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.

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!

The Truth About 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.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Create Spring Curb Appeal

From recent freezing temperatures, warmer weather is just around the corner, and here are my best tips to create spring curb appeal if you are selling your home in Overland Park.

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 Stand Out

This week while working on a couple of houses, I thought about what would make us stand out from our competition. 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 My 5 Best Ways to Create Your 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 lockbox, 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 the spring market by calling or texting me at (913) 515-3250 or get started here.

Successful Home Staging and Lipstick on a Pig

Home staging and lipstick on a pig go together like peanut butter and jelly. While the whole home staging concept is often very misunderstood, at the end of the day, it’s taking any house and making it look better.

Every day in real estate and home staging is an adventure. You never know what’s going to happen next. After all, it’s dealing with people, their property, opinions, and most importantly – their emotions.

What is Home Staging?

One thing is for sure, home staging starts with preparing your house for sale. The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways. Throw in a little mindset and you’re halfway there. Once you understand that your home is a product on a shelf, you’re on your way.

Some sellers get it and others don’t. It’s not about you or your house anymore, it’s about your buyer and what they want. My Happy Seller, Gayle said it best in her testimonial about me and my services. Her house had that Goldilocks Effect where everything about it was just right.

There are many steps to the home staging process and it starts where you’re at. It’s not one size fits all even though there are certain things every seller needs to do. But the real process goes very deep. Some houses sell themselves – but most of them don’t.

What’s the Home Staging Process?

As soon as I walk through your front door, I know whether or not your house will sell. It’s that 10 Second Rule! I’m no different than any buyer. A house either has what it takes or it doesn’t. It’s either love at first sight…or it’s not. But that’s where I come into play. I take what you have and turn it into a hot commodity that gets your buyers so emotionally involved they will pay you crazy money because they fall in love and fear losing your house if they don’t buy it now.

The top 3 biggies when selling your home are decluttering, depersonalizing and rearranging what you have to create the right look that will appeal to the largest number of buyers. Once you get the big 3 accomplished, your home must be clean – q-tip clean.

Home Staging and Lipstick on a Pig

Your home’s appearance is of utmost importance. It needs to look like a million bucks and like it’s ready to be sold. Buyers want to see themselves living in your home and it’s hard for them to do that with 20 years of your clutter throughout your house. You see, most buyers don’t have an imagination. They only see what they see, not the way it’s going to be.

In selling your home (and in life) you either make excuses or you get results. Selling a house quickly and for the most money requires a game plan to make it happen. If you’re a smart seller, you understand the concept and importance of home staging and lipstick on a pig. You’re merely creating your home’s best model home look. Other sellers blame the market or their agent. They might want to take a long hard look in the mirror and add a little lipstick. It surely couldn’t hurt.

Selling your home in Overland Park isn’t that hard. But to make the most money you’ve got to create what the buyers want.

If you’d like to create a game plan and add the right shade of lipstick so your house stands out from the rest, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

The Successful Golden Rule of Home Staging

Selling your Overland Park home can be very intimidating but if you use the Successful Golden Rule of Home Staging, you’ll get a jump start on your competition. The more information you have, the better you can prepare yourself for what is to come. With an abundance of homes currently on the market that haven’t sold and the addition of new homes coming on every day, how will you win? One of my best tips for Overland Park home sellers is you must follow the Golden Rule of Home Staging.

Selling Your Home is a Beauty Pageant and Price War

Hopefully, by now, you know that selling your home is a beauty pageant and a price war. Your house has to look better than your competition. The first step is your Home Staging – or preparing your home to appeal to the masses.

How Does Your House Look Online?

People tell me all the time that they automatically eliminate homes on the internet by the way they look. Doesn’t that indicate that unless your home looks fabulous online, you are not only hurting your chances of selling your home but also sabotaging your chances of even getting buyers into your home?

Does Home Staging Make a Difference?

I learned a long time ago that Home Staging was the answer to selling homes faster and for more money. When I got into real estate in 1987, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Did I sit around in 1987 thinking that if I had a smart phone and a fabulous looking virtual tour on my website, my listings they would sell so much faster? No. We didn’t have any of those things.

But I always knew houses that looked better sold faster. Perhaps it was from my upbringing. My mom was in design and we always had fabulous homes that were perfectly decorated. I grew up living in House Beautiful.

Home staging has been around since 1973. It has completely changed the way I do business and every home I stage, sells in 3 days or less and for thousands of dollars over asking price.

Are you Ready to Play?

Do yourself a favor and don’t come on the market if you’re not ready. There are plenty of buyers out there but they want the very best in the house they buy. So, listen to your inner instinct. Are you the best house on the market in your area and price range? Does your home look like it stepped out of a magazine? If not, we can help.

What is the Golden Rule of Home Staging?

The Golden Rule of Home Staging is “Do to Your Own Home what You Expect Others to do in the Home You Want to Buy.” In other words, selling your home is not about you. It’s about your buyers and what they want in the house they are going to buy and pay you a boat load of money for.

Does Your Agent Really Care?

If your agent doesn’t believe in Home Staging, I’d seriously get a different agent. I’ve been staging homes since 2006. Granted I was an early adopter but it’s absolutely necessary to sell your home faster and for more money in today’s market. Home Staging is not optional. It’s required.

When you pay attention to the Golden Rule of Home Staging, it will make you thousands of extra dollars. It’s mandatory in today’s busy real estate market. When you give the buyers what they want, you will reap the rewards financially.

I live by the Golden Rule of Home Staging. It’s about your buyers and what will make them happy. The Rule works for me. 100% of the homes I list sell, in 3 days or less. And for thousands over the asking price. Plus I care that you make more money faster when selling your home.

Call me today at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.