Living In A Staged Home

Each morning, the alarm clock rings and my morning routine begins. Like most, this involves a sleepy stroll to the coffee machine first and foremost. Then, I am tasked with not only getting myself ready and out the door, but also our four kids between the ages of 5-16 — who, might I add, attend three different schools!


As you can imagine, most mornings involve a breakfast-eating, lunch-packing, shoe-finding organized plan of chaos. But, because we have a plan in place, we do make it out the door! (Some days more “on time” than others)

What does this have to do with living in a staged home?

Though our home is not for sale, living in a staged home requires this same sort of “exit strategy” and cleanup plan for your daily routine. Some homeowners live in homes that are just as busy with kids and family members as ours, while others live a more relaxed retired life of bliss… sigh.

An old couple relaxing on the beach

Whichever side of the scale your current lifestyle leans towards, we suggest its best to have a plan in place for maintaining your home’s “staged” look while its on the market.

Since I’m clearly a master at this stuff…
Here are 5 tips to get you started: 

1. Select a few rooms that you can leave staged and not go in. Maybe there’s a formal dining room, den or office space that you can shut the door and only open on showing days. The more rooms you can leave untouched, the fewer rooms you have to clean come showing day!


2. Along the same lines, if you have multiple bathrooms, try to pick one or two to use on a daily basis. Even in those bathrooms, you should try and keep a set of staged towels hanging on the racks, and be sure to remove any wet or used towels before a showing. Add a note on your showing day checklist to make sure the toilet seats are down… Just another pet-peeve of Realtors® that homeowners often don’t think about.

3. If you have kids, or a husband that needs extra incentive, create a game or reward system for keeping their rooms neat and tidy. Assign jobs for the kids to tackle, outside of their normal chores, and get creative with making this a rewarding experience for everyone.


4. Speaking of chores, the after dinner routine should not only include cleaning the pots and pans, but also getting rid of those food odors. Not to imply your family dinner smells bad, but odors left form the night before can be a major turn off for buyers viewing your home the next morning.

5. Last but not least, make it a habit to leave a few window blinds open to let in some natural Sanibel sunlight. A well lit home is more inviting to buyers, and helps them get a better feel for their surroundings while previewing the home.


These are just a few tips to help you devise a strategic cleaning plan for showing days. I encourage you to revisit our blog “Home Staging-To Stage or Not To Stage” for a refresher on the types of things to add to your cleaning checklist.  

Does Home Staging Work?

Having this list will save you a lot of time and hassle on showing days, making selling your home a better all around experience. 

Impromptu Showings

On a final note, sometimes agents aren’t able to provide 24hour notice for a showing request. Last minute showings are not ideal, but tend to happen, especially during the busy season here on the island. To maximize the possibilities of selling your home, we encourage you to be flexible with impromptu showings.

The reality is that this particular buyer might only be in town today, and if your home isn’t ready to be shown, the buyer will simply scratch the property from their list of potential homes to buy. 

We know it’s an inconvenience for everyone involved, but incorporating a cleaning routine into your morning ritual can help you feel comfortable with last minute showing requests – and potentially be the main factor in someone’s decision to purchase your home!


Jim McCallion About Jim McCallion

Meet the "Marketing Megaphone" and Webmaster behind McCallion & McCallion. After selling his software company, Jim, Susan and kids moved to Sanibel in 2008. With his tech experience, he and Susan bring a fresh approach to island real estate.