The Staging Life: Unwanted Tenants


By Nan Johnston, Southern Staging & Redesign

Spring has arrived and we have made it through blackberry winter, the pollen is almost gone and it’s a wonderful time to place your house on the market.

Do you have any “Free Loaders” or new tenants hanging around your front door or on your exterior siding? If you are trying to market your home the front exterior entrance is your highest priority in keeping your future buyer interested in your property.

Say they are waiting on the agent to open the front door, they are looking all around the exterior…do they see evidence of a bird infestation all over the floor, porch furniture and railings? Do you have a mama bird tenant that has taking over your hanging plants trying to attack them while protecting her babies? As much as you enjoy nature and all its beauty, this can be a deterrent to a future buyers.

Or, do you have dirt dauber nest attached to the siding, front door, porch ceiling? Are there any active wasp around that may threaten this buyer from getting in this house that they want to view?

What about carpenter bees? They are intimidating to say the least! The male bees are protecting their queen’s nest and attacking intruders and everyone always says, they won’t bother you! I don’t care what you say, I don’t like them and I don’t like them flying in my face!

These are all unwanted tenants that need to be tended on a regular basis. Experts say that placing a plastic hawk around to keep birds from building nest in unwanted areas is effective. The birds sees the hawk as a predator and will frighten them away. Moving it around occasionally will keep the bird from becoming accustom to the hawk and keep it an effective deterrent.

Cypermethrin is a chemical solution that you can apply to your siding or exterior areas to deter dirt daubers and carpenter bees. You may have to reapply it once every 1-2 months during the warm season to keep it effective.

Oh and I almost forgot about spider webs. A good old fashion broom will take care of those, but during their building season, a new one can pop up overnight. One has to stay diligent to keep these free loading tenants from ruining the sale of their real estate, however because some effort was put in running them off, or keeping them away will help you get a quick contract and help put things in perspective.

If you need a fresh set of eyes on your property before you go on the market, feel free to contact me.


Nan Johnston is a professional home staging consultant from Newnan with over 30 years experience in the real estate industry. Check out her website for some interesting before and after photos at Feel free to contact her at [email protected].

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