Hi Friends ~

Happy New Year!  A month or so ago I was shopping at HomeGoods with a client who is putting the finishing touches on staging her home.  (Hmmmm . . . shopping for a living . . . have I ever mentioned how much FUN my job can be?)   As we unloaded her shopping cart the cashier asked about our purchases.  I let her know that we were staging a home and during the course of conversation she asked me what the MOST IMPORTANT things were in preparing her home for sale.  After a brief pause (and off the top of my head) I mentioned 4 things that all started with a “C”.  I must say that I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with something catchy on the fly and thought I SHOULD BLOG ABOUT THIS!!!   So . . . here they are: 

The First “C” –  CLEAN

It seems like a no-brainer but when I say clean, I mean CLEAN. Clean your house within an INCH of its life.  Clean like it’s never been cleaned before.  Clean EVERY nook and cranny.  Baseboards, woodwork, windows, sliding door tracks, cupboards/drawers, inside and out.  Storage rooms, the furnace room.  And . . . the hardest part . . . keep it that way for the duration of your home being on the market.  I would HIGHLY recommend that a professional cleaning company is called in to do this work.  I know . . . an additional expense to add but would you consider selling your car without having it detailed?  Would you not have your hair professionally done for your wedding?  Trust me, buyers WILL notice and if it’s not up to par, even if everything else seems okay, they may take a pass on making an offer based on a house being dirty.

Graves Kitchen Before

Clean Kitchen


The Second “C” –  CLUTTER

I’m guessing that y’all have heard this very important staging phrase . . . “Get rid of clutter”.  Yep.  Thought so.  But what does it mean exactly, especially when staging your home?  Let’s start with the intention of staging.   You want your house to appeal to the buyer so ANYTHING distracting will make  a conscious or subconscious impression.  When there are too many objects in a room people can become overwhelmed because their eyes don’t have any “resting” time.   Not every wall needs to have art on it, so be very selective which art remains and make certain it’s scale is appropriate.  I often tell clients “if it’s small, take it off the wall”.  If you have accessories that are smaller than a football, pack them away for your next home, including any collections. Remember, you want to show off  your house . . . not the stuff.   As a homeowner it can be very difficult to understand where to start (and stop) when decluttering because people are just too close to their home to be objective.  This is where a professional home stager can assist.  (For this very reason, I would call in a home stager if I were to list my home for sale.)  Another trick is to take a picture of your rooms and see what you are distracted by, make some adjustments and take another picture!

Dining Room Before Staging



DR After_compressed

The Third “C” – COLOR

Having rooms with distracting or taste specific color on the walls is a huge deterrent for buyers.   Fortunately, the relatively nominal expense of correcting a distracting wall color more than makes up for itself in buyer appeal.  So does that mean white or beige only on the walls?  Absolutely not!  I carry with me over 100 colors that will work when staging a home.  The key is selecting colors that any buyer can envision living in.  Let’s say you have a dark burgundy dining room .  You love it, it looks beautiful and coordinates perfectly with your furniture and upholstery.  That’s great for decorating to live.  Now, let’s say 20% of the buyers like it “as is”.  That can leave 80% of the buyers who only see work and expense into changing it!  Do you want to eliminate those buyers or risk a lower offer because they’ll have to change it?  I wouldn’t!!!


Ry Bedroom Before 2_compressed

Ry Bedroom After 4_compressed


The Fourth “C” – CURRENT

So, we’ve tackled three “C’s” so far.  If you’ve effectively done this when preparing your home for sale, you’re well on your way to success.  So let’s talk about what I mean by “Current”.  Are your kitchen/bathroom counters in bad shape or laminate?  Are your kitchen/bathroom cabinets a throwback to the 70’s or 80’s?  Are your light fixtures dated?  How about your faucets?  Is your furniture worn, damaged or out of fashion?  Making things “Current” in your home is likely to be more expensive than the other three “C’s” BUT DON’T PANIC!  A good home stager can help you prioritize what needs to be done, give a ballpark estimate on the cost and talk you through your potential return on investment .  This “C” absolutely focuses on the buyer’s subconscious reaction to your home by making the positive impression that they’d like to live just like this in the home!  If you spend money on these updates  I can virtually guarantee that you will get a return on your investment.  There are very few buyers out there who look forward to moving into a new home to be faced with what they believe are costly and time consuming updates.  If it shortens the time “on market” and reduces the chance of a price reduction (typically at least $5,000) wouldn’t it be worth the cost to you? 

Here is a perfect example of two older houses.  The picture below hits the mark on the first 3 C’s . . . it’s Clean, Clutter free and the wall Color is neutral but the room is lacking from a “Current” perspective.  

outdated 2


Now this is a 90 year old home that is staged with style appropriate and CURRENT furnishings.  If you were browsing the Internet looking for a new home which one would you be drawn?  


Or how about these examples?  The first picture looks nice, but the second picture shows the positive impact of inexpensively painting dated cabinets!  (If you’d like to see additional examples of the positive impact of painting cabinets, check this post out!)



Monte Vista Bath2 After

So, there you have it!  The Four “C’s” of Staging!  While it may seem daunting to follow these steps I promise it will well be worth the effort and expense!   Here’s a real client testimonial about going through the process.  Check it out!

Do you have any questions about home staging and how it works?  Let me know!  Leave a comment or feel free to reach out to me here!

Until the next time ~

Signature for Blog 3





Real Home by Jude is located in Brighton, Michigan servicing all of Southeast Michigan including:  Brighton, Howell, Ann Arbor, Plymouth, Canton, South Lyon, Novi, Northville, Commerce, Walled Lake, Wixom, Walled Lake, Milford, Highland, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Southfield, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Fenton, Detroit,  Oakland County, Livingston County, Wayne County and Washtenaw County. 

Contact Real Home by Jude to schedule a home staging or design consultation.