Put Your Best Features Forward: Simple Staging Solutions

Staging can help you highlight selling features that may otherwise be overlooked by buyers.

You may be covering up some of their home’s best features—literally. Don’t let clutter or poor design choices lessen the appeal of subtle selling points such as upgraded kitchen countertops, fireplaces, and built-in shelving units. Staging can put these features in the spotlight during showings

Roomy Kitchen Countertops : Stage a kitchen so that it shows off counter space.

Put extras away. Have no more than three appliances on the countertops—even fewer if the counter space is small. Remove extra items such as knife blocks, phones, and baskets, which will make the countertops look smaller than they ­really are.

Highlight. If the home has a center island, make it a focal point with greenery, such as an orchid, or a bowl of fresh fruit. If the island is big enough, have place settings on display with up to three bar stools. If the kitchen doesn’t have an island but there’s space for one, bring in a portable one to add counter space.

Add color. Try placing kitchen canisters on the counter for color, interest, and balance.


Hot-Selling Fireplaces: Fireplaces are on many buyers’ wish lists. But dated and dingy fireplaces can be a turnoff.

Accessorize: Try colorful artwork or a mirror hanging over the fireplace. Use accessories sparingly on the mantel. For example, try greenery arrangements or a decorative plate on a stand in the center of the mantel. Or display three candlesticks of differing heights, a vase, or smaller accessories on one side and leave the other side clear. To attract buyers’ eyes to the fireplace, try placing a colorful plant on the floor along the fireplace’s corner edge.

Modernize: Remove dated brass screens. By spending $200 or so to replace the old screen with a new black or bronze version, you can instantly bring a fireplace up-to-date. Do-it-yourselfers may opt to paint the brass screen themselves using black grill or auto paint with a heat-resistant primer.

Paint: A painted accent wall helps highlight a fireplace, bringing out the wood color and any of its architectural details. Try earthy, creamy tones for the accent wall, or choose a paint color two or three shades darker than that of the other walls to create monochromatic harmony in the room.

Position: Make the fireplace the focal point: Angle furniture to either side of it, or place sofas perpendicular to it. Don’t block the fireplace with furniture.

Spacious Built-ins: Built-in bookshelves help feed another common buyer craving: the desire for extra storage. Don’t clutter shelves.

Accent key colors: When selecting knickknacks to display, look to the room’s color palette for inspiration. Select items that bring out colors in the pillows or wall art.

Balance: To create a cohesive feel, all items should have similar visual weight, as either a group or a stand-alone piece. For example, hardcover books of similar sizes can provide the necessary structure and height needed to fill out the shelves and balance out small artwork or mirrors on the other shelves. While the bulkiness of the accessories should align, their height can vary to create an appealing, natural look within the shelves. Other good picks for staging shelves: Small-scale framed art, mirrors, candles, and small pots of greenery or flowers.

Prioritize: Focus on the shelves at eye level first. The shelves above and ­below eye level shouldn’t be empty, but they don’t have to be filled to the same degree.


Statistically, now (early spring) is the time, that you should be getting your home prepared and show ready, if you are thinking about selling this year. Sales generally peak in the March/April. If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, and need additional information, tips or a no cost price analysis, call or email me today, 832-576-4902, kim@kimberlywhaley.com

If you’re interested in searching for a new home, you can search the entire MLS here, (simply type the in neighborhood that interests you into the “subdivision” box.

***If you are considering a new construction home, I highly recommend you take a take a Realtor with you that knows how to negotiate builder pricing, to represent your interest in the transaction. Statistically buyers who work with a Realtor when purchasing a new home get a better deal. Don’t forget that the Sales counselors work for the builders and their job is to sell you a home for highest price they can.

Look for other useful Real Estate information on my website,  www.kw-re.com


About Kimberly Whaley

Full time, Full Service Real Estate Agent in the The Woodlands and Spring Texas area. Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) Texas Affordable Housing Specialist (TAHS)
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