Colorado Staging + Design is a Northern Colorado based staging company.  We stage homes in Windsor, Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud and beyond. We LOVE  what we do, and part of our job is educating our clients about how staging can help them sell their homes faster (and for more money!).

A Common Misconception

Many people think that staging is just a matter of showing up, adding new furniture, and decorating.  While that IS an important (and fun) part of the process… it is not all that there is.  If we are staging an occupied home for sale, there is a 4-step process that we follow to help ensure that our clients’ homes are in tip top shape for photos and showings to potential buyers.  Read on to learn about the 4 steps we recommend in our home staging consultation process.

Step 1: Simplify

Look at it this way: You’re going to sell your home in record time, right?  Well, you might as well start packing things up NOW.

One of the biggest challenges we see is that homeowners have too much.  Too much decor on the walls and shelves.  Too much shoved in their closets.  Too much stuff in the garage.  Too much clutter on the counters.

Before we can dig into helping your home shine for potential buyers, we have to simplify the space.

Our goal is to make the space as neutral as possible to help it appeal to a wide range of tastes and needs.  You are moving out of “living mode” – where you surround yourself with the things that make YOU happy.  Instead, our goal is to get you into “selling mode” where others can see themselves living in the home.

Some things to eliminate:

  • Collections– Pack them up now for safe keeping.
  • Excess Toys- Limit each child to a small amount of toys that can be easily stowed out of sight for showings. Pack the rest.
  • Family Photos– A few are ok… large gallery walls and dozens of framed photos are not.
  • Clutter– In order for others to see how expansive and wonderful your kitchen, bath and laundry counters are, they need to be cleared off.  Same goes for dresser tops, nightstands, entry tables, desks and kitchen tables.  All surfaces in the home should be free of clutter.  When buyers see clutter, they worry that the home might not have enough storage.
  • Valuables– You are about to have strangers walking through your home, so now is a good time to pack up any valuables and make sure they are out of sight and in a safe place.  If you’d be sad if it was broken or missing… put it away.

This step isn’t always fun, but it is essential to successful staging.  The more you can pack up and thin out at the beginning, the better your home will show.  If this step seems overwhelming, we are here to help!  In addition to the decorating side of staging, Colorado Staging + Design also offers packing and organization services to help you check these items off your list.

Step 2: Clean + Repair

You know all those home maintenance projects you’ve been putting off?  Sorry to break it to you, but you have to do them.  Now.  This includes giving your house some love inside and out.  When we do a walk and talk consultation, we give clients an action plan checklist with general suggestions for what kinds need to be done as well as a personalized “task list” of issues to address for each specific property.  It’s not always the easiest conversation, but we believe that honest communication about potential issues (smells, eyesores, etc.) are important to discuss so that you can remedy the situation before they turn off buyers who enter your home.

Here is a short list of some common tasks that need to be accomplished during this stage in the process:

  • Kitchen:  Clean fridge, clean oven and microwave, straighten up pantry and throw out old food, wipe down cabinets, pack up excess items inside cabinets so buyers can see storage!
  • Garage: Sweep floors and try to consolidate stored items to one corner if possible.  Show how much room you have!
  • Bathrooms: Clean grout and toilets well, clear off counters, replace shower curtain liner if needed.
  • Exterior: Wash windows, power wash siding, sweep sidewalks, pick up pet waste, yard cleanup.

It is also important to repair anything that is broken.  Lights that won’t work, cabinet doors that won’t close, broken door handles, holes in the walls… fix them.

We always marvel at how great a house looks after just these first 2 steps have been tackled.  Why didn’t we do this all along?  Why did we live with that broken thing that drove us crazy?  It’s a funny fact about moving that we notice over and over.  But hold onto your hats, because we’re about to ramp it up a notch with steps 3 and 4!

Step 3: Update

Sometimes homeowners choose to update tile or get new carpet before selling, but typically we recommend small, simple changes to update your space.  We understand that you probably don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, but a few well planned purchases can make you a big return on your investment if they help your home present well.  Here are some examples of simple updates we often suggest.

  • Paint: Painting involves some labor, but can have a major payoff.  If you are living in a home with an outdated or extremely taste specific color on the walls you are well advised to swap it for a light, neutral color before going any further.  It is one of the least expensive updates you can do but it has a tremendous impact on the impression your home makes when people step inside.
  • Throw Pillows: A handful of throw pillows in a current color palette can refresh tired chairs/sofas and infuse new energy into your space.  Check our Instagram feed for ideas about what we are loving right now, or browse HomeGoods, Target, Wal-Mart or Marshall’s for affordable and stylish selections.
  • Throw Blankets:  A matching throw blanket can be tossed over a stain or rip on upholstery or lighten up a dark piece of furniture.
  • Fresh Towels: Upgrade the hand towels in all bathrooms to fresh, clean white (and reserve these for showings only!)
  • Doormat: Freshen up your front porch with a new doormat (inexpensive and impactful) and a couple of planters with freshly planted seasonal plants.

Step 4: Stage

Phew, we made it to the finish line!  After all that hard work, it’s time to take your home over the top.

We offer different staging options that can be customized to your needs.  If you just need a few finishing touches, our team of 2 can do a ReStyle.  This means we come to your home for 2 hours and adjust your existing decor slightly to make your rooms show well and appeal to the broadest audience possible.  This often involves rehanging artwork, rearranging furniture, and helping you make final edits to which items you should pack up.  This option is the most affordable way to implement staging into your space.

If you need a little more, we can bring in items to fill in any gaps you have in terms of furnishings or decor.  We can do anything from a light stage (accessories + art) to staging full bedrooms, basements, etc.  Each package is customized to the needs of your home and we will work with you or your realtor to get you what you need.

We love what we do!  Nothing makes us happier than seeing all of our clients’ hard work pay off with a quick sale for asking price (or more).

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.  We can’t wait start working through the process with you.

All Photos By Christa Tippmann Photography