From Staged Right Blog by Mary Lemon:
I’m going to give you some things to do before you have the stager visit your home. If you can take care of some of the necessary cleaning out, etc. it will be easier for the stager to actually look at your home and determine what needs to be done to prepare it for selling without having to look at all of your family pictures, kids outgrown toys, collections. This article will talk about preparing an occupied home to get it ready to put on the market.
First of all, and this is probably the most important, you need to take the emotion out of this process–forget about how much you love your collections, family pictures, etc. and think like a buyer. Start from the front and walk up to the house like you’re a potential buyer and look at the landscaping, paint, roof, front porch, door, etc. with a critical eye and determine whether you need to paint, add a new door handle, light, numbers, etc.
Then walk through each room and pretend it’s NOT your home so you can be objective. Because you’re planning on moving anyway, this is the time to clean out, throw out, give away, pack up all of the things you don’t want or need right now. If you have to rent a storage unit, it will be worth it as clutter and too much furniture and “stuff” is a real turn off.
Next time I’ll talk about doing some necessary updating before your home goes on the market if you want to get the best price! If doing the preliminary work mentioned here is too much for you, then the stager can help you with it. I’m just trying to save you some money by doing the things homeowners can usually do themselves.