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.

Home Staging Roadblocks

Every home seller has some home staging roadblocks to reach their ultimate goal of selling quickly and for the most money. Yet when it’s time to sell, not every seller is prepared.

The number one question all sellers ask me is “What do I need to do to prepare my home so it sells fast?”

I’m currently working with some sellers on this very process. It’s an older house and it needed some updating to bring it up to today’s standards. We walked through the house room by room and I gave them the lowdown of what I would do if it was my house. They had already done some major updates like the kitchen and master bathroom but the upstairs was showing its original condition.

The kids were gone and this couple didn’t even go upstairs anymore. Seems like that’s so typical of empty nesters. Trouble is, the condition of the entire home needs to be addressed. Today’s buyers don’t want to fix your projects even though you might say you don’t know what they would want.

Here’s my biggest tip:

“buyers don’t want it the way it is!”

Melinda Bartling

My advice? Hire a professional that can tell you how to update your home without ripping everything out. Above all else, you should look at the big picture. What are the biggest problems and what are the most cost-effective ways to make some changes? This is where you need to get creative.

What are your real home staging roadblocks?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to address your home staging roadblocks. I help my clients come up with affordable fixes all the time. It’s called preparing your home for the market on a shoestring budget.

For example:

  • Can you change a vanity top rather than ripping out the entire vanity?
  • Can you add a new vanity top with 2 sinks versus the original 1 sink?
  • How about buying some new bathroom mirrors and faucets?
  • Do you need to update any flooring…especially in the bathrooms or utility room?
  • Adding new register covers or switch plates after painting a room can do wonders
  • A few new light fixtures here and there will make a huge difference
  • A thorough house cleaning is the icing on the cake for the entire home staging project

None of these things cost a lot of money but don’t do them and it will cost you a lot of your hard-earned equity. Getting your home show-ready so it sells fast and looks better than other homes for sale in your neighborhood is imperative.

Being ready to play

Part of my job, not only as your Realtor but also as your home stager, is to go through every inch of your house and tweak whatever isn’t quite right. I’m like the wedding planner fixing the bride or the celebrity stylist at a Red Carpet event. I prepare your home for the photoshoot and am 2 steps ahead of the photographer. Your first day on the market is the most important. When buyers see your home online, I want them lining up to get in to see it.

You see, there are plenty of buyers out there. Your buyers are probably waiting for a home to come on the market just like yours. They’re ready, willing, and able. You have one chance to make a first impression. You’re being judged – will your house make the best dressed or worst dressed list? It’s up to you to remove those home staging roadblocks. Do you know what to do?

If you know you’ve got some things to do to your house before you come on the market, call or text me at (913) 515-3250, or contact me here and let’s see how I can help you prepare your home on a shoestring budget!