Are you a cleaner or a property stylist?

Posted by on Jul 9, 2011 in Blogs | 8 comments

Are you a cleaner or a property stylist?

An increasing number of properties I work in to stage vacant properties for sale are not clean when I turn up. This is a frustrating situation as my job is to complete the overall picture of the site and create a space buyers want to live in. My job is not to clean floors, wipe down greasy benches and remove the last of the builder’s leftovers to the skip bin.

So why is this an increasing trend?

I have no idea. I could be due to time (or lack of) from everyone who is the property prior to me. It could be due to lack of money to engage a cleaner to give the property a final once over or it could be simple old fashioned laziness. I am not suggesting for a moment it is every property, but there is nothing worse than turning up to stage a property with a full inventory of stock only to find that you need to clean. Not happy.

We always use bench and floor space to unpack and get ready for the installation, but when these spaces are greasy and untidy, it is not an attractive look and you risk spreading the mess to other parts of the house.

I don’t quote for cleaning, I advise my client I expect this to be done before I arrive. After all, I we as home stagers should be the last contractor in the d00r before the agent starts showing people through the house.

So what do you do? Do you clean in order to the leave the property in the right condition or do you stage around the mess?


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  1. What a great point of discussion. I faced this problem only yesterday. We all know we do not have time to clean as well as dress the home and there are so many other risks with the accessories beng messed and shifted if a cleaner comes in after we have left. I guess we keep doing what we are in that educating clients on the importance of a methodical approach to preparing their home for sale and hope that this trend does not increase. I look forward to hearing how others deal with this.

    • Education is a big part of what we do, but as property stylists and knowing we are the last in to complete the styling of the home, we need a clean environment to put in the finishing touches.

      I think as the home staging industry grows, better awareness of the requirements will for us to do our job will become more standardised.

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