments...

1. Use rooms for their intended purpose. You may love having a dressing room in that extra bedroom, but it will make buyers wonder about the size of the bedroom and the closets.

2. Clear floors, countertops, and tabletops.

3. Depersonalize. Your buyers want to see their families living there, not yours. Pack up family photos, your kid’s artwork, items that reflect your religious or political views, and all taxidermy (unless you’re selling a lodge or hunting cabin).

4. Weed and organize every closet, every kitchen cabinet and drawer, the refrigerator, the garage, and the bathroom vanities. Remove what you don’t absolutely need. It’ll give you a head start on packing.

5. Get your pets out. You want buyers to notice your home, not your pet’s distractingly adorable face or his food bowls. Plus, it’ll help keep your house clean for last-minute showings, making you and your pets less stressed.

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6. Hire a window cleaner to make your house sparkle inside and out.

7. Use cleaning products with pleasant scents so your house smells like a home, not a hospital.

8. Don’t show an empty house. Buyers need a little help to see how they might live in your house. Include a few books or magazines on the coffee table. Set the dining room table. Place flowers in one of the first rooms a buyer will see.

9. Arrange furnishings so there is a clear path through each room, from the door to the closet to the windows. Also, use furnishings to highlight architectural features like built-ins, fireplaces, and hardwood floors.

10. Once your house is listed, keep the exterior lights on. Most buyers will drive by your house before scheduling an appointment to see it.

Stay tuned until Thursday for Part 4 of our conversation with Katie. In the meantime, check out Katie’s website and incredibly helpful blog!