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  • Writer's pictureJared Jones

How to Stage Your Home for Top Dollar | Jared Jones | Jones Group Real Estate


Jared Jones, broker of Jones group real estate. I'm excited to share with you some of my most critical tips for you as a homeowner to make sure that you get the very most that you can get from the sale of your home. So one of the things that I always talk to sellers about, right, as we are getting ready to hit the market is prepping their home for a video and prepping their home for the photography session. One thing you really need to know is that this process, this point in selling your home is one of the most important things that you can do to make sure that you do not have any hurdles to getting to the buyer faster. And you don't have any discounting and things of that nature that has to take place. That's unnecessary. Okay. One of the things I like to liken about this process of setting up your home for sale is keeping the buyer on green lights, keeping them from the point they see it online.

To the point they walk through the front door, to the point, they walk each room that there's nothing in the way that causes them to hit a caution light, a yellow light, or worse, a red light through the process. And so there are things that you probably are aware of in your home that a buyer should not see. Okay? So there are things that are glaring and those need to be dealt with immediately before a buyer comes through your home. And there are certain things that just, we have to prepare for in regards to photography. Now, this is the part that most sellers hate, um, is getting the home ready. And I understand it. And I don't mean to offend as I go through the steps of things here that you need to plan for because we all live in our homes. If, if our home didn't have people living in it and there weren't kids and there weren't guests, um, then, then we would, we could look like a model home, but the reality is that the moment we move into our homes, we start to use it.

And as a result, um, we have to make it more neutralized and ready for a buyer to see it and buyer and a buyer to pay top dollar. So one of the things I want to share with you is the basics. Okay? So number one, do not list your home. Do not have photography shot with burnt bulbs. You need to make sure that every light bulb in your home is working. If we shoot a chandelier and a bulb is, is burned, then you have dark spots in your photography. Um, also when you have vanities or bulbs that are visible, you don't want to have the weird spiral, uh, energy-efficient ones that are just ugly. Okay. Very distracting for a buyer. You might be used to them, but seeing them bare, hanging out of a light fixture is not what we need to have in the house.

So make sure that there's no Burt bulbs, the fans, the lamps everywhere, the light kit, make sure that those are ready. The next thing that you want to do is take down every bit of a family photo. Okay. So one of the basic things that we can start to do to declutter a home is getting down pictures of your family pictures that are on nightstands pictures that are hanging on the wall and what this is. Uh, this is very important in ways that you probably have not thought of, remember, we're going to give you a global presence in the marketing of your home. So everybody's going to see this home. And so it's super important that, um, if you have some stranger, uh, in another country, they can't zoom in to a living room photo and see a wedding picture and look at it. I mean, it's just kind of, there's a creep factor to that, but the more important thing is more showing your house.

You don't want buyers distracted, okay. By looking at you. Okay. So you don't want them to see your picture and get caught up on who is that? Do I know them? Where are they in that picture? Do you have we gone on vacation there or where they are? You don't want that kind of stuff. Um, so number one, that will probably clear out a lot of clutter in your home is taking down personal photos second and third and fourth, take down anything that you can help it. That is branded okay. That has a religious or political icon. Right. Because there are three things I just said, no branding, no religious icon, and no political icon. Okay. So, um, you may be of a certain faith. I am as well, but I would tell you don't leave major religious icons up in the house. Okay. Um, don't do it with branding.

Okay. If you have a Wheaties box and someone can recognize Wheaties and I mean out in the open. Okay. So think about it in common staging. There's a lot of people that store their cereal on top of their fridge. Okay. Well, because I've said remove brands from comments, place your house in the kitchen will be that much more clear. So no visible brands in your closet. You're going to have brands, ideally, no, uh, personal keepsake stuff out, and you're not going to have any, um, religious icon or political icon, or you've got a major political figure and you have a massive portrait of them in your living room. Take it down. Okay. Um, so what we're trying to do is neutralize and not distract buyers. Okay. Um, so the next thing I want to share with you is, um, when you're setting your home up to be shown, you do not want valuables out.

So make sure you secure all valuables. In my 18, 19 years of selling real estate, I've never had an issue with someone taking something never, never in 3000 plus home sales. And I want to keep a track record. Okay. Now, as agents, we're held to a very high standard for when we're walking around properties. So we want to make sure that that stuff is kept put away. And it's very, um, it's, it's, it's hidden away where you can manage it. So let me go through this really quick, and I'm gonna show you some photos of exactly what to do and what not to do as it relates to setting up your home for sale. Okay, I'm going to give you two quick rules of thumb, and then I'm going to show you what I'm talking about in real terms, I'm going to show you before and after pictures of staging consults and how people dealt with those situations to get their home sold for the most amount of money, here's the reality doing this right, is going to put money in your pocket, doing it right, is going to get you more competition, a higher price, possibly a bidding war, doing it wrong will cost you money, distract buyers, and it will in the end, um, hurt your sell price or her how, how fast it takes you to sell.

Goodness knows you don't want to put your toothbrush away every single day, re prep your house for showing every single day forever. It is a horrible process. It's no fun. Okay. No one enjoys setting up their house, getting out, showing it. We want to get through that process, um, as efficiently as we can for your own sanity. Okay. So let's talk about this. Um, you're putting things away too good rules of thumb. Um, and, and talking about, do I need a storage unit? Well, sometimes if you can get a storage unit, that's great. Okay. The storage unit is the best. Um, what is better, better is putting everything in the garage, putting it and in a corner of the garage and building it out from there, getting as much in there as you can possibly can. So storage, if you can offsite and you have a lot of things that need to be put away, offsite it.

If you can't garage beyond that, just get it out of, out of the areas that you're in, and put it in one space. So you're thinking about good, better, best if best is storage and better is the garage. Um, best is Jared. I have no garage. I'm in a townhouse. I have no storage capacities not going to happen, for practical reasons. Everything in the corner of one room, take one space. Instead of it being in a little bit, it's in pieces in dribs and drabs all through your house, park it in one space, okay. Here are the two quick rules of thumb. And then I'm going to dive right in and show you before and afters of a house set up. Right. And you're going to have a really good idea of how your house should look. Um, number one, um, you want to make sure that on tops, you're talking about nightstands, uh, you're talking about sofa tables.

You're talking about, um, any type of shelving that's on a bookshelf or an entertainment area that displays things you all know they're shelving and there are tabletops. Okay. Here's the rule of thumb when it's less than about two feet square. So we're talking nightstand or a shelf on a bookshelf. That's just a small, short shelf. When you're doing a display on those items, you need one item on that tie on that size of space. So you're only dealing with two feet, one item centerpiece, that's it get rid of everything else. Um, when you're talking about a sofa table something, that's a little bit longer, a dining room table, something that's over two and a half, three feet and beyond literally at the max, try and book in two items on that piece. Okay. Two items, one on each end, bookend it. So you have something at one end of the table, like a candelabra, and something on the other end.

And then again, bathrooms and kitchens. You won't bear it. You want the very much bear. I'm going to show you examples of all this right now. So let me, you dive in. You're going to be able to see some examples as I'm pulling them up on the screen of before and after examples, because listen, one of the things I want you to know is you're saying, Hey, Jared, this is crazy. I got to go to this much trouble to show my home. Some of you have been through the drill, so you're not as concerned about it, but let me tell you this. When you are showing your house and the day that we set up for photography, you don't have to be as sharp when the person's coming through the front door. Okay? So let me say that again. We need a hundred percent, a hundred percent preparation for photography and video, because that is the that is, is the cornerstone, the foundation for getting the whole world to know that your house exists and entice them to want to buy it.

Because if I can get them from the other side of a screen in through the front door, you get more forgiveness visually from the person's eye, when they're standing there in your head home in person. What that means is when they come to the house to see it, you can be about 70 to 80% put away. As you were on the day that you shot the photography. Perfect example. On the day we shoot photography, please put the coffee maker away. Please put the small appliances away on the day. We should no, your house, the coffee maker doesn't have to be put away. There can be more things on the counter at that time because when a person standing there in person, there's less, the eye itself and three degrees live dimension has a better view of seeing how much space there is. Um, when you're trying to get a space photo, you have to really remove the obstacles that allow someone to see space.

Okay? So let's jump in. I'm going to show you some different things. All right. So let me show you some before pictures of this house, this right here as a studio kitchen, this kitchen at that was actually an in-laws suite, but this is a quintessential photo that has all the no-nos and setting up the kitchen. Okay? Here are the number one, do not leave magnets on your fridge. That is bad, super bad. Um, the clean dishes are in the dish. Drainer. There is a bunch of appliances on the top. There's a bunch of junk stored here in the room right now let's take a look at this again. Okay. They couldn't put the microwave away, but we cleared everything out of the fridge, the spice racks, not all busy with a bunch of stuff sitting on it. They could have stuck a little icon on top of it, but again, much, much cleaner and easier to see than that was.

Let me show you the one other thing that is very common in real estate setups is an of times people will do weird setups in a room that's unclear, common. You don't want to do that. Sometimes people will put a bed instead of a bed being up against the wall center with nightstands on either side. A lot of times we'll see some people put the bed diagonal down the center of the room. Don't want to do that. You want, if there's a reason that you're trying to make room by doing it that way, you want to solve that problem by removing one of the furniture pieces and putting the room normally, check this out. This is a game room. Okay. Now you've got all this junk on the bar and the table is set diagonal through the room, which actually photographs really poorly. Um, this was the previous agent shot.

This was our setup in the same room. Just nice square, nothing on the bar and then the table. And when we actually have a wide-angle of that, that same room, you'll see you. Would've seen it's just much better, um, set up. Okay. Let me show you a couple more. All right. So in this next shot, I want to show you a kitchen done, right? And a kitchen did wrong. Okay. So, um, this, again, this was a, before we sold this house after the first agent had in the market, this might be what we would call a typical showing setup. Like if you were had a buyer inside the home, this is pretty clean and you might be looking at saying, well, what's the problem. There's too much on the counter. That is the shot that you need four photos. You want very little up there.

So this is a much cleaner shot than this one. There's the big convection of, and this thing is really tall. And the more stuff that you have stacked up on counter spaces, just not helpful for the, you know, showing the property off in the video. And here's another shot. Okay? So this is the before same kitchen. Okay. Opposite direction. You got a rice cooker bananas, some warmer thing, tea, pot stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, magnets on the fridge. This looked, this is the former agent's picture. This is ours in the same direction. Notice what we left. That's a commercial toaster. That's a commercial, looking higher, a feature toaster, a commercial mixer, a block of knives, things like that. Leave those behind you. Don't want a ton of things on a three-foot stretch of counter space. You have one thing here in the corner and then a nice big stainless steel finish appliance.

And even this would have been optional. I would have been like, Hey, we could keep it. Or we could get rid of it. We took the stuff off the top of the fridge and it's just a much cleaner kitchen, something I didn't mention. Don't leave mats on the floor. You can see that Matt, here, we get rid of those. We do not want mats, um, in the floors of any of our properties and we're actually going to shoot them. Okay. So if you have floor mats in your bathrooms, kitchens on the day of the shoot, you want to get rid of those. Um, so let me show you another one. Okay. So this house, same deal, a lot of stuff in it. And this owner really sweet person, we're still friends. Um, but they had a lot of challenges of getting rid of this stuff. They did not have a lot of places to put it.

Um, but this is the before picture. You'll notice. See the nightstand family photo candle, something, something, something, this is the before picture. This is someone else who had the listing before us. And even though this is more than I want in it, this is the after picture. Okay. You'll notice we went a long way to try to get rid of a lot of stuff off of this top. Took a lot of the things off of this. This is not as lean as I would want it, but you can see the contrast of both pictures that it definitely looks a lot better concept in real estate is a clue. The cluttered mind does nothing. If you give too much going on in a shot, the buyer's mind, they're just going to try and say, ah, it's too much going on. I got to look at something else, check this out.

So you can see from this particular shot in the left side of the photo here on the doorway, there's stuff, there's stuff, there's stuff, there's stuff all over the walls, just hanging stuff everywhere. And if you kind of go over here, let me give you, um, the after effect, look at the restage, just clean, just nothing there. You know, the owner probably thought to themselves like, wow, my house is empty, but that is how you want it to look. All right. So take a good look at this room. Okay. Cause this kind of encapsulates a lot of what I want to say. Um, there are stuffed animals on the couch. There are rugs on the floor, the catty-cornered pool table, which I showed you this on a previous shot there's stuff in the corners on the walls. Look at these family photos galore. Um, this is a perfect before and after shot to show you guys, um, take a look at the finished, um, reset.

Okay. So notice, just display on the end, the corners. Nice and clear the walls. There's only one sconce on either side. The table looks great in the next room. There's nothing on the floor. There's nothing on top of the couches. It's just leaner. We didn't get rid of everything. You'll notice there's the stuff that's displayed on either side of the TV, but it's just a lot leaner and that's, what's super important. So, um, you know, as we talk about setting up a room, um, I need to tell you that chances are, there's probably too much stuff in your house. Okay. Um, when you have usable space, like a bedroom, it's very common that you put a bed and two nightstands, and then you put a ficus tree in the corner and then a lamp in the other corner. And then you put a desk. So the kid can work.

All those things. You want a basic setup. You want a bed, two nightstands and nothing else. Um, in most smaller rooms that are 10 by 12. There's just always usually way too much stuff. In our bedrooms, we start adding things like, um, tables that stretch out our back. We add treadmills and exercise equipment. We add additional massage chairs. We add all kinds of different things that do not help the photography and video process. So like when you have a room, okay, listen, when a person is trying to see how big your house is, they're scanning the room on a photo or in the video. And they're looking at open space. So when you look at a flat dimensional item, like a photo you're actually the mind is able to see how big space is by the open spaces. Particularly the corners and most homeowners are very good about filling up the room all the way to the corners, my bigger pet peeve, uh, the ways just basic things that you'll do to set up your house the right way, change those lights, get all the family, heirlooms, phototype stuff, nichey family-based stuff out of the rooms.

And then clear the corners. Don't cover the corners with more stuff, get rid of the corner stuff, get rid of additional furniture pieces, and then you'll end up clearing a lot of what's on the walls. So if you have very busy spots, um, very busy spots are not a good thing on the walls. Um, where you have multiple pieces, you want to thin those areas out. You want more room in, in my best advice for any home seller. When in doubt, take it out. If you're ever on the line, whether or not something should stay in the room, get rid of it. You'll never go wrong with over leaning out a room, okay? You only need the basics. You only need the basics. If you're in a dining room area, dining room, table, and some chairs, that's it. If there's a big vase behind the table and there's a big buffet behind that, and there's all the stuff, chances are there's too much going on.

And listen, if a buyer cannot see the home, then you know, you're not selling them your furniture, not as a first, um, first goal. So, um, the more empty, the more cleared out it is, the better your home is going to photograph and video and the faster it's going to sell and the fewer hurdles you're going to have. Okay. Um, if you have any evidence of staining or a leak that took place anywhere, you need to look for that to remedy it. If you look even in your garage, there are people, homes we have that we've gone and I've represented a buyer buying the house. And there was a garage. Uh, there was moisture on the garage ceiling that the buyer, the seller of the house didn't even know it. And then we're negotiating off inspection money, um, water staining, previous baseboards that have water staining agents are looking for that.

You want to deal with that. So don't leave that out. Um, don't leave things that become this onion, that buyers peel back saying, well, I see that as a problem, maybe there's more. Okay. So, um, things that are deferred maintenance items that are glaring like a cracked tile, um, against the back wall that's taking in moisture and a shower enclosure, um, something like that. That is, um, moisture concerns, um, are, are always a very top priority in Florida. Um, exterior, stucco cracking. Those are stuff that's really simple to remedy. Um, that just becomes an issue. Get your air conditioner serviced before your home is inspected. Okay. Every inspector looks inside of, a unit and they always say the M-word, which is mold, um, when they've never tested it. And there's always discoloration inside those units if they haven't been serviced recently. So avoid that.

Okay. Because guess what, when a buyer sees the word mold, depending on who they are, they get super scared. Okay. So kind of going a little bit down the list. Um, but I want to do a thorough job of making sure that you have, uh, awareness, um, of what to expect, um, when it comes time to actually put your house in the market, but don't, don't skip. Okay. It also makes it incredibly tough if our photographer shows up, um, and the house is not ready to photograph. So we're trying to go a long way to helping you. If you do want a resource who can come on the ground and help you, um, we have some resources, movers, um, and also staging companies that can give you hands-on, um, resources that you pay by the hour. It's, not too, uh, not too bad. It's very reasonable, uh, to help you box up and help you set up. And, um, and obviously we don't charge for those services, but we definitely can make them available for you. If you find that you would want that. All right. Thank you so much for the opportunity of getting your home sold, where you're grateful to be partnering with you in this. And, um, we look forward to, uh, to get you on to where your real estate goals take. You we'll talk to you real soon.


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