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.

Home Staging Magic

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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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.

913-515-3250