Home Staging Don’ts and Simple Ways to Avoid Them

First of all, you’re probably asking yourself, just what are home staging don’ts? Actually I came up with this idea years ago when I would see people time and time again making the same mistakes when trying to sell their homes. I think the original idea came from a column in Glamour Magazine back in the day. They would have fashion do’s and don’ts and I applied the same concept to home staging.

After all, there’s typically always a better way to arrange your furniture and to accessorize your space when you are preparing your home to sell. And there are just things you do and don’t do. Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways.

I can give you so many examples of home staging don’ts that I’ve seen since I started Overland Park Home Staging back in 2006. Most homes have a couple of home staging don’ts but then there are those that break all the rules. And some of the home staging don’ts are worse than others.

My biggest pet peeve is the dead animals – whether it’s a moose or deer head, champion fish or a life sized bear wearing a designer scarf around its neck. The dead animal is at the top of my list of home staging don’ts. Even in this day and age where antlers and deer heads are somewhat trending in home décor, it’s not anything you want on display when trying to sell your home.

Home Staging Don’ts Case Study

Years ago, an acquaintance of mine listed her house with another agent. After it was on the market awhile and she wasn’t getting any interest, she reached out to me for my help. As a result, I booked a consultation with her to determine what she might need to do to get some activity going on her home and get it sold.

As soon as I arrived at her home, I realized she had probably broken the top 5 home staging don’ts on my list. First of all, the rooms were crowded with furniture that made the space seem off balance. The kitchen had bright blue tile and countertops that nobody would want. Furthermore, there was no sense of style or décor. Every flat surface was cleared off (due to the advice of her agent) but clutter was stashed inside kitchen drawers and cabinets. Closets were stuffed full of what she was trying to hide. But to top it off, there was a dead animal morgue in the basement with probably at least 25 dead animal heads mounted on the walls. And she’s asking me why her house isn’t selling. 

Here are My Top 10 Home Staging Don’ts

If you are serious about preparing your home to sell, be sure to avoid the following home staging mistakes that many sellers make. Many of them are easily fixable if you get some guidance or hire the right home stager.

Some will require an investment in time and money. Don’t be like the people that told me they just replaced the carpet. It was pink before. Their agent told them to replace the carpet. Unfortunately, they bought new pink carpet. Be very clear on what to do from a professional that can and will guide you.

  1. Dead animals – mounted on the wall or not – they need to go!!!
  2. Rooms that are off balance – this is done in the final steps of home staging
  3. Lack of décor – home staging is not clearing all flat surfaces as many agents will tell you. Your home needs to have the Model Home Look that every buyer wants and pay more money to get.
  4. Too much clutter – you’re moving! Pack up your stuff!
  5. Family photos and personalized plaques etc. – don’t have your family photos and name plastered everywhere for everyone to see. The buyers aren’t there to look at your stuff. They are there to find reasons they can’t live without buying your house.
  6. Fake plants used outside instead of real flowers – this just shows bad taste. Buyers will not fight over your house and drive up the price when you stick fake flowers in the ground.
  7. Ugly kitchen countertops – if you loved them, that’s great. Pick something that will appeal to all buyers and not have to wait for the perfect buyer.
  8. Carpeting that needs to be replaced – don’t offer a carpet allowance. Replace the carpet with a little above builder’s grade. Buyers love new carpet whether it lasts a year or 5 years. You’re moving.
  9. Every room is a different color – find a painter that needs the work and paint the interior something light. White, gray or beige are all good choices. Buyers also love fresh paint.
  10. Wallpaper/wallpaper borders leftover from the 70s – nobody wants to remove wallpaper and it will only prevent your home from selling. Get someone to do this. You’ll be glad you did!

In Conclusion

There are other home selling mistakes that sellers make. But if you can make sure you have these 10 under control, your home should sell quickly and over asking price in any market.

If you want a professional opinion about what you need to do to get your home ready for the market, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

The Truth About How Home Staging and Styling Sells Homes!

If you’re in the market to sell anytime soon, here’s the truth about how home staging and styling sells homes. Many home sellers and their agents think home staging isn’t necessary in this fast moving real estate market. Whoa! You do want more money don’t you???

But let’s back up a minute…we stage and style homes using your own things! Most people don’t know that home staging was created in 1973 and was always about homes that were occupied. We create your home’s best home selling look using what you already have!

Home Staging is the Emotional Piece to the Puzzle

You see, until buyers are emotionally involved in your home, they won’t buy it. Just because you think you have a great house, on a great cul-de-sac, with great neighbors, none of those things matter. Especially in south Overland Park. What house for sale doesn’t meet those conditions? You love your house because it’s your house and you have a million memories there. Your buyer on the other hand, has no memories and no attachment to your home whatsoever. So to your buyer, you’re just another box of cereal on the shelf. There’s no emotion and when there’s no emotion, there’s no sale.

What Can You do to Stand Out from the Competition?

The most important thing you can do to stand out is to have your home professionally staged and styled. You’ve got one chance to make a first impression. Your buyers are going to make a decision within 10 seconds of opening your front door and you’re either going to win their hearts or send them packing. If they don’t walk through your front door and stop and say, “wow…I could live here,”you’ve lost them.

As a Realtor for over 35 years, I would always say we’ll put this one on the back burner. In today’s market, there is no back burner. You either win or you don’t. There’s no runner up and they aren’t coming back.

My advice? Hire the best home stager possible and get your house ready to sell. I always say:

When your house is ready, the buyers will come.

Melinda Bartling

Play the game like it’s the Super Bowl. Prepare. List. SELL! Hire an agent who understands how home staging and styling works. Agents I stage for on a regular basis know it’s all in the details and that’s what I’m good at. I have a vision for every house I see. In a couple of hours, I can totally transform your home, using your own things, and give it that Model Home Look that every buyer wants. And they will pay whatever it takes to make it happen.

The better your home looks determines the amount of money your buyer will pay. Give the buyer what they want and they will buy your home faster and for more money every time.

Check out this living room I walked into recently…

There are NO 2nd Chances in Real Estate

Home sellers who understand the selling process and take it seriously are raking in the big bucks. You can put your home on the market without preparing it or you can spend a couple hundred dollars and sell for $10,000-$20,000 over asking price. It’s up to you. But you get one chance. Don’t screw it up!

The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are 2 different ways!

Melinda Bartling

Yes this is the same living room after a little home staging, rearranging and styling! Needless to say, this home sold immediately for WAY OVER asking price.

Give me a couple of hours and I can turned your very lived in home into a masterpiece that every buyer wants and will pay more money to get!

Home Staging and Styling Services

If you’re in the Overland Park area, call or text us at (913) 515-3250 to schedule your home staging and styling services. In a couple of hours, we will transform your everyday lived in home into something spectacular that buyers will swarm to like bees to honey. It’s the best thing you can do to sell your home in the current real estate market. You wouldn’t sell your car without detailing it would you? Call us today or contact us here!

3 Easy Home Staging Hacks You Need to Know

Regardless of what you may think, no matter what the real estate market is doing, there are only 3 easy home staging hacks you need to know to sell your home. Whether interest rates are sky high or way below average if you do these 3 things, you will be way ahead of your home selling competition.

My Home Staging Expertise

Let me give you a little background about me and my home staging expertise. I’ve been licensed to sell real estate since 1987. I had learned of home staging early in my career. However, I wasn’t actually privy to it until a seller didn’t hire me to list his house back in 2006.

First of all, his wife had agreed to list their home with me. When I finally met with her husband, things quickly went south. He decided he didn’t like what I had to say about things they should do to get their home sold faster and for more money. The main thing I suggested was to repaint their kitchen cabinets that were sponge painted. Granted sponge painting was a trend in those days – but not on kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, I didn’t get the listing and was devastated because of it.

Home Staging was Created in 1973

After leaving that appointment with my tail between my legs, I came across the lady who created the home staging concept back in 1973. Barb Schwarz was conducting home staging training and her next course was in Chicago within the next couple of weeks. I knew home staging was the solution but I didn’t know how to sell it to my home sellers.

After working one on one with Barb, I learned her concepts about home staging and opened my own home staging business in Kansas City. Home staging was a new concept and most Realtors didn’t understand it and many still don’t. But as I worked with other agents, they saw that what I did made all the difference in the world in how the house showed – online and in person.

3 Easy Home Staging Hacks

In order to appeal to the largest number of buyers it all comes down to the Model Home Look and the 10 Second Rule. In other words, you’d better have your best look. Your buyers are going to make a decision whether or not to buy your house within 10 seconds.

  1. Declutter – you must remove the clutter from your house. I know that’s a hard one but you are preventing your own sale from happening. Just yesterday my buyers said to me, “there’s no way these sellers could be out of here in 30 days.” We eliminated that house from our list of possibilities.
  2. Depersonalize – be sure to remove all of those family photos, collections of beanie babies, etc. Buyers cannot and will not visualize their own family photos and collections in your house if yours are still there. They only see it as your house, they don’t visualize themselves living there.
  3. Rearrange – this is the big one. You’ve got to rearrange your furniture and your accessories to evoke an emotional feeling from the home buyers. This is the 3rd step of home staging and should be done by a professional Home Staging Stylist. You can declutter and depersonalize but the rearranging will create that model home look that every buyer wants and will pay more money to get. The rearranging step is where the emotion comes into play and causes buyers to fall in love with your home. Failing to do this most important step is failing to complete your home staging.

Moving the Buyers toward a YES!

When I know buyers are showing signs of loving a house, I will be the first to sit down in my favorite room. Inevitably the buyers will join me. That’s when they start getting comfortable and feeling themselves emotionally living in the house. The right furniture and accessories in the right places helps draw them in and feel right at home. Too much furniture and accessories in the wrong places will create a feeling of claustrophobia. I will be the first one to run out the front door.

Faster Home Selling Results

By using these 3 easy home staging hacks, you are setting yourself up to sell your home faster and for more money. When home buyers get emotional about your home, they will eliminate the others they’ve seen and buy your home now because it’s the one they see themselves living in.

Furthermore, buyers have no memories about your house. It’s your job to become unemotionally attached to your home and treat it as the product it is in order for your buyers to become emotionally attached. Once you understand and master that concept, you will be on your way to selling your home faster and for the most money possible. That’s also where a great home staging stylist will be worth her weight in gold and will turn your lived in home into a model home masterpiece.

If you’re considering selling your home and want to create your best Model Home Look, call or text me direct at (913) 515-3250 or get started here.

Easy Solutions When Your House Isn’t Selling

There may be several easy solutions when your house isn’t selling. Today we are going to focus on one – home staging.

Years ago, Fortune Magazine stated that a house will sell for 3 reasons: the price, the way it was or wasn’t staged and the Realtor you choose. As a lifelong Realtor and Home Stager, in my humble opinion home staging is all that matters. The right home staging is what will make the buyer buy your house. It creates the emotion.

Staging a home and preparing it for the market is crucial for a fast sale and oftentimes with multiple offers. Within 10 seconds of opening the front door, buyers will make a decision about your house. If your house doesn’t grab them emotionally from the start, you probably won’t sell your home anytime soon. Buyers make their decision about your house emotionally and justify their decision later rationally. Going hand-in-hand with home staging is the condition of your home. Selling your home is show time. Now is your time to shine.  Do what it takes to prepare your home for the market and you’ll be singing all the way to the bank. This is an emotional sale. Take advantage of it!!!

Agents say things like:

  • It just didn’t wow my buyers
  • Don’t know exactly what it was but they just didn’t connect with the house
  • Might need some home staging to give it more appeal because it didn’t appeal to my buyers

Recent Home Staging Case Study

I recently received a text message from a lady whose house was on the market in Leawood. She told me her son said she needed to have her home staged after being on the market for over 2 weeks and not selling. There again, she thought home staging meant bringing furniture to a vacant house. That’s not what home staging is at all.  He told her there were people who worked with what you had to give your home a better home selling look. She googled home staging in Overland Park and found me. She sent me 3 messages in a short time frame (I was on an appointment) and finally told me what she wanted. After asking her a few questions via text, I looked her house up on MLS and determined it just didn’t do much for me. I responded that I could meet for a consultation the next morning and do whatever I could while I was there.

Your Home’s Photos Tell the Story

When I entered the house, it was exactly as I expected…it didn’t wow me at all. After seeing the photos online, I knew it probably had potential but most of the furniture was poorly arranged. Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different ways!

What Was the Solution to a Home that Didn’t Show Well?

After thinking things through, I had a discussion with her of my opinion and vision. The kitchen and hearth room area was huge and had nothing to bring them together. Little did I know, she had a free-standing kitchen island that was stashed in the garage. We brought it in the house and I went to work searching for things that could be used in the staging of it. Between the island and changing the furniture in the hearth room, it brought the space closer together rather than having what seemed like a basketball court between them.

Connecting the hearth room to the kitchen

Clearing countertops and furniture tops is never anything I recommend because that’s not what home staging is. Agents will tell you to do that because they aren’t home stagers and it’s less expensive than hiring a stager. But at the end of the day, buyers want to see themselves living in your home and when it’s cleared of all of its personality, they don’t connect with it.

Since this seller had put all of her accessories away, I got them out to stage her kitchen. I ended up creating a coffee station, lemonade area, as well as a meal prep space on the island. Unfortunately in preparing her home for sale, she had stripped it of its personality. But it had a huge personality by the time I left. I was there for 2 hours and got the job done. Needless to say, we were both thrilled with the end result and she hugged me as I left:).

Happy Client Testimonial

Here’s what she had to say after we rearranged the furniture in her living room and hearth room/kitchen area and accessorized her house.

“Melinda did an outstanding job of giving my home a whole new look in just 2 hours. Amazing what she could accomplish by rearranging my furniture and using just what was in my cupboards. She responded quickly, communicated often and was easy to work with. I highly recommend her services.”

One happy seller name withheld since it wasn’t my listing

There may be many reasons why your house isn’t selling but these are the only 3 that matter. Figure out your situation and address it now. Days on the market are a killer for anybody selling a house. Buyers are wondering why no one has bought it!!!

In Conclusion

Don’t waste time sitting around wondering about the easy solutions when your house isn’t selling. It may need a little furniture rearranging or just a personality boost. Please text (913) 515-3250 and tell me you need some home staging and I’ll respond immediately or you can contact me here. We stage occupied homes and have been for the last 17 years! In as little as 2 hours, your home could have a whole new look.

How to be the Right House for Your Buyers

If you are selling your home, you already think you know how to be the right house for your buyers. You have a pretty good idea why someone will buy your home. And then using the art of home staging and having a professional come in and stage and style your home to have that Model Home Look, is the icing on the cake.

It’s a long standing proven fact that staged homes sell faster and for more money. Staged homes seem more turn-key to buyers and if done correctly, present that emotional feeling that makes buyers want to live there.

Why will someone buy your home?

But when I ask sellers why someone will buy their home, I get the same answers over and over again,..

  • We’re in a great school district
  • We’re on a cul-de-sac
  • It’s an open floor plan
  • We have a finished basement with another bedroom down there
  • The neighbors are awesome
  • The neighborhood is very active for families with kids
  • The location is perfect and has easy access to everything

Everybody says that. While all of those things are important, none of them matter unless it’s the right house.

What is the right house?

Most buyers look at dozens of houses before finally getting one that actually speaks to them. And since the pandemic, many buyers decided they really don’t like the house they bought as much as they thought. In all actuality, it was the “one they could get.”

Many buyers in the past couple of years made offer after offer before finally getting their offer accepted. Personally, I worked with buyers that actually got to the point of making an offer on every house that came on the market in their price range. At some point, all those things buyers thought they had to have somehow became less important.

But now that the market has slowed down a bit and adjusted somewhat mainly due to increasing interest rates, many houses are staying on the market longer. Actually, the average days on the market in Johnson County, from list date to contract date is well over 30 days. We are back to a market I’ve experienced in my 35 years of being a Realtor.

How to be the right house for your buyers

We are finally getting back to sellers having to do a bit more upfront in preparation to attract the right buyer that will make the right offer for the right house. As a result, the right house must speak to those buyers and make them feel like they want to live there.

The real estate transaction is becoming more personal once again and less transactional. Buyers want to have those feelings about a house as they pull up outside and walk through the front door. I call that the 10 Second Rule. Your buyers will make a decision about buying your home within 10 seconds of walking through your front door. It’s like the 1st impression rose on the Bachelor. Those feelings are either there or they aren’t. And as a seller, you’d better hope everyone that walks through your door feels that way about your house.

Home Staging is more important now than ever with an ever changing real estate market. This is the must have prelim to the photo shoot and will attract the most number of buyers. Don’t overlook the 3 step process of de-cluttering, depersonalizing and then letting your home stager rearrange and style your things for the right flow through your house. That’s how to be the right house for your buyers.

When buyers feel themselves living in your home, they will buy it faster and pay you more money for it every time!

For more information about our real estate services, visit Melinda Bartling Real Estate and Home Staging. We detail and style your home using your own things so it attracts the largest number of buyers, therefore selling faster and for more money! Cha-ching.

Call or text Melinda direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact us here to schedule an appointment or for a quick 15 minute call to see how our strategies make you more money when selling your home.

Quick Ways to Create Spring Curb Appeal

From recent freezing temperatures, warmer weather is just around the corner, and here are some quick ways to create spring curb appeal, whether you are selling or dwelling.

While shopping over the weekend for fresh, new spring curb appeal accessories for my new listings, I went into Home Goods to see what they were featuring this spring.

First of all, I love the feeling I get when I walk into Home Goods. They know how to get you in the mood to shop. It’s the same trick I use for all of my new listings. Home Goods and I both know we’ve got a short time to grab the buyer while they are present and either they’ll buy or they’ll move on. I call it the 10 second rule. It’s based on grabbing the buyer within 10 seconds of entering a house.

Home Goods is bright, full of happy music, and the colors throughout the store are outstanding. Furthermore, it’s such a pick-me-up and an incredible feeling. I love their bright cheery dishes, pillows, springtime furniture and outdoor cushions. It makes me want to buy everything in the store and give my own home a spring makeover.

I also love Home Goods for doormats and front door wreaths. They are bright, colorful, and full of life. The spring season is the best time for a change. It’s like starting over new again. In addition, you get a new lease on life and your home deserves this as much as anything. For that very reason, you will reap the benefits from your spring curb appeal makeover.

How to be the favorite house on the block

This week while working on a couple of houses, I thought about what would make us stand out from the other neighbors? What were some quick ways to create spring curb appeal?

Both houses had substantial front porches so I decided with the new season and the energy in the air, I wanted to focus on the porch and really hone in on the spring curb appeal to draw people inside.

As a result, at one of the houses, I added a new spring doormat, a fresh wreath and added new outdoor pillows to the homeowner’s glider. Adding large, colorful planters to each side of the front door was a plus.

Here are 5 quick ways to create spring curb appeal

  • Paint your front door
  • Add an expensive pot or planters filled with colorful flowers next to the front door
  • Find a pretty new wreath and hang it on the door
  • Get some new, large house numbers
  • Change out your mailbox (if it’s on the house) or paint it to match the color of your door

Do these 5 things to create your spring curb appeal and while the buyer’s agent is busy getting the key out of the lock box, the buyers are quickly falling in love with your house.

We had a cold winter in Kansas City. The spring real estate market is here and creating the model home look starts with your curb appeal. Zing your home into spring in no time with our help. Call or text (913) 515-3250 to schedule your home styling appointment.

Best Red Carpet Look for Your Home

Whether you realize it or not, there is the best red carpet look for your home. After all, the whole purpose of home staging is for your home to stand out from your competition.

Just like the stars walking the red carpet at the Grammys, it’s a process for the stars to look that way. From choosing the right gown and accessories, to their hair, make-up, and nails, they will tell you it takes a village to create their red carpet look.

First of all, the stars know they will be judged and the consensus will either be good, outstanding, or bad. It’s the same when selling your home. You, too, have one chance to make a first impression. If you knock it out of the park, you may sell your home for more money than you imagined. And if you don’t?

The best red carpet look for your home

The best red carpet look for your home comes from using a professional home staging stylist. It only makes sense when your home’s reputation is on the line. A star wouldn’t walk the red carpet without her team behind her. When selling your home, your money is on the line. The faster your house sells, the more money you will make. Your professional home stager or stylist will be responsible to create the best red carpet look for your home. And when the buyers fall in love, it’s money in the bank from there!

What’s the alternative? Sell your house as it is and see what that gets you. I call that selling by default…you get what you get. Your money comes down to the Realtor you hire. They might sell a lot of houses but at what price? And how fast does it happen?

There are a lot of skills necessary to sell houses for top dollar. Likewise, the number one skill agents don’t have is home staging. And yet many agents will attempt to stage your home themselves. Why? All the extras in real estate cost money. Many agents don’t want to spend money to make money. They probably had a bad experience of spending their own money on a home they didn’t get sold.

On the other hand, some agents will bring their home stager in for an hour-long home staging consultation. That is not home staging. That’s advising you on what to do. That’s like a hair stylist telling you what style will look good on you versus doing it. And have you ever had a bad hairstylist? Case closed.

The art of home staging

Perhaps unknown to the average Realtor, above all else, there is an art to home staging. After all, there’s a whole giant industry based around it. It’s so much more than clearing the countertops. It’s creating your best first impression look, so buyers are drawn into your home, sweeping them off their feet, causing them to fall in love with it, to the point they have to have it, and will gladly pay you extra money to get it.

That’s what I do as your home stylist. You can declutter and put your family photos away but you need a professional stylist to create the best red carpet look for your home that will sweep your buyers off their feet. Your job is to find that person with the right broom.

Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different ways. Consequently, selling your home is a beauty pageant and a competition. You need to be ready. There will always be another house that looks better than yours if you don’t create your best red carpet look for your home. I’ve seen your competition and I’m in it to win it. Game on!

Want to know your home’s current, local value, not some computer-generated Zestimate? Click here!

If you’re thinking of selling your home, allow me to create your best red carpet look. Call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here to schedule your FREE home selling consultation and let’s see if what I do will work for you!

Easy Home Staging Secret That Will Make Your Home Sell Faster

Here is one easy home staging secret I use on all of my listings before they come on the market. We stage occupied homes so we work with what you have in your house. I won’t lie, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not. But regardless, I always tell people their house will look better for selling than it did when we arrived.

I always say, selling your home is simple, it’s just not easy. After all, buyers will make a decision about your house within 10 seconds of opening the front door. So as a home stager, first impressions are critical for me. I will walk your house over and over making sure everything is “just right.” I call it the Goldilocks Effect.

Another Happy Seller

As my Happy Seller, Gayle Krieger said, “selling your home is a mindset.”

“We were looking for a Realtor that had experience and also did home staging. Our daughter found Melinda on the internet. I contacted Melinda initially to visit with us and look at our house to see what improvements we needed to do for selling our home.

From our first visit, we knew Melinda was the Realtor for us. She gave us some recommendations for improvements to do. The first thing was to get a mindset that we are selling a house, not our home. When we were ready to list we called Melinda. She staged our home and told us she would sell it the first weekend. My husband was not a believer in being able to accomplish that. We sold for over the asking price the first weekend! He is now a believer!

Melinda was very prompt in answering emails, texts, and phone calls. We were moving out of state. Melinda called Realtors in our new location and interviewed them. She found us a great Realtor to buy our next home. We really appreciated that. We highly recommend Melinda.”

My easy home staging secret

Does your house have the Goldilocks effect? Gayle and Jerry’s house did have the Goldilocks effect before I staged it. While I didn’t have to do much, I brought in some accessories to freshen up their look by staging and styling their home to create their best model home look for the buyers.

Their dining room was right inside the front door and was lacking a little style that was necessary for selling. I rearranged the dining room and added some trendy accessories to their dining room table and china cabinet to make things pop.

I also stopped by the garden center on the way to their house and picked out a perfect arrangement that was “just right” to dress up their front porch.

Needless to say, when their house came on the market, everything was “just right.”

It’s about an eye for style

People always tell me I’m very stylish. My reply is, “if I can’t style myself, how can I style your home?” It’s all in the presentation – arranging and accessorizing your home until it’s “just right.” By focusing on your home, getting it “just right” and having a marketing plan that works, I’m able to sell my homes within 3 days of coming on the market. That creates very Happy Sellers!

While I know I can’t help everyone, the sellers I have helped have had great success. It starts with their mindset and my ability to create their Goldilocks effect – making sure everything is “just right.” Remember, you have one chance to make a first impression when selling your home in Overland Park. Is your house “just right?”

If you are ready to create your Goldilocks effect when selling your home in Overland Park, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. Home staging is one small expense you’ll have when selling that will increase your bottom line. If you list your home with us, we will stage your home for FREE!

Home Staging Magic You Need to Know

If you are selling your Overland Park home anytime soon, you definitely need some home staging magic – especially in this real estate market!

Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me that many Overland Park Realtors just don’t get it. Certainly, it’s not like home staging is a new concept – it was “created” in 1973 by a lady who knew occupied houses could look better when selling. For that reason, I flew to Chicago in 2006 and worked with her one-on-one, and became an Accredited Home Staging Stylist. That was a very long time ago. Where has everyone been?

Buyers only see what they see

After showing several houses over the past weekend, I just sometimes have to laugh. I’m truly embarrassed. “OMG –  let’s go. Another house no one cares about. This isn’t going to get any better.”

Because you have a house that doesn’t show well, you want my feedback after showing your listing? Come on now!

Selling a house is simple but it’s not easy. Prepare, List, Sell is my formula for home staging magic. It works over and over again for those home sellers who get it and for agents who want my help.

Here are my 5 best tips if you are selling your home in Overland Park or Olathe or anywhere:

Home Staging Magic

Have a plan – first of all, what are you trying to accomplish? If you don’t know, start over. You’ve got to have a plan. We don’t need more inventory, we need more GOOD inventory.

Be ready to sell – another issue is most sellers aren’t ready to sell. If your house is filled to the gills with stuff you can’t seem to part with, that doesn’t tell me as an agent that you’re going to be moving anytime soon. My buyers want to close in 30 days. Can you possibly be out? Probably not.

Prepare your home to sell – would you just roll out of bed and show up and run a 5K? Of course not. It takes preparation. There’s a whole list of questions you need to answer. Selling your house is the same thing. You’ve got to prepare. And it’s hard work. But it’s got to be done.

Pick up your stuff. In all honesty, nobody wants to see your collections, family photos, piles of papers, or anything else for that matter. Buyers are trying to see themselves living there and yet you are preventing them from doing that. They are easily distracted by your own stuff.

Step up to the plate and be ready. Selling your house is an event to me…it’s called Showtime. There’s no dress rehearsal, no guessing. If your agent isn’t sure and needs the approval and feedback from the entire office, get a different Realtor.

Create your best model home look

Above all else, you want buyers to go ga-ga over your house, fight to get it and make ridiculous offers. Don’t know how to do that? Hire a Realtor who has a clue and is producing the results you want. Consequently, you don’t want a Realtor who has 30 listings. That just means their houses aren’t selling. I’m not knocking my competition. I’m only educating you on getting your home sold.

You are not only wasting your time, but you’re also wasting my time and my client’s time when your house isn’t spot-on and ready to be sold. Plus the worst part is you are giving away your hard-earned equity. All of my sellers tell me they want MORE MONEY! I get that. Why don’t you realize that your days on the market are only taking away from your own hard-earned money?

The way you live in your home is your business,

the way you sell your house is my business!

Melinda Bartling

Ready to get started with some home staging magic?

Finally, selling your house is simple, it’s just not easy. Furthermore, my home staging services are FREE to my sellers and my sellers consistently sell faster and get more money than they were expecting. I’ve never had a seller tell me they wanted less money. My services are the solution to all of their home-selling problems.

If you are an Overland Park or Olathe home seller and need help getting your house ready to sell, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. Let me create some home staging magic for you!

Check out today’s new listings either below or in the sidebar. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 to see inside one of these homes. I AM NEVER TOO BUSY to show you a house. Real estate is my main hustle after 35 years! Everything else I do is bells and whistles to enhance your experience!

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The Truth About Holiday Home Staging Rules

Now is the time to think about those holiday home staging rules if you are selling your home before the end of the year.

Selling a home in Overland Park over the holidays – especially in a shifting real estate market is different than other times of the year. Most buyers don’t want to see your holiday collections or decorations – so let them envision their own.

Here are my 10 best holiday home staging rules for your home when selling over the holidays:

1. Create some front door appeal. First of all, it always starts right here. This is the most important of my holiday home staging rules. A simple, live wreath on the front door is classy. Add a big bow for major impact. Let them know this is just the beginning of a house they will love. Remember, love is the emotion that sells your house.

2. Curb appeal is also important. Consequently, what will your buyers see as they drive up to your house? This is where their excitement starts. Add a colorful mat (preferably a non-holiday one) outside the door. A big urn or two next to the front door is preferred. Add fake or real Christmas trees and decorate them if you like, just keep it simple.

3. Keep outside holiday decorations to a minimum. Above all, yard decorations, outdoor house lights, and holiday collections are distracting so keep them to a minimum or avoid them altogether. Home staging is always about less versus more. This is especially true outside.

4. Minimal decorations inside, too. Inside, one simple Christmas tree is always best, with simple white lights and standard ornaments in one color if possible (or no tree at all is preferred). Remember, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Furthermore, the more distracting your tree is – the less of your house the buyers will see. Remember, potential home buyers are not there to look at your stuff, they are there to fall in love and envision themselves living in your space. Loads of presents under the tree are sometimes hard for small children to resist so keep that in mind when your house is on the market.

5. No stocking hung with care. Keep the mantle free and clear and uncluttered (as always). Let your buyers visualize decorating the mantle themselves.

Here are your last 5 great tips!!!

6. Replace, don’t accumulate. Wherever you add holiday decorations, remove the other decorations. Remove what you have before adding anything new.

7. Fresh displays of flowers or holiday greenery can be added in the kitchen and dining room if desired. Go for one big, well-executed display versus lots of little things. Don’t go overboard with Christmas decorations in each room. Decorations easily turn to clutter which eats up equity.

8. Be cautious with candle displays and lit fireplaces – they cause accidents.

9. Stow away your holiday collections. Definitely don’t get out your collections of nutcrackers, Santas, or other holiday display items that distract your buyers. These are the reasons buyers leave a house and ask their Realtor, “Was there a fireplace in the living room? I was so busy looking at their stuff, I don’t remember.”

10. Bake up your own offer and let them know you’re ready to play! Freshly baked slice-and-bake cookies on the counter are a quick way to make the house smell fabulous and are a great way to win over the buyers – and hungry Realtors! Refreshments can help, too, so have some bottled water or anything else bottled or canned. Buyers get hungry and thirsty when out looking for the right house. Be sure to provide them with some napkins and it will keep them lingering in your home longer. Make sure your kitchen is spic-and-span spotless because while hanging out, they will notice everything!

Selling your home over the holidays

Remember, selling your Overland Park home over the holidays isn’t that much different than any other time of the year. I sold 13967 W. 146th Street in Olathe on Christmas Eve with two offers for full price. Plus it’s a great time to sell since January is the busiest month for corporate relocations.

Use these simple holiday home staging rules to prepare your home. It will stand out from your competition so you win the home-selling game over the holiday season. One more house SOLD FAST is good for everyone!

If you want to sell your Overland Park home over the holidays, I can help. My home staging strategies give your home that model home look all buyers want so it sells fast and for more money. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.