Staging Your Home

Mary O'Neil is a certified professional home stager also known as a Property Image Consultant. To SELL your home, Mary offers this service FREE of charge.

What is the definition of a Property Image Consultant?

  • Property: Piece of land or Real Estate owned by someone; something to value
  • Image: To paint a vivid picture, visual perception
  • Consultant: A specialist who offers advice

A Property Image Consultant: A specialist who advises others on the improvements needed on a piece of land or real estate in order to achieve a greater value on the sale of the property.

What are your perceptions of staging?

  • Staging is not decorating, interior design or redesign.
  • Decorate: Make something more attractive by adding nonfunctional elements to it; to apply paint, wallpaper, and other accessories to a room or house.
  • Interior design: Personalizing to change the property to reflect the owner’s personality; to change or modify something showing that obviously is from or belongs to a particular person.
  • Redesign: To change or redesign the aesthetic appearance of a house or room utilizing what they already have.

Most homeowners have enjoyed their home. They have personalized it and put their mark on it. And while they are living there, that’s great. However, personalizing can destroy a sale when they put the house on the market. Staging is depersonalizing the home. Depersonalize means: To take away or omit personal qualities of something. The personal qualities of the home are omitted or adjusted to neutrally suit a variety of tastes and preferences.

Staging-Mary O'NeilAppealing to the buyer’s senses
By preparing your property ahead of time, you are taking the necessary measures to ensure the buyer is guaranteed a positive first impression. The goal is to have all five senses appealed to in order to create desire versus need. We must provide the WOW factor upon entry of the property.


  • Utilize as much natural light as possible… open the curtain
  • Remove all forms of clutter (including personal collections)
  • Trim shrubs and trees, edge lawn, plant flowers


  • Wall and floor textures
  • Cleanliness
  • “Nothing Brown”

Candle-Mary O'NeilSmell

  • The home should smell fresh and clean
  • Confront smoking issues
  • Animal smells should be eliminated
  • Laundry should not be present
  • Mold and mildew should be done away with
  • Cooking smells should be cleared
  • Diaper containers emptied
  • Open Windows (20-30 minutes a day to free odors)
  • Fresh flowers are a nice touch


  • Set out individually wrapped candies for prospective buyers and their agents
  • Host a wine and cheese party both before and after the staging process


  • Soft classical music ~ Low volume on each level of the house
  • Be aware of exterior traffic, animal sounds

Our Dream Home - Mary O'NeilFirst Impressions

First impressions are vital in the process of staging and selling a home. It only takes 15 seconds for a buyer to develop an opinion of the property. It is critical to achieve the first impression for a successful sale.

Properly preparing a home allows potential buyers the “WOW” emotion as they visualize living in the home. Pay attention to small details. Scan the room from top to bottom. Be aware of your entire surroundings. A potential buyer spends on 2-6 minutes on viewing a home unless you provide a lasting first impression.

Homes should be ready for a viewing within 15 minutes time at any time of the day on any given day of the week.

  • Curb appeal/landscaping
  • Doorways – free of clutter (shoes, etc.)
  • Clean glass on doors
  • Deck/porches – clear of clutter (toys, etc.) and nature debris
  • Entrance – leave outside lights on to create a welcoming feeling
  • Odors – warm, fresh smells, cookies baking (heat up vanilla and cinnamon in the microwave or oven) Don’t burn it!
  • Walkways – clean and open
  • Paint – fresh, not cracked, etc.
  • Roofs – free of nature debris
  • Windows – clean, open to let in fresh air a few minutes before viewing
  • Window coverings – Should be pulled back or up to let light and space into the room when viewed
  • Landscape lights - make sure they are in working order

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