Preparing Your Listing For the Fall Market

by Peter Thomas Ricci


David Cieslak is the owner and principal stylist of Signature Staging.

With summer ending and the fall weather upon us, now is the time to speak to your sellers about getting a jump on preparing their upcoming listing for the fall/winter market.

As many of you know, the way a property is presented is key – not only from a marketing standpoint, but more importantly, a visual standpoint. These simple projects can help your homeowner get a jump on moving to their next dream home.

1. Clear the Clutter:  Oftentimes, I go into listings and I hear, “I wish I had time to clean before you came over.” As a professional stager, I can see the end result. Showing an organized space is key; not only does it create a chaos free environment, but it can also be presented to a seller that it’s a jump on packing to move.  There are many great donation/consignment services that will actually pick up unwanted items.




After (photo courtesy of Jenny Ames)

2. Curb Appeal:  The first picture seen online is typically the front of a listing. With summer coming to a close, now is the time to not only update your entrance, but also tend to any terraces that may have vegetable plants/flowers that are past their prime. Hearty mums and evergreen plants will get a seller through the fall season and are low-maintenance.


Plants such as these are great for the fall.

3. Clean the Windows: We have worked in several homes lately that have broken window seals. A seller doesn’t want to get dinged on this during inspection, and with cooler weather coming, you want to make sure these are repaired. This is also a good time to repair any screens and give those windows a good cleaning after the dry summer.


A broken seal can either show condensation, or appear milky

 4. Check the Furnace:  There’s a possibility that it will get cool soon (sorry to say). Have your seller be sure that the furnace is in good working order to prevent any unforeseen issues when there’s a showing (or a buyer).

There are many more projects that could potentially come up to prepare a listing for market.  Having a professional stager preview your property can help you prioritize where your seller’s should invest not only their time, but also their money in preparing a turn-key listing.

The owner and principal stylist of Signature Staging, David Cieslak is known for his excellence in taste, service and efficiency, and gives Realtors and their clients’ homes a competitive edge. A Certified Staging Professional, Cieslak is also the vice president of the Chicago Chapter of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), and his work has been featured on LX.TV OpenHouse, which airs on NBC. He was also a RESA Stager of the Year Nominee for the Midwest in 2012. In addition, Signature Staging has staged over $20 million in sold Chicago real estate so far in 2012.

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