Spraying the Moss

|November 6, 2017

I’ve written previously about how staging is a form of theater. Instead of setting a scene in which actors animate a story, stagers set a scene in which buyers can imagine living their lives.

It’s about contextualizing rooms, enhancing good design, downplaying flaws and heightening the effectiveness of photography. But it’s primarily about evoking a mood and creating a positive subliminal response.

Staging, however, doesn’t solve everything. Properties often need a few subtle (or funny) tweaks that only an agent can think of and handle.


  • Moving the cat box out of the powder room and into the garage during an open house.
  • Spraying lavender mist to mask the odor of last night’s salmon.
  • Turning up the heat and closing all the windows.
  • Turning off the heat and opening all the windows.
  • Neatening the shoes stacked outside a neighboring condo’s door.
  • Cleaning up dog poo from a carpet.
  • Lighting candles.
  • Asking a homeless person to please nap elsewhere.
  • Roasting an onion.
  • Emptying or taking out the trash.
  • Angling shutters for optimum lighting.
  • Sweeping up leaves and street detritus blown into an entry.
  • Asking teenagers on their school lunch break to smoke somewhere else.
  • Sorting mail for saving or recycling.
  • Emptying a diaper pail.
  • Windexing the fingerprints left by kid visitors on windows, doors, coffee tables.
  • Freshening the fruit bowl.
  • Unclogging a toilet used by an open house looker.
  • Hiding the toilet paper to discourage future use.
  • Carefully removing used syringes from a planter box.
  • Shooing away (without success) those little flies that love the dead air in an entry.
  • Guarding neighbors’ driveways and garages.
  • Plucking dried orchid blooms from a dining centerpiece.
  • Double-checking that nobody has spelled dirty words using the stagers’ Scrabble set.
  • Making sure people don’t hurt themselves or damage the property.
  • Putting the paper towels, knife block, toaster and dish drainer under the sink.
  • Holding babies, watching strollers, minding dogs, stowing latte cups, monitoring double-parked cars.
  • Gently relocating a spider to the exterior.
  • And – perhaps the most fun and funny task ever – spraying the moss displayed in a sculptural bowl upon every visit to a property.

All seemingly insignificant details that make a difference and all part of my role as a professional real estate agent!

Category Real Estate

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins

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