Category Archives: Staging

Staging Sells Houses!

There has not been 1 home that I have walked into that didn’t need STAGING to some degree!

Some homes need more staging than others but when it comes to an EFFECTIVE sale of a home you HAVE to stage your home every time! Have an agent that says it’s not needed? Ask them why because they are 100% wrong! (they will probably say “I’ve been doing this for “x” amount of years and we never needed a stager to get a property sold” Well, times are changing and the ones that don’t ADAPT will be left behind with their antiquated methods that DON’T WORK! Do you really want to take a chance of not getting the most amount of $ for your home?) This day and age as well as current market you cannot effectively sell a home without being staged.

Staging works in any market. Here is how, if you are in a HOT market (few home selections to choose from and homes are sold before you can see them) then staging will help increase the dollar value of the home.

We have helped home owners in hot markets obtain over $40,000 additional from multiple offers on their homes because of effective staging. In a COLD market (lots of home selections and they are sitting up for sale little bit longer) then staging will help sell the property in 50% the time of a non-staged home. Currently Capital Home Staging & Designs Days on market for the 2011 season was 15 days! How incredible is that?

Now you’re probably wondering how staging works and that anyone can do it! Well let’s start with the “How staging works” if you have a TRUE stager then they will know that staging is marketing. Effective packaging of an item (your Home) and turning it into a product (a House) Buyers do not care how the current people live because everyone is different so yes there is an element of packing up and getting prepared.  But I would always suggest to NEVER pack or work on your home until you consult with a stager because there have been many times where home owners have packed up items I could of used or even packed too much making the home feel empty and baron. I have also encountered home owners that have painted or done “updates” to their home prior to sale but did it to what THEY like and not what the “TARGETED MARKET” likes.

This is a HUGE no no that not only will affect the sale of your home but it’s an unnecessary COST to you as an owner. So if you have a good stager they will evaluate the following, Traffic flow, lighting, cleanliness, effective selling colours, what to keep, what to remove, what you need to fill in space, curb appeal, and the most important step of all…….WHO your TARGET MARKET IS! Selling a home to “any buyer” is an antiquated staging technique (yes staging techniques change with time too just like the way realtors sell homes so ensure your stager is continually learning or they’ll be left behind as well!)

Now, can anyone stage? NO! There are lots of people who can make a home pretty but that is NOT staging! Putting a fluffy pillow here, adding an art piece there sure but a true stager will “stage” to the specific buyer adding in elements that speak specifically to that buyer connecting with the emotional ties. If they are adding just generic pretty décor and no true internal marketing it’s not doing what it should! So, how do you find an effective stager?

Stagers are not regulated but I would always suggest you find one that has a broad portfolio, great statistics, Certification, as them how often they attend a learning session so they stay up to date as well as their fees. Anyone that provides a “Free” service or a service under $100/hr is running a hobby and not a business so their skill may not be to the level of preparedness that you need.

Kristy Morrison
CEO Capital Home Staging & Design
COO Association of Property Scene Designers –Training Company


The Final Days of a Flip

Pick coordinating soap and towels, bright colors bring life and energy.

The final days of the flip can be the most important. You have finished fixing all the big things; the appliances, the bathrooms, the floors and the paint, but now you actually have to sell the house, which means it needs to look nice.

This is where the staging and cleaning come into play. Cleaning is self explanatory, except that when you hire someone to clean, they get paid whether the house sells or not. You only get paid when it sells. At the end of the day, someone hired to clean would see a bathroom that they spend a few minutes cleaning, but a potential buyer would see dirty grout, a loose tile, and drops of plaster on the tiles. These can all be red flags to a buyer because they’ll think “If they couldn’t even fix the little things, what big things did they leave undone?” If a house isn’t properly cleaned the buyer will assume that the seller is lazy and skimps to save money. What you really want is to inspire confidence in the buyer by having the quality of your work highlighted.

“Staging” is the other important step in selling a house. After you have fixed everything, cleaned the house, and fixed everything that wasn’t already fixed, you need to make the house look like humans can live there. The problem with showing glistening white houses that look perfect is that people think “Only robots could live here!”

You don’t have to move in everything, but with staging, a little goes a long way. This means in every bathroom there should be: toilet paper, hand-soap, trashcan, shower curtain, bath towels and hand-towels. In the kitchen there should be: soap, dish towels, paper towels on a paper towel holder, a bowl of fruit (lemons work well, or good fake fruit), some flowers (fake so they won’t die), and a few coffee mugs. Put a welcome mat outside the front door, a screen in front of the fireplace, and a painting on the mantle. The goal, like I said, is to make the house look like humans could inhabit it, not cavemen, so make it look nice. Don’t skimp; staging materials can be reused, so think of them as an investment. Do NOT buy a plastic shower curtain from the dollar store! Buy bathroom items that coordinate and look expensive, you want people to feel like they are moving up when they move in. If you don’t know what to buy, find the best dressed woman around you and ask her what she would put in her bathroom (it might not work every time, but it will get you close). Target, Kohls and Macys are good places to start. Also, don’t buy plain white towels, it can make bathrooms look sterile if there is too much white, we want to simulate a home life, not a place where crazy people live.

In essence, the last few days of the flip are aimed at finding all the little things that have been overlooked, cleaning up, and making the house look livable.  What do you think and what have your experiences been when getting ready to complete a flip?  Leave me a comment and consider sharing this blog post to your social contacts in facebook, twitter, etc.

Carissa stages the breakfast nook with bright flowers. Notice how they coordinate with the kitchen soap and towels!

Watch Cheryl in action:


Written by Mary Blair Stratton