Preparing Your Home for Today’s Market: Do's & Don’ts From a Morris County Stager

Home Stager with Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC

Preparing Your Home for Today’s Market: Do's & Don’ts From a Morris County Stager


1. Not listen to your Realtor, and list your home above fair market value – today’s fair market value, not 6 years ago when homes were selling like hotcakes - face it, those day are over…....for now!

2. Clean your home by cramming all your junk into every conceivable storage space. Buyers look in closets and cabinets – it’s a given! If your closets are crammed with “stuff”, your sending a flag that their “stuff” won’t fit either.

3. Wait until the first open house to eliminate unnecessary furniture and clutter. Rent a small storage space or call on family to store the things you don’t absolutely need. This serves two purposes: shows the rooms bigger and you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to moving.

4. Assume buyers are going to take on all your unfinished projects like leaky faucets, broken doorbells, torn screens, and chipped molding. Today’s buyers want turnkey homes - they don’t want to finish your DIY projects - they just don’t!

5. Forget about curb appeal it’s the first impression; what buyers see on MLS and when they arrive at your home. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, put down fresh mulch and add a few potted plants for pops of color and use a  blower to remove debris from your driveway, walkway, steps and porch. Drive buyers in, not away!

6. Fill the house with scented candles, air fresheners and Glade Plug-ins that scream you’re trying to mask a hidden smell – you’re not fooling anyone. It’s like substituting perfume or cologne instead of taking a shower – it doesn’t work and is a huge turnoff! Clean is the only smell everyone loves!

7. Assume buyers are pet lovers – many are not and even if they are, they don’t love your pets! During showings and open houses, temporarily take pets out and all traces of them. This is a hassle, I know, but it’s temporary and you want to sell.            

Now for the Do’s:

1. Find a reputable Realtor who will price your home based on their research, knowledge and comparable comps, not what you think your home should list for. 80% of people think their home is worth more than it is.  You don’t know the market – that’s why you hired a Realtor, remember?!

2. Paint the interior of your home if it hasn’t been done in 10 years – it’s the biggest bang for your buck with a 150% return on investment. Painting is the best way to clean up, neutralize and rid your home of unpleasant orders that have permeated the walls. Stick to beiges, taupes, creams, grays – it goes with any décor. Red dining rooms are out folks – it is what it is!

3. Throw out any outdated, dusty floral arrangements and flower swags that went out with the eighties. Replace them with real plants, or buy silk arrangements that will pass for the real thing – just not at the dollar store!

4. Replace or fix leaky toilettes, broken cabinets, door hinges, knobs – you know - all the projects you’ve been meaning to do, but didn’t. Now’s the time!

5. Highlight and clean up outdoor spaces like patios, decks and porches. Create a lounge or dining area, replace old welcome mats that say anything but, or add a few potted flowers.  Outdoor space reigns supreme in today’s market so give it a facelift.

6. Make your master bedroom non-gender specific. Invest in neutral bedding – grandma’s quilt isn’t going to cut it – look for a “bed in a bag” and keep it simple.

7. Invest in a home staging consultation. Home stagers are experts on preparing your home for the market. They understand and can implement necessary changes that will give your home that competitive edge it needs in today’s market.

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Elite Staging and Redesign - Kristine Ginsberg - 201 602 2562


Home Staging Morris County - Staged to Sell, Designed to Live!

You have 90 seconds to make a great first impression once your home goes on the market. Consult a Morris County professional home stager serving Union, Essex, Sussex Counties for that competitive edge so your home stands out from the competition, selling faster and for top dollar!  

Elite Staging and Redesign offers home staging services to North Jersey homeowners, real estate agents, banks, builders, and investors in preparing homes to stand out in today’s real estate market. For a consultation on vacant staging, lived in homes or interior redesign projects call Elite Staging and Redesign at 201-602-2562.

Morris County Home Staging Website: Elite Staging and Redesign

Morris County Staging: Portfolio





Re-Bloggged 18 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Calwhite 09/30/2011 08:27 AM
  2. Mike Mitchell 09/30/2011 09:18 AM
  3. Kathy Streib 09/30/2011 09:38 AM
  4. Ian Lazarus 09/30/2011 11:45 AM
  5. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 09/30/2011 02:23 PM
  6. Garrigus Real Estate - Call Now: 1 (888) 9-LIST-IT 09/30/2011 05:38 PM
  7. Louise Thaxton 09/30/2011 05:52 PM
  8. Roy Kelley 10/01/2011 10:24 AM
  9. Cheryl Ritchie 10/01/2011 11:35 AM
  10. Gene Riemenschneider 10/01/2011 02:08 PM
  11. DeeDee Riley 10/01/2011 03:50 PM
  12. Jenny McCarty 10/01/2011 10:01 PM
  13. Barbara Martino-Sliva 10/02/2011 10:23 PM
  14. Gabe Sanders 10/03/2011 07:19 AM
  15. Carla Freund 10/19/2011 02:20 AM
  16. Julie Baldino 10/30/2011 12:51 PM
  17. Kay Van Kampen 10/30/2011 02:30 PM
  18. Dale Taylor 01/02/2012 10:03 PM
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Jerry Newman
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation
Green Home Realty, 210-789-4216,

Kristine, I just saw this as a re-blog, and realized that I missed it. Now, if we can get our home owners to follow all of these Do's and Don'ts, their homes will be well prepared for any showings. They are more likely to get a faster sale too. 

October 12, 2011 12:11 AM
Carla Freund
Your Raleigh - Cary Relocation Specialist
Keller Williams Preferred Realty

Kristine - Great advice & perfect photos. I was searching for do's and don'ts to share with clients. I'll be reblogging!

October 19, 2011 02:14 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Great post & I'm glad you told them to get rid of the country ducks wallpaper & the swag draperies from the 80's.  Who cares how much they 'did' cost. 

October 30, 2011 11:12 AM
Sylvie Stuart
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagstaff, AZ
Keller Williams Check Realty 928-600-2765

This is a fantastic list! It's amazing how simple a lot of this is, but when done can make a big difference on when the home sells, for how much and even if it sells!

October 30, 2011 11:53 AM
Dan Walker
Specializing in Gated Communities
Walker Realty

A very over looked item is the front door itself, and not just the appearance of the front door. I know when I am showing homes that if the key doesn't work properly, if I cant get the lock unlocked without exerting brute force or I have to shove the door open I am very dissapointed right off the bat. 

Every agent's responsibilty is to check the door and locks that other agents are going to open and make sure they are functional! If you have a hard time just getting in the door it often all downhill from there.

You will usually find this where the owners always park in the garage and never use the front door. Check those locks and door knobs....make it easy to show and sell the home.



October 30, 2011 12:31 PM
Cathy Perry
Keller Williams Realty

The quality difference between those cheap stems from the dollar store and some really beautiful silk flowers is amazing.  Sometimes stores like Home Goods will carry mark downs of the really good stuff.  I fooled an interior designer once with some silk peonies that were incredibly realistic, all they were missing was the ants.

And thank you Dan, #68, for your comment on keys that work.  I've had some horrible problems in that regard where Mr. Buyer has had to put his shoulder to the door to get it to open.  My son said he knew he was meant to buy the home he did because the key worked beautifully on the first try, and the whole home matched that great first impression.


October 30, 2011 12:50 PM
Ric Mills
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge
Keller Williams Southern Az

Great Post.  If you want maximum dollar then make the home shine.  Finish all the projects, paint, etc.  You are in a competition with a lot of other homes.  You need to play the game to win, not just show up.  I play to win and I won't take a home that is way over priced.  No one will be happy and I save me a lot of grief by being honest.  It costs me some listings but in the long run it saves me money and I stay more focused on the ones that I can sell for my clients.

October 30, 2011 01:20 PM
Kathy Strader
Memorial Staged Homes

I hope some seller's read this post.  You hit the nail on the head!

October 30, 2011 01:57 PM
Beverly Femia
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage

Yes, Kritine, I missed it to!  Very well said and your presentation is charming.  As soon as the dust settles with the reblog, I'll be reblogging this one.  After all, I coudln't say it better myself.   Congratulatiosn on the feature. 

October 30, 2011 02:00 PM
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections

Hi Krisyine,

Looks like it's going to be "Stagers day in the Rain". LOL

Great bunch and I do mean Bunch of advice, all good.

What do I have to do to get a "Home inspection day in the Rain" ? LOL

A well deserved Feature post.

 All the best my friend, keep warm inside, Clint McKie

October 30, 2011 02:00 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Kimo's Lifestyle Solutions
WikiWiki Realty

Excellent tips for everybody in the real estate business, great post.

October 30, 2011 02:11 PM
Kay Van Kampen
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions

Excellent points and great tips.  You even made me look at my house and remove all the old plastic arrangements.

October 30, 2011 02:28 PM
David Grbich
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484
Ventana Coastal Properties -

Great post - every point was right on!

October 30, 2011 02:34 PM
Akerly Real Estate Team Manhattan & Brooklyn Real Estate
Akerly Real Estate Team

Great advice on how to effectively sell your home!

October 30, 2011 06:17 PM
Jacki Kennedy
Staged to Wow, Houston TX
Staged to WOW Home Staging & Redesign

As stagers we all continue to talk about all these great do's and don'ts. So why do so few home owners seem to understand the value?

October 30, 2011 07:32 PM
Sylvia Jonathan
Broker Associate, SFR
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties

Thank you for this post. I find the reference to grandma's bedroom and flower swags from the 80s especially a propos. I had a listing period with a seller who did everything I recommended, including price adjustments, but the seller would not budge on removing excess old-fashioned decorating nor agree to consult with a stager. Absolutely would not. The house did not sell.

October 31, 2011 12:10 PM
Debbie DeMarco
Staging by Design, LLC
Great tips and ideas!! Simple things to do to sell your house faster and for more money.
October 31, 2011 04:37 PM
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
The Ocala Dream Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty

Hi Kristine,  Great post.  Today's rain drops are all about stagers and your title suggested the same but you post contained so much more!

October 31, 2011 07:18 PM
DeeDee Riley
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA

Great list of do's and don't, Kristine and you are right on with all of them.  I am a big fan of home staging!

October 31, 2011 10:25 PM
Liane Thomas - Corona & Riverside Real Estate
Bringing you Home!
The Jet Team, Keller Williams Realty, Corona Real Estate

What a wonderful list! You hit the nail on the head and thank you for sharing.

November 03, 2011 11:37 PM
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Kristine Ginsberg

Morris County, NJ Stager
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