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How to prepare for an Occupied Home Staging

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Now that you have made the great decision to hire a Professional Home Stager to help prepare your home for selling, you want to do everything you can to be as prepared as possible for the big day. Staging Day can be hectic and a bit overwhelming for some but it doesn't need to be. During an Occupied Home Staging process, the Stager(s) will work with your furniture, artwork, decor and accessories to style and declutter your home so that it will be picture perfect ready for the MLS and potential buyers.

One of the primary goals of Home Staging is to eliminate distractions from the home, allowing the potential buyers to focus on the positive attributes of the property.

I am going to let you in on a little secret too...Home Staging not only puts focus on the positive attributes of your home but it also takes focus away from the weaknesses.

Over the past several years, I have taken great time in finding ways to lower the stress levels of our home owners on Staging Day. We want Staging to be an enjoyable process because we know the final outcome is so impactful on the sale of your home. I have compiled a list that will help you prepare for an Occupied Home Stage to ensure that your Stagers can be as productive as possible and the day will be easy for you.

If you can follow the tips below, I am confident that we will show all the potential buyers exactly why they love your home. And that is exactly what we want to do during their first showing.

"people don't know what they want until you show it to them." – Steve Jobs

Tip #1 - Bring in the cleaners

A clean home is a happy home, right? Well, I don't believe that a clean home makes everything perfect but it does make life a lot more enjoyable when everything is squeaky clean. When your Home Stager comes into your home to move furniture, style bookcases and make beds they will appreciate those freshly washed sheets and shiny windows.

While the Home Stager is moving furniture and re-style your spaces, this will guarantee that every dust bunny will come out of hiding. Getting ahead of the cleaning will not only make the Staging process quicker but it will also create more enjoyable showings for potential buyers.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with getting a deep clean done on your home, call your Home Stager prior to the Staging. They will have resources to help you get this done.

Tip #2 - Pack away all personal pictures

We all love the pictures of our tiny babies and beautiful wedding day...potential buyers will too. That is the problem with having personal pictures and other personalized decorative items throughout the home. As potential buyers walk through your home we need them to notice the backsplash, new light fixtures and large picture windows overlooking your backyard. We do not want them fawning over your cute little baby pictures or reminiscing over their college football years when they see your college team photos.

Potential buyers have a very small amount of time to get an impression of your home. By depersonalizing your home, we are removing distractions. This goes beyond your wedding pictures and baby pictures...items that tell the story of your life and family are all distractions when showing your home. So pack away all those framed diplomas, sports memorabilia, children's art projects, and political or religious statement pieces.

Let's make sure people leave your home talking about the natural light in your kitchen and remodeled bathrooms...not your family vacation to Disney.

Tip #3 - Create a plan for your pets

Although Fido is a beloved part of your family, not everyone appreciates those floppy ears. In fact, most potential buyers will assume if a pet has lived in the home there will be repairs and additional cleaning needed due to the pets.

Additionally, when your home is being showed, if the showing agent and potential buyers have to hear a pet barking in a crate or monitor a cat to ensure that it does not escape it creates an additional distraction from the home. And as we remember, the number one goal of Occupied Home Staging is to eliminate any potential distractions.

Tip #4 - Clean up the yard

As potential buyers arrive for their first showing, they will be viewing your front yard with a very critical eye making judgements and assumptions about your entire home. Yards that are overgrown, muddy and cluttered give the impression of an unkept home...which is the LAST thing you want potential buyers to assume about your property.

During the Occupied Home Staging process we will put focus on the curb appeal of your home. However, just as the home needs to be tidy, the yard needs to be clear of debris and freshly trimmed. If these issues are addressed prior to Staging day, Home Stagers can focus on styling and the overall appearance of the home exterior.

Tip #5 - Pack away seasonal items

It's the most magical time of year...isn't it? Of course it is, but that doesn't mean that your Santa or Bunny or witch doesn't create a distraction when marketing your home.

We focus on removing distractions from your home to make the house appeal to the largest audience. If your home is dripping with tinsel or looking like a scene from the Arboretum pumpkin patch, potential buyers will walk away feeling festive but they will miss the opportunity to fall in love with the house.

If you need help finding a way to balance your holiday traditions and the need to sell your home, we recommend scheduling some time with companies that specialize in seasonal decorating like Embellished. They will create a plan that will allow you and your family to enjoy your traditions while not interfering with the marketing of your home.

Time to pour yourself a glass of wine

Now that the Stagers have arrived, you can sit back and let them do their magic.

Selling your home does not need to stop your day to day living. When you hire the right professionals, selling your home will be an exciting time of change. The best part of hiring a Professional Home Stager is that at the end of the day, you will be able to sit back and let your real estate agent go to work selling your home.


"Home Staging is no longer optional in this real estate market, it is a must!" – Barbara Corcoran

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