Fall Home Staging Curb Appeal

Fall Home Staging isn’t just about busting the clutter inside your house. It actually starts at the curb. If you’re selling your home this fall, follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a faster sale and more money!

Want to create your best fall home staging curb appeal?

Walk across the street and take a long hard look at your house. What do you see? Look long and hard. Make some notes and get busy. Home Staging doesn’t mean removing everything in sight. It’s about removing and adding back in to create that perfect model home “I can see myself living here” kind of look. You know the one. If you’ve been to the Fall Parade of Homes, I’ll bet you said that to yourself – more than once!

Painting is the number one thing you can do to spruce up your exterior fall home staging. Look closely at your house. NOW is the time to do some whole house or touch-up painting – before the temperatures drop. Don’t get caught up in the waiting-to-paint dilemma. I know about that. I woke up one cold morning in January and decided I was selling my house. Unfortunately, my house needed to be painted. Luckily it was one of those typical Kansas City winters where we had a few mild days in the 50s and I had my house painted in February.

Clear the clutter around your front door. Do you have too much stuff? KISS – keep it simple staging is the best advice. Add a couple of urns on each side of your door with some pretty mums to frame the space. Invest in a new doormat and a simple fall wreath. As the seasons change, so should your curb appeal.

Do you need to change your outdoor lighting? If it’s weathered brass, the answer is yes! You’re so used to looking at it that way, you don’t even see it. But agents may spot it first thing and wonder what else hasn’t been updated. Yes, today’s buyers want an updated home so if you’ve failed to do that throughout the years, you’ve got some work to do! I’ve got a 5 Year Plan for that!

Along with the lighting…look at your house numbers. How do they look? Do they need to be replaced? Are they located so buyers and agents can see them from the street? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost entered the wrong house because I didn’t see the numbers.

Last but certainly not least, look at the hardware on your front door. If you have more than one lock, do they match? Many times, the doorknob will be brass and the deadbolt will be silver or vice-versa. Be sure to match them up or replace them entirely if they are worn. It will send the message to the buyer and agent that this house is going to be just what they are looking for – clean, fresh, and updated.

Bottom line

First of all, do yourself a favor and follow these tips to update your fall home staging curb appeal. There are plenty of houses out there, just not a lot of inventory that buyers want to buy. Because at the end of the day, it’s easy to get a leg up on your competition and sell your house fast. Remember, it’s all in the updates and details when selling your house faster and for top dollar. Buyers don’t want “projects” unless, of course, they can get a steal on the house. Once you get those projects done, it’s the final arrangement of your furniture and accessories that seal the deal. Furthermore, the home staging is always the icing on the cake and the reason my average house sells in less than 3 days for way over the asking price.

Finally, there’s still time to sell your home this fall and be moved on by the holidays. That’s what my clients, Brian and Fiona did. We listed their house at the end of September and it closed on November 1st. They are now living happily ever after in their new home in Colorado. Who wouldn’t want those fast results, especially in a shifting real estate market?

For that very reason, if you’d like to see what it’s going to take to get your house sold faster, for more money call me direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Staging Tips for Your Outdoor Space

If you are thinking of selling your home anytime soon, here are some staging tips for your outdoor space. Especially since Covid, outdoor spaces are trending bigger than ever and are an added feature that every homebuyer wants.

Today’s home buyers want that extension of outdoor living and are willing to pay extra money for it! Whether you are selling or dwelling, when it comes to creating a fun, outdoor space for your home in Overland Park, there are loads of options for you to try.

Staging tips for your outdoor space

Whether you have a deck, patio, or neither, start with what you have and create a fun outdoor space from there. If all you have is a yard, you could create a new fire pit area in your backyard. Build out your firepit and get a few cool Adirondack chairs in a fun color.

Maybe you have a deck or patio and already have some outdoor furniture. More staging tips for your outdoor space would be to buy some new, colorful cushions and pillows. Add an outdoor umbrella, some party lights and voila! Be sure to include an eating table for outdoor dining. Whether you have a green thumb or not, buy some plants to add to the ambiance.

Create your outdoor space now

Enjoy your outdoor space and your buyers will be able to see themselves living in your home. Everyone wants a special place to hang out and taking it outdoors is the right thing to do. It not only extends your living space, being outdoors is good for your mind, body, and spirit.

Having a fun spot to enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day and to hang out with friends and family is what everyone wants.

Now is the perfect time to create your best outdoor space. Let your backyard be an extension of your home. After all, home is where your story begins and if you don’t have a story, you can definitely create one. If you need help creating an outdoor space you’ll love spending time in, call me direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact us here!

Home Staging Pet Peeves to Avoid

When you are thinking of selling your home, there are so many home staging pet peeves that are made by sellers and their real estate agents that really bother me.

First of all, probably my biggest pet peeve is not hiring a professional home stager. It’s the same as not hiring a professional photographer. Why shouldn’t you have every opportunity to speak with a professional home stager who can not only advise you but also help you? Many agents advise their sellers on what to do when staging their homes. Sure, there are certain things about staging that everyone knows about – like decluttering and depersonalizing. But I find sellers want and need more help than that. After all, home staging shouldn’t be taken for granted or left to chance. For those very reasons, be sure to request a home staging consultation, at the very least, from your agent. You want to create the best Model Home Look for your house.

Our home staging process

At Melinda Bartling Real Estate and Home Staging, we use our sister company, Overland Park Home Staging for every listing we take. We believe home staging is the determining factor for the results you get when selling your Overland Park home.

We will meet with you and do a complete walk-through and walk around of your home. This is part of our Home Staging Consultation. The actual Home Staging occurs once you’ve done your punch list of our recommendations. We will tweak every inch of your home before your Professional Photo Shoot.

When it comes to selling your home, you must remember…it’s not about you anymore. You have decided to sell your home and move on. It’s time to put on your buyer’s hat and make some serious money. Everything you do from here on is marketing. You are setting yourself up to sell your house for some ridiculous amount of money while you can. Take advantage of it.

My other home staging pet peeves

The hardest conversation I always have is about dead animals mounted on the walls. I call them home staging don’ts or no-no’s. Unfortunately, all dead animals must be removed from the house. Furthermore, I find that a lot of agents don’t know how to have the right conversations with their sellers so they just overlook certain things that really should be addressed.

Home staging consultation case study

Years ago, I received a call from a lady that had been unable to sell her home. She hired me for a home staging consultation to see what she needed to do to get her house sold.

When I got to the house, I immediately noticed a number of things that needed to be changed to attract the most buyers. It’s all part of my 10 Second Rule and the fact that buyers will make a decision about your house within 10 seconds of opening the front door.

As soon as I entered this home, I saw several things that probably prevented the house from selling.

  • They had bright blue tile and countertops in the kitchen
  • The rooms were stuffed full of furniture
  • The arrangement of their furniture was wrong for selling the house

Finally, I went to the finished lower level and there it was!!! My jaw dropped.

There was an entire room full of mounted heads with brass nameplates next to each one. There must have been at least 25 dead animals in that room. (I wish I had a photo but I don’t). I asked if there was a photo of this on the internet. She honestly didn’t know – which was another problem in itself. I looked at her and said not every woman likes those things and they had to come down.

While we were downstairs, her husband returned home. She gave him the bad news and his response was, “If I have to take them down, we’re not moving.” He stormed out of the house. She apologized to me and said he was angry long before I got there. LOL!

Months later, after they had changed out the blue in their kitchen and removed all of his trophies from the house, the house sold. But in the interim, how much money did they lose with being on the market for almost 9 months? It was a terrific house but it wasn’t staged to sell.

Are you serious about selling your home?

This is just one example of this situation. I see it at least once a week in homes in all price ranges. There are all specimens…bears, wolves, fish, deer, moose heads, stuffed roosters, etc. I actually saw a full-size standing bear wearing a designer scarf one time.

If you’re serious about selling your home, prepare your house to sell before it comes on the market. It’s your money when selling your house. It’s the largest investment you’ll ever have and you’re giving away your hard-earned equity.

If you want to know my other home staging pet peeves that will cost you money when selling your home, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Smudging Your Home in Overland Park

Smudging your home is an ancient spiritual practice and ritual that we use to cleanse a home, rid it of negativity and prepare it for its new occupants. Above all, it’s an actual sage burning ceremony that works for sellers or buyers depending on their specific needs.

Who is home smudging designed for?

At Fresh Juju, we know our home smudging services can be for sellers who want to rid their home of negative energy, buyers who want to know that the home they bought will be filled with positive energy or residents who want to remove bad vibes from their homes.

The very first smudging I did was in 2008 when I listed a home where a murder with a chain saw had been committed. Needless to say, it was a gruesome situation. Even though a couple of years had passed since the incident, I learned about smudging because was having bad feelings just being in the home. I studied the practice of smudging and took it upon myself to perform a smudging ceremony once a week while the home was on the market.

Other reasons sellers smudge:

  • There was a break-up or divorce
  • One of the occupants went through a long illness
  • Someone passed away in the house
  • A dramatic event occurred at the house
  • Turbulence in the family
  • The house was the scene of a crime
  • The home had been vacant for a while and had stale energy

Buyers love the art of home smudging for similar reasons:

  • Smudging helps to purify and redirect the energy in the home
  • It’s a natural disinfectant
  • Removes any negative vibrations, pains, fears, anxieties, and uncertainties that could be lingering in a home
  • Sage is known to boost your mood, improve memory, focus and help with insomnia

Smudging is a quick and easy fix to prepare the home for new buyers. Furthermore, they can move in knowing all negativity has been released and the environment is filled with positivity, love, and light.

Our process of smudging your home

We prefer to smudge the home after the sellers have vacated and before the buyers move in. An unoccupied home is a perfect backdrop to rid a home of any previous negative energy. But either way, occupied or not, we can smudge your home to your satisfaction.

There are as many different ways to perform a Smudging Ceremony as well as different products to use. We prefer using white sage as our main tool for the ceremony. Our intentions are always set first. Then we ask why we are there and what you want to specifically accomplish with the home smudging. The final preparation step is to always smudge ourselves first before we smudge the house.

The art of smudging can be done with your hands or with a feather. We use a feather to direct the smoke from the sage to clear the space. In our Smudging Ceremony, we say different prayers to rid the house of evil spirits. We will get very specific with the prayers if we know “the story” of the house. We go room to room as we smudge. The process is slow and mindful and each smudging ceremony usually takes about 1 hour.

Will one home smudging do the trick?

That depends. As previously stated, I smudged a house once a week for about a month back in 2008. We’ve had buyers purchase a home where the previous owners had been battling through a divorce for the past couple of years.

With this type of negative energy flowing throughout the house for so long, we would recommend at least 2 smudging ceremonies. The 1st should be once the house is vacant before the buyers move in and the 2nd one about a week after moving in.

Those 2 smudgings will remove any negativity from the house as well as the new owner’s things. Furthermore, that will clear the air of the occupied space by the previous occupants and allow the buyer’s possessions to go through a good smudging as well.

Is smudging your home right for you?

While smudging your home may seem a bit weird and confusing to many people, it’s merely a way to remove bad juju from a home and replace it with light, love, and joy. Especially when buying a home, you never know what went on behind those closed doors. You may discover the previous residents were horrible people who did terrible things.

Smudging is a sacred, religious and spiritual practice to many Native American tribes. For that very reason, we have high regard and respect for the process. We believe smudging works to rid a home of its demons.

You can start off life in your new home with a clean slate knowing the bad energy has been moved out of the house to make way for your positivity, love, and light. It’s a small price to pay for a large investment and a fresh start!

Personal smudging ceremony

Due to the recent chaos with Covid and unrest in the world, we offer our Personal Smudging Ceremony to rid negativity from your mind, body, and spirit. Much like a home smudging, the purpose of the ritual is to allow the smoke from the white sage to carry off all negativity, fears, and attachments and be replaced with light, love, and joy.

We use White Sage, which is a natural healer for your mind, body, and spirit. Furthermore, its leaves are rich in compounds that work to turn on your brain activity, raise your mood, reduce stress, and relieve pain. It’s even been proven to be a solution for insomnia!

The smoke from the sage cleanses everything it touches and has direct communication with our Creator. With your intentions and goals for healing, combined with our Ceremonial Prayer Ritual, you will start a daily practice of reciting your personal affirmations to deepen what we created.

Our most requested service

Our most requested ceremony is smudging the home and one of the residents. On average, about 8 out of 10 personal smudging ceremonies that we perform are centered around health-related issues. Whether it’s a recent diagnosis or surgery, our clients understand the importance of removing all the bad juju from their homes as well as their spirits. In addition, as everyone knows, having the right positive attitude is the most important attribute for healing.

If you or a loved one has encountered ill health, unmanageable stress, anxiety from a break-up, insomnia, or just negativity in general, a Personal Smudging Ceremony can work for you, too!

Get the combo!

Our Combo Personal and Home Smudging Ceremony is the best deal! Likewise, it will remove the contaminated demonic forces, stale or negative energies, fear, sadness, uncertainty or anxiety about the future, or just plain bad spirits that may be lingering in your environment and your mind.

We work with your intentions to promote new beginnings, purify the mind, body, and spirit, and transform all energy from negative to positive.

How much does a smudging ceremony cost?

Personal Smudging Ceremony (for one person) – $95

Home Smudging Ceremony – $95 (average home) – $195 (over $3,000 sf)

#1 Best Offer – Combo Personal and Home Smudging Ceremony – $175 – $275 (over 3,000 sf)

Each extra Personal Smudging Ceremony is $75 if performed while we are there.

ATTENTION REALTORS – ask about our Preferred Realtor Program that can save you $$$ on your next Home Smudging Ceremony. It makes a great housewarming gift for your favorite buyers!

How do I order a personal or home smudging?

Schedule your personal or home smudging by calling or texting (913) 515-3250 or contact Melinda here. For more information, check out our Smudging website at FreshJuju.com.

Home Staging for Occupied Homes

Home staging for occupied homes is a concept that was created in 1973 by a woman named Barb Schwarz. The whole idea behind the concept was it was designed for homes that people lived in that didn’t show well. After all, what home shows well as it is? Every home needs a little extra something to help bring out its best.

My mantra has always been…

“The way you live in your home is your business but the way you sell your house is my business”

Melinda Bartling

Home staging and the Red Carpet look

Just like celebrities on the Red Carpet who spend hours and sometimes days or months preparing for an event, your home should go through the same detailing process. After all, people always detail their cars before selling them. Don’t you think your home deserves a little sprucing up?

Home buying is not only very personal, it’s extremely emotional. It’s a known fact that home buyers will make a decision about your home within 10 seconds of opening your front door. They either “feel” your house or they don’t. If your house doesn’t speak to them and if they don’t feel themselves living there, they will move on.

Well-prepared and well-staged homes not only show better they sell for more money! You do want more money, don’t you? So, get busy and create your best Red Carpet look for your home.

Home Staging for occupied homes versus vacant homes

The whole concept of home staging in 1973 was never created for vacant homes. The main idea was to make a lived-in home stand out from the other houses on the market through the art of home staging. I learned the concept in 2006 and actually staged homes in Chicago with the creator herself. I was fortunate to learn not only her home staging techniques but I was able to get inside her head to better understand her thoughts about the process.

Staging for vacant homes became more prevalent with HGTV where the stagers would bring in a truck full of new furniture and accessories and furnish an empty house in order to flip a house for sale.

That’s a very different process than working with what a typical seller already has in their house. I’ll be honest, not every seller has great furniture and accessories like what you see when you furnish a vacant home. That’s what makes staging occupied homes very challenging – but so much fun!

Overland Park Home Staging

After working in Chicago and learning home staging with Barb, I returned to Kansas City and started my own home staging business. I had been in real estate for 19 years. It was 2006 and home staging had not yet caught on at that time. But as a Realtor, I knew houses were not selling and competition was fierce. Interest rates were over 6% and we were headed towards a real estate bubble. So, if you were selling your home, you needed to look better than any other home on the market because buyers were few. I knew home staging was about to blow up big time!

Getting the idea of home staging across to Realtors was challenging and home sellers just thought it was silly. Those were the days of sellers saying, “they can take the house the way it is or not buy it. I’m not changing anything.” With that attitude, no wonder houses weren’t selling. I remember telling some sellers they needed to repaint their sponge-painted kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well.

After getting fired from that listing, I spent the next couple of years promoting the concept of home staging to my fellow Realtors and learning how to sell the idea. At one point, we were the busiest home staging company in Overland Park. Then once home staging became a “thing,” everyone started doing it – and not always well, as you can imagine. New stagers would offer next to nothing prices to Realtors to get their foot in the door with a busy agent and there the industry went.

To this day, I follow Barb’s techniques that I learned from her, and more than that, I have never divulged her best-kept little secrets that she shared with me. She took me under her wing and saw that I had a natural talent and a great sense of style.

The average home stager

Even though everybody thinks they can stage a home, we all know that’s just not right. Realtors are not home stagers. Just because you have a real estate license or take a home staging course, that doesn’t give you a sense of style that makes you a great home stager. The number one thing a home stager must have is knowing whether or not the end result looks good. If you can’t make a decision or have to ask someone else’s opinion, you probably don’t have confidence in your style.

There are lots of home stagers that don’t have the eye that it takes to be a great home stager. You’ve got to take what you have to the next level when you’re selling and give it that model home look.

What you need to know before staging your home

If you are selling your house and your Realtor says they will bring their stager in, which usually means a home stager will stop by, consult with you and provide you with some tips for selling. That’s probably better than doing nothing but they also won’t come back and rearrange your furniture or accessories. A true home staging is about decluttering and depersonalizing your home. Once that’s completed, the final step is the rearrangement of your furniture and accessories that welcomes buyers into your home. You always want to create the model home look as much as possible if you want top dollar when selling. The right home staging will always make you more money than not.

I would suggest you hire your own home stager so you have control over the process. My home staging is always a two-step process. I will come out and provide you with a list of things to do and when you’re done, I come back and tweak things. Simple! There is a fee but if you list your home with me, I stage your home for FREE! Either way, I AM A HOME STAGER! And since 2016, I’ve been doing home staging for occupied homes!

How to get started with your home staging

Please call or text (913) 515-3250 or contact me here to talk about staging and selling your home and making lots of money doing it.

Best-Kept Home Staging Secrets

Overland Park Home Staging has been around since 2006. For that very reason, we’re often contacted to provide our best-kept home staging secrets.

Don’t miss our most recent excerpt – “Selling Your Home is all About the Buyers” – as well as other great tips from home stagers around the country, in the Redfin blog post below:

“Home Staging Secrets: Simple But Impactful Staging Tips”

One important aspect that many home sellers overlook is staging. However, in today’s competitive housing market, home staging is an essential step in order to sell your home quickly, increase home value, and stand out from the competition.

Redfin asked us to share why staging is so important for home sellers. So, whether you’re relocating to Los Angeles, CA, or packing up and moving to Toronto, CA, you’ll be able to set the stage and sell your home for all its potential. Check out what Overland Park Home Staging had to say!

“Home Staging Secrets: Simple But Impactful Staging Tips”

Best-kept home staging secrets

Those are just a few of my best-kept home staging secrets. I love helping home sellers create their best model home look using their own things. What I find is most people have what they need to stage their homes, it just needs to be rearranged for selling versus living.

“Remember, the way you live in your house and

the way you sell your home are

two very different ways”

Melinda Bartling

Thinking of selling your home this fall?

If you’re thinking of selling your home this fall, call or text Melinda at (913) 515-3250 or get started here. You could be moved on to your next chapter before the end of the year.

Home Staging vs Consultation

People call me all the time and ask me about the difference between a home staging vs consultation. What’s the difference? In a nutshell, the consultation is a walk-through followed by a list of things for you to do. The home staging is the actual hands-on Now to Wow Home Staging Styling Session. It’s the arranging of your furniture and accessories to create your home’s best Model Home Look.

The home staging consultation

The typical consultation lasts about one hour. It’s a thorough walk-through of your house with the home stager’s best advice on what you need to do so your home appeals to the largest number of buyers. This is your opportunity to ask questions like:

  • Should we replace the carpet or give a carpet allowance?
  • Would it be better to paint the bedrooms a neutral color?
  • Is it really necessary to remove some of our furniture?
  • Do we really need to remove the wall of family photos?

In the end, the consultation is for you to gather more information that will help your home show better. Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways.

The Now to Wow home staging styling session

As your home stager, once you’ve completed your punch list of things you need to do, I will come back in and create your best Now to Wow Home Staging Styling Session. This varies from house to house but on the average home staging, I may:

  • Rearrange some of your furniture to create the right flow and balance throughout your house
  • Re-accessorize using your things and a combination of mine, if needed, to give your home a new fresh appeal

The difference between the home staging consultation vs home staging is the final preparation before your photo shoot. Just because you declutter and depersonalize your home, that doesn’t necessarily make it “show ready.” Most sellers need that icing on the cake to finish the house off so buyers say, “Wow, I love this place, and I want to make an offer!”

The average Realtor will hire a stager for a one-hour home staging consultation vs home staging. Your home will look a lot better just by packing up and removing the piles of stuff you’ve accumulated throughout the years.

But your home also needs to show off its features and personality. Some home stagers will recommend clearing all flat surfaces. That is NOT home staging. Think of a model home. You know the one that you personally walked into and fell in love with? Builders pay a lot of money to home stagers and designers so potential home buyers fall in love with a house. When people become emotionally involved, money is no object.

Have your cake and eat it, too. When you list your home with me:

  • It starts with the one-hour home staging consultation
  • You’ll receive a detailed, honey-do list of things to do before I come back for your Styling Session
  • If needed, I’ll provide you with reasonably priced professionals to complete any of your home projects
  • You’ll learn about my best products and have access to my store discounts
  • We’ll strategize your game plan and time frame for selling
  • You can call anytime you get stuck and need a little reassurance
  • Once you’ve completed your list, I’ll come back for your final home staging
  • The icing on the cake is my 7 best-kept secrets that other Realtors and home stagers don’t know about
  • You can rest assured that my professional photographer will capture the best features of your house
  • You’ll receive my secret tips and tricks for successful showings that lead to multiple offers

It’s all part of my service at no extra charge to you. My 7 best-kept secrets are what cause buyers to fall in love, fight over your house and willingly pay you more money for it!

You’ve done the hard work. Don’t drop the ball and skip the Now to Wow Home Staging Styling Session. My home stagings make my sellers thousands of dollars over the asking price. Why? We know how to create the look buyers want and will pay more money to get. It’s your money, you’re either going to keep it or give it to your buyers.

Bottom line

If you’re thinking of selling, be sure to have a professional home stager design your best home-selling look. No matter what kind of market we are in, the better your house looks, the more money you’ll make. Call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here and let’s see if what I do will work for you.

Curious about your home’s value versus the unpredictable Zillow Zestimate? Click here for a FREE INSTANT ZACCURATE local report of your neighborhood’s activity.

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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