How to create a “staging binder” to help sell your home

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

As most of you know, my husband, Jeff, has accepted a position with his current company that will require us to move clear across the country–from the dusty desert of Arizona to “Rocket City” (aka Huntsville), Alabama. Thankfully, we have been given ample time to prepare for and execute our relocation. I wish I could say that our timeframe has resulted in a stress-free relocation but alas, it isn’t so. With the sale of a home and subsequent purchase of a new one, there comes some sleepless nights–at least in my experience. Nights spent lying awake strategically planning home staging methods that will–ideally–result in a successful sale. To that end, I came up with the idea to give our house a voice so that it could speak for itself. I would love the opportunity to meet with prospective buyers and share with them all of the reasons why this particular home is so perfect, but I realize that real estate agents tend to frown on that sort of thing. So rather than hovering over buyers like a creepy helicopter homeowner, I’ve put together an informative binder that will highlight not only real estate hotpoints like an open floorplan and gated community, but also the less obvious perks of life lived within these walls. Those details, I believe, are what will truly set our home apart from the competition. Here’s a look at what I’ve come up with.


When prospective buyers first walk into the home, they see this binder on a table with some other staged items–more on those in a future post. Come along with me as I virtually turn the pages of our binder to give you a glimpse.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

On the first page, we greet our guests and offer a bulleted list of some of the property’s selling points–things like the open floorplan and 3-car garage. From there, we go through six categories of  first-hand information that I thought would prove valuable to a potential buyer.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

In this section, I share one year’s worth of billed amounts for electric, natural gas and water service to this property.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

Next, I focus on schools. I simply printed the profiles of the appropriate elementary, middle and high schools from an online school rating website.How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

I also thought it would be helpful to point out how well we cared for and maintained the home. Sharing details about when the house was last painted or when appliances were serviced or replaced demonstrates to buyers that the home is in great condition.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

I know that if I were the one doing the buying, I’d be curious about the neighbors. I’d want to know the demographics of the neighborhood, and whether or not there was an obnoxious yapping dog living next door (which, thankfully, there’s not!). This section offers that sort of insight to prospective buyers.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

This is where the personal touch comes in. I included this section because I wanted to share some of the best parts of life in this house. Spring buyers might otherwise not consider how fun our once-yearly desert snowfall can be, or how perfect a backyard bonfire under the Harvest Moon is.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

In the last section, I included a cleaned-up version of the floorplan that was given to us when we began the building process.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

Just for fun, I also put in some photos of the home under construction.

How to create a "staging binder" to help sell your home fast

Our relocation is at the forefront of my mind so I hope you don’t mind my sharing some of the process here on the blog. Expect it to continue in future posts! Next time, I think I’ll share a couple of the staged vignettes we’ve put together.


**UPDATE** I’ve had several requests to share the file for a printable cover page for a home staging binder and have happily done so!

You might also like:

5 vignettes every perfectly-staged home needs

Great ideas for staging a home for quick sale

35 thoughts on “How to create a “staging binder” to help sell your home”

  1. WoW, I have to say we never saw anything like that in any homes we looked at! If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you have too much time on your hands. I’m sure your house will sell easily, but I’m not sure the realtors are going to approve of the Neighbors section.

    1. The “Neighbors” category isn’t a gossip column or anything close to it! I printed off a profile of the neighborhood, including average income and age–that sort of thing. I also wrote a little bit about how our neighborhood hosts a block party and has done a neighborhood-wide yard sale in the past. It’s totally innocent! :)

      1. I love this idea! It really gives a feeling of a well nurtured and cared for home. Neighbors Section . The neighbors are a selling point , everyone on our street has lived here for 15+ years. You cant put a price onTrust worthy & family like neighbors. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. I was thinking about how realtors aren’t supposed to discuss neighborhood demographics, but if it comes from the seller maybe its okay.

  3. Very good!
    You continue to surprise me with your intellect.
    I think I know who you inherited it from but modesty forbids me from saying.

  4. This is SO great! We are getting ready to list our house and I was thinking of leaving a printout of info to highlight our house and the low energy bills but this is so much more and beyond what I could have imagined! I think living in a rural area that the “neighborhood” has thrown buyers off in the past. I’d love to be able to settle some anxieties for potential buyers and let them know the neighbors are friendly and quiet and that the area is all families and kids and a great place to live! Thanks for sharing this idea and I hope you have success!!!

  5. As a realtor, I love your book, we are not allowed to comment on neighbors but the owner can, so including this as the owner and telling about the block parties etc. is wonderful.

  6. Great idea!! We are currently selling, and this would be a great addition! I am in Huntsville, so if you are still looking for a place, shoot me an email! :)

  7. You might want to leave some menus of local restaurants for a quick meal as they move in, should they decide to buy your home.

    1. I love that idea. We live in a small town with no pizza places. A neighboring town 8 miles away delivers. People are surprised we can have pizza deliver in the middle of nowhere.

  8. Hi! This is great, my house is going on the market this week, would you be willing to share the front page of your binder the helpful hints, love the fonts!

    Thank you!

  9. Darcie, this is a great idea!! Would you be at all willing to share a pdf or some other format of the cover pages?? Thanks you so much!!

  10. Hi there! Love the font! Would you be able to share the document for me to use as a template for the sale of my home? Thanks you so much!

  11. Any chance you would be willing to share the title pages for each section? I love the simple text choice along with the graphics.

  12. I think this is going to be my next project. Not only is it a good sales tool, it’ll be an excellent resource for the next owner … especially the maintenance section to reference the private well pump replacement in 2014, etc. Love the idea of showing ‘before’ pictures, too; they provide a sense of history and progression. ;)

  13. Darcie, awesome job on the binder. I appreciate the organization and the style. Would you mind sharing the font you used for your pages? I do hope this binder helps sell my home and brings me some more peace during this stressful process. I, too, will be relocating to another state for my husbands job, so wish me luck! Cheers!

  14. Your notebook is the closest I have found while looking for a recent maintenance worksheet. While we aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, I think it would be great to keep a folder of this for future reference. Would you be willing to share the page of the home maintenance worksheet, not just the cover page? Or maybe just tell us what information you included on the page? Thanks!

  15. I’d love to get a copy of all of the pages. I would also be willing to pay for it. Please let me know if you can help!

  16. We listed our home with a realtor for 6 months and no bites which seemed odd since it was a beautiful home and I would hear that from everyone! So who better to sell the house than yourself! You know all the little stories and things you loved while living there. I also had a huge album of the house from the wooded lot to the final production. People loved that. You should try to sell yourself. Save realtor fees! Great idea on the book and good luck!!

  17. Count me among those who are asking for printable section/title pages, or at least the fonts that were used. :-)

    I definitely plan on using this idea when we list our house! Thank you for sharing your ideas!

  18. I’ve just staged my house and love your idea. Would you be willing to share the title pages for each section? I would like to organize a binder before my weekend open house. THANK YOU!!

  19. I prepared a notebook such as this for our last home and it was a great selling feature.
    Neighborhood Section – outlined the properties along with a link to the public tax records for our area.
    Home Section – I included a layout of the property from the health department of where the sceptic system was installed. Plus paint, carpet, and tile samples from when we remodeled.
    Maintenance Section – I included business cards of all the people who had worked on the home (electrician, plumber, yard service, tree service, fence company, garage door servicing, furnace & a/c service, etc. as well as the window washing service) Plus I left a bin of all the manuals for all the appliances.
    Schools Section – I not only listed the schools and their contact numbers but also where the bus stops were and a link to check for school closing during bad weather.
    Seasons Section – I included pictures of the home through the seasons to showcase various flowers (like the circular driveway ringed with daffodils)
    I received a nice thank-you from the new owners for providing all the details and how much more secure they felt knowing how well me maintained the home.

  20. How do you and family like Alabama? I’m from a small town about 40 miles south of Huntsville. Cullman will always be home. We are currently in Richmond VA and planning a trip home in December.

  21. As a listing agent I put a book very similar to yours together for my clients. I absolutely include the neighborhood demographics. A couple of things you may consider adding would be Local “hotspots” and activities that are available near by and a recent land survey if available. I prepare my book for the “unprepared” agent that might be showing the property in a spur-of-the-moment situation.

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