Insider’s Guide to Home Staging

If you’ve made the decision to put your home on the market you’ll be looking for ways to reduce the anxiety that comes with that decision. Look at the difference between the “Before” and “After” shots of the same kitchen below.

Darryl Jones Brea realtor staging example 1
BEFORE                               |                                   AFTER

How much money could you generate from the sale of your home? Is there a way to stack the deck in your favor? Are there specific things you can do to not only get your asking price, but possibly generate even more money than you’re asking for?

The most common areas for improvement will be the major areas, such as your roof or kitchen. Since the kitchen is one of the most important selling points of any home you’ve probably considered steps you can take such as new fixtures, new appliances, tiles, and flooring.

We recommend another strategy you might not have considered. Home staging is an important strategy for increasing your home’s market value.

Home Staging Basics

Let’s talk about the basics of staging for a moment, along with how they apply to you and your financial goals.

Staging is a sub-set of home decor. Similar to home decor it doesn’t involve altering the structure of your home. There’s no process of tearing down or building walls. And it doesn’t involve major projects like replacing tiles or flooring. What it does involve is the use of fabrics, furnishings, accents, lighting, and superficial tasks such as painting to increase the saleability of your home.

Darryl Jones Brea realtor home staging example 4
BEFORE                               |                                   AFTER

Here are few home staging basics:

1) The first thing home staging does is present your home in neutral light colors. Neutral light colors make rooms look bigger, and guard against a potential buyer turning away because they don’t like the color of your paint.

2) We remove light fixtures that are out of fashion, such as ceiling fans. We want your home to look modern, not old. We might do simple but visually powerful things like replace the face plates on your electrical outlets, and even replace the baseboards.

3) We cover flooring that is too busy. We don’t want to have two different types of tiles meet. Your rooms seem more relaxing and larger if the carpet or flooring is a plain, neutral color.

4) We will scrape the stipple off your ceilings. It’s just not in style anymore. Removing the stipple will increase the value of your home much more than the cost of removal.

5) Another thing a professional home stager will do is remove all your personal items. You want buyers to envision their personal items in your home. It’s much more difficult for that to happen if somebody else’s are there already.

6) Home staging will make sure your place looks light, bright and clean, with just the right amount of furniture in every room.

7) A bouquet of flowers on the kitchen counter is a great added touch.

8) Repair or replace any broken screens, burnt out lights, cracked flower pots.

9) Mow your lawn and trim all hedges, shrubs, etc.

10) Put up a new shower curtain.

11) A nice smelling house leaves a good impression.

You can see some of these home staging tips in real life in this 2 minute video we made.

Watch this Time Lapse video showing our Home Staging services in action (1 min)

Poor Staging Selection

If your home is not staged properly, it will not sell as quickly, or it may sell below market value.  Potential buyers want to envision their lifestyle and belongings in your space, so be sure to give them that at your next open house.  Try to strive for continuity in all rooms of your home and try to open each room to showcase the floorplan of your home.

Here’s the Deal:

We understand the importance of a properly staged home, so we offer free professional staging for every home we sell at no extra charge. We want the buyers to say “Wow” when they open the door at your next open house.

Not Hiring a Professional

If you are thinking about trying to sell your home on your own, you may want to reconsider.  Without a professional real estate agent, you are taking on a lot of responsibilities.  An expert will help you with:

  • Knowing the local real estate market and where your home fits within it.
  • Properly pricing your home for a quick sale without leaving money on the table.
  • Creating your own online marketing portfolio with effective pictures.
  • Properly staging your home to attract potential buyers.

The right real estate agent will be able to do all these jobs and more so that you can focus on packing and finding your next home and not worry about these details.

Not Being Realistic

Part of selling your home is understanding that you are going to have to be willing to negotiate and be realistic about this process.  Most potential buyers are going to hire a home inspector to see if there are any major problems with your home.  If any major repairs or problems are discovered, you are going to have to either address them or be prepared to bargain.  Be realistic about the bargaining process or you may watch a potential sale fall through and the buyer walk away.

Other Common Selling Mistakes

Other common mistakes that sellers can make include:

  • Hovering at open houses or crowding interested buyers.
  • Keeping too many personal items in their home.
  • Having pets in the house when it is being shown.
  • Not willing to move on their asking price.

By understanding these common selling mistakes, you will be able to effectively list and sell your home at or near market value.  If you are interested in other common selling mistakes or are thinking about listing your home on the Brea real estate market, please contact me today.  I would love to help you turn that for sale sign into a sold one.  I look forward to working with you soon.

Now that we know what to avoid, here are a few tasks to complete before listing your home.  Complete a few easy updates, fix up the outside of your home and enhance curb appeal and stage it for sale.


Before putting your home up for sale, there are a few easy updates that you can do that will not only attract a wide range of buyers but will also help you get full market value for your home.  As the premier realtor for your Brea real estate needs, here are some easy updates that will increase the appeal of your home.

Clean or Replace your Blinds and Curtains

If dirty blinds are an eyesore, then broken or bent blinds can be a deal breaker for some buyers.  Make sure that your blinds are in good working order and are clean.  Pay special attention to knotted strings and replace any missing wands or other hardware.  Working blinds will make a visual difference and will sell your home faster.

Pay Attention to Detail

Before putting your home up for sale, make sure to go over your house with the same mindset of a potential buyer.  Repair or replace any items or fixtures that may detract from the overall appearance of your home.  This list of items includes:

  • Ensure that your lights are working. Replace any burnt out light bulbs – you do not want potential buyers thinking that there may be electrical problems in your home.
  • Repair or replace any broken or damaged window screens.
  • Mow your lawn and clear it of all debris and weeds.
  • Oil squeaky drawers and doors.

Show off your Floor

Expand all rooms in your house by moving furniture to the edges.  You want to show potential buyers the true size of your home and the possibilities of each room.  Open the blinds and curtains in each room and turn on the lights as well to allow more natural light and give the illusion of visual space.

Roll Out the Welcome Mat

Do not overlook the front door and porch or entrance way.  Replace or purchase a new doormat and make sure that the walkway and front porch is well swept and clear of any debris.  Take the time to ensure that the doorbell is in working order and polish the door knocker and mailbox.  When it comes to selling your house, first impressions cannot be overstated.

These simple and inexpensive updates should make your home an attractive choice for any potential buyer.  If you are interested in other easy updates that will sell your home or are looking at listing your house on the Brea real estate market, please contact me today.



When it comes to listing your home, the look of the exterior may be more important than you know.  A polished exterior not only attracts potential home buyers, it can also be a decisive factor that determines the final sale price.

Deep Clean

The most inexpensive way to get the exterior of your home ready for the market is to dedicate a weekend to cleaning.  Your cleaning should go far further than just mowing the lawn, raking the leaves and trimming the bushes.  When deep cleaning your home, make sure to:

  • Power wash or hose down the entire exterior of your home, your driveway and the paths and walkways as well as the fence around your home.
  • Inspect the caulking around the windows and re-caulk any damaged areas.
  • Clean the exterior of your windows.


If you are really looking at making your home a standout in the market, consider repainting the exterior of your home.  A new coat of paint will bring attention and increase its curb appeal.  If painting the entire exterior of your home is out of the question, there are other ways to increase the curb appeal.  Consider:

  • Adding a touch of color to your front door. A brightly colored door can be a great way to greet your next open house.
  • Paint accent areas such as the trim, shutters, light fixtures and even your mailbox.

Add Shutters

Adding shutters is a quick way to include a whole new dimension to the exterior of your home.  Shutters make your windows look bigger and will draw visual interest by breaking up an exterior wall.  For maximum effect, choose a color that contrasts your home’s exterior.

Fine Tune the Exterior

Other small changes that can make a big impact on your home’s curb appeal include:

  • Replace or add house numbers to your front porch, fence or freshly painted door.
  • Plant flowers in your newly landscaped yard.
  • Planters or hanging baskets will add a splash of color to your front porch and balcony or deck.

An eye-catching exterior is a great way to increase interest in your home.  These simple tips should attract buyers to view and even purchase your house.  If you are interested in other ways to get the exterior of your home ready for the market or are thinking about listing your home on Brea’s real estate market, please contact me today.



In order to take full advantage of the large number of potential homebuyers and get full market value for your home, it is important that your home stands out from the competition.

Check out these essential spring staging tips that are sure to catch any potential buyers’ attention and make your home a standout.

Deep Clean

A thorough spring clean is a great way to get your home ready for your next open house.  When cleaning your house and preparing it for sale, it is important to pay attention to these sometimes overlooked areas.

  • Rent or hire a company that can deep clean your carpets. A vacuum is just not enough to get all the dirt and dust out of your carpets.
  • Power wash the outside of your home, also walkways and driveway.
  • Clean windows, both inside and out, wash curtains and clean and dust all blinds.
  • Wipe down baseboards.
  • Do any paint touch ups, if necessary.

Here’s the Deal:

Ensure that your home is impeccably clean, a dirty house presents as an unkempt house and is the quickest way to lose a potential sale.  Take your time and pay attention to the smallest of details.

Celebrate the Season

A great way to get your home to stand out from the competition is to tie the season into your home.  Have a look at the accessories in each of your rooms and see if they celebrate the season.  If the answer is no, consider changing up some of your accessories, so that they give your home more of a seasonal feeling.  Some great ways to bring this into your home include:

(example for spring)

  • Add some color to your throw pillows, bedspreads and rugs. Pastel and soft colors such as yellows, blues and pinks or purples are all great spring colors.
  • Add flowers to the rooms in your home. Choose some spring flowers such as tulips and present them in various ways in the kitchen and bathroom.  This added touch will catch a homebuyers’ attention.
  • Add candles to give off a nice, soft light and a welcoming ambiance. Try to use scented candles to bring some spring smells into your next open house.
  • Open the windows and doors in your home to let in the fresh, warm spring air.

These simple tips will have your home ready for sale in no time.

Now it is time to focus on a very important part-the open house.

Origins of Home Staging

To understand this concept better let’s take a look the origins of home staging. Barb Schwarz is the recognized inventor/originator of home staging. Barb was a stage performer up until the early 1970s, and as such, she was used to the concept of placing props and using lighting on a stage to help set the scene and the atmosphere for the story being told to the audience.

When Barb transitioned into the real estate business she used the same staging concepts used to sell show tickets to help home owners sell their homes.

She became wildly successful and staging became a popular concept that allowed realtors around the world to server their clients better. Today not only are there home staging associations around the world, but the most popular home selling television shows regularly featured on HGTV use the concept of staging as part of their process.

So how will staging increase the value of your home and generate more money for you during the sale? We recommend always having furniture in your house rather than trying to sell it empty. This bedroom is a good example. The attraction is obvious.

Darryl Jones Brea realtor home staging example 2
BEFORE                               |                                   AFTER

Good Looking Products Sell Better

Think about what attracts you to a product. Beyond your basic needs a large part of what attracts anybody to one product over another is its packaging. It’s a proven fact that good looking products sell better. People feel that if the maker of that product is good at presenting it, they’ve probably done a good job at building it and making it work.

As well, most people want to look good. Part of looking good is owning things that look good. We like attractive things, and gravitate towards things that speak to our emotional needs and our dreams. The bones of your house might essentially be the same as other homes in your area, but if your home looks better in comparison it will be in more demand, and sell for more money.

Better looking homes have more emotional appeal. You’re more likely to arouse people’s desires, wants and needs. If the buyer’s emotions are involved in the buying process they are less likely to scrutinize every little detail. They are much more likely to pay a little more than a fair price for something they want.

That’s why home staging is so important to the sale. This is a Before and After photo of a living room and dining room in another home well-staged by my team of professionals.

Darryl Jones Brea realtor home staging example 3
BEFORE                               |                                   AFTER

Darryl & JJ Jones Provide Free Home Staging for Every Client

My team understands the power of home staging. For many years we’ve provided free home staging for every home we sell. That’s one reason we are continually the top selling real estate team in the Brea and Orange County area.

Our team of professional home stagers knows how to bring out the most attractive points of your home, and highlight its features to attract the greatest number of serious buyers.

Take a moment to consider a few proven statistics about the financial benefits of staging your house.

This study showed many home sellers were able to close in as little as six days when they implemented staging, compared to sellers who saw their homes sit on the market for up to 48 days when they didn’t stage. Even more revealing, this report showed that sellers were able to close on the average of 10.3 days instead of 84.6 days.

And here’s something else to consider:

• For every day that your home sits on the market you’ll be responsible for operational costs such as electric, water, trash removal, property taxes, and landscaping maintenance. All of these become even more costly if you’ve moved into your new home while carrying the expenses and upkeep of your old home.

• The longer your home sits on the market the less desirable it’s perceived to be. In realtor terms, a home that’s been on the market for an extended period of time is a “stale listing”. Buyers begin to wonder what’s wrong with the property, and realtors become nervous about steering clients towards it.

• Speaking of a stale listing, because its perceived value deteriorates its retail value goes down too. It’s hard to expect your original asking price when the market has proven no one jumped at the chance to buy your home. You may be forced to reduce your selling price. This could lead to being placed in the vulnerable position of giving buyers the power in your negotiations.

Sell Your Home Faster for More Money

Now let’s take a look at the results when sellers used staging in their home selling process:

Brea real estate professional Darryl Jones home staging example 7A survey of real estate agents stated that staging encouraged potential buyers to make an offer, usually right after the initial showing.

Realtor Magazine says that up to 83% of buyers were able to envision their new lives inside a house thanks to the use of staging.

Now, here’s a taste of what you might expect when it comes to the overall selling price of your house. Not only might you notice an increase of your home’s selling price, but a Forbes article claims that for every $100 you invest into home staging you’ll gain a $400 return on your investment.

Hopefully by now you understand the value of home staging and how it enables you to achieve your selling goals faster. If you’d like to discuss it further we’re here for you. Please contact me at any time. Darryl Jones 714-713-4663.

One of the reasons we’re the top real estate team in Brea, Orange County is we provide free home staging for client, and we’re very good at it.

Increasing Emotional Appeal

Potential buyers have been known to make emotional buying decisions in as little as 15 seconds. Buyers such as these are intuitive. They make a purchase decision based on how the energy of the home resonates with them, along with being able to envision a new life within the house.

There are two basic things every home buyer is thinking about when they tour a home that’s on the market:

1) Will the house meet my needs?

2) Is the asking price worth it?

Brea Realtor Darryl Jones home staging example 5A kitchen that looks like this will get buyers emotionally involved. Just like any consumer, the home buyer needs to feel confident they’re buying the best home for their money. On the other hand, you as the seller want to make sure you’re generating the best return on your investment. In our experience we’ve found the best property deals take place when the needs of the seller and the buyer intersect, creating a win-win situation.

A large aspect of creating a win-win is addressing the potential buyer’s emotions. You want to create as much emotional value for the buyer as possible. Let’s face it: buying a home is as much of an emotional decision as it is a financial decision.

Let’s start by talking about things that could get in the way of creating a positive buying environment, such as clutter. How does standing in a cluttered space make you feel?

But sometimes, the opposite is true if there’s too much empty space in a room. It might make you felt the interior of the home is cold or too large for your needs even if the actual square footage is within your range.

One of the most important aspects of staging is that it creates cohesive balance between the organization of the room and the scale of a room’s space.

Hiring a Home Staging Pro

There are several reasons to hire an agent with certified staging professionals on his team:

1. First, you have enough to worry about besides taking on a staging project. And what it you do it wrong? By hiring an experienced professional with a proven track record you know your home is in the hands of someone who’s invested in continuing a winning track record.

2. Second, professional stagers are used to working hand-in-hand with realtors. They work as a team to create a concept that’s designed to make the sale. Our home stagers have been a solid part of our team for many years. We can’t do without them. This leads to the third reason why you’d want to hire a real estate stager instead of, say, a home decor professional.

Brea real estate professional Darryl Jones home staging example 63. Home decorators are great at creating atmosphere within the interior of a home. Many of them are also skilled at staging your home’s exterior, including your landscaping. But here’s the difference between a home decorators and a home stager: A home decorator’s goals are the opposite of yours. Their aim is to make a property feel welcoming for property owners who want to stay. You want to hire a professional home stager whose goal is to create a welcoming space for buyers.

Does this make sense?

If you’re still confused about the difference between hiring a stager who understands how to make your home sell, and a home decorator or designer who decorates for home stayers, then give me a call. I’ll be happy to clarify the difference. I’m Darryl Jones at 714-713-4663.

We want you to hire the type of professional whose proven successful experience will put more money in your pocket faster. We know that money will be tight during the selling process, especially if you’ve already purchased another home.

Before you sign with a professional home stager, here are some common questions we’d recommend asking:

1. What are your statistics for helping sellers to quickly and successfully sell their properties?

2. Do you have past clients I could speak with?

3. What methods and techniques do you use?

4. What costs should I expect, and what exactly am I paying for?

A professional worth their weight in the industry will be happy to answer these questions, and any others you might have.

A Word About Letting Go

As we mentioned earlier, selling your house is an emotionally charged process. This is the place you’ve called home for years, and therefore, this is the place where you might have lived during entire eras of your life.

As you count down the days before it’s time to hand over the keys don’t be surprised if you start to feel sentimental. It’s even very common for home sellers to become highly territorial. Compound these emotions with the levels of stress every home seller experiences, and it’s easy to understand why your emotions are heightened at this time.

We bring this up because we completely understand. We see this a lot, so don’t feel weird if it is happening to you. But as all of this pertains to staging your home, don’t be surprised if you start to have second thoughts about allowing a stranger into your personal space to start re-arranging things.

If you decide to hire a realtor that provides free professional home staging, then now is the time to start getting in the mindset of release and letting go. If there’s one thing we’d hope you’ll understand, it’s this:

We’re on your side. We’re gentle and considerate, and everything we do is proven to make your home selling experience easier and faster. My team can assist you with generating as much money from your home as possible.

The Right Real Estate Agent

Perhaps the most important piece when it comes to a quick home sale is using the best real estate agent or broker. I function as both broker and agent, so I can assist you in any situation that might arise. Not many agents can say that.

In addition, your real estate agent should have intimate knowledge and understanding of your neighborhood, including prior sales in and around this area. That ensure your property is priced right.

Finally, an experienced real estate agent will take care of all of the paperwork so you can focus on packing up your belongings without any worries.

Remember, the right real estate agent can help you:

  • Price your home competitively
  • Find the right clients/prospective buyers for your home
  • Network for you
  • Help you with the professional staging of your home.
  • Give you advice to make your home more attractive to buyers

Selling your home can be a stressful time. By following the above tips and using the right realtor, selling your home will be a breeze. I have 25 years proven expertise selling homes in Brea and in Orange County, with so many happy clients. I look forward to working with you soon!

Wrapping it all up

Brea real estate professional Darryl Jones home staging example 8I hope we’ve provided you with enough information to confidently begin the process of placing your home on the real estate market. More to the point, we hope that we’ve shown you why listing your home with a realtor who provides free professional home staging will allow you to accomplish your financial goals more quickly.

Let me buy you a cup of coffee and let’s talk. I’m Darryl Jones at 714-713-4663.

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