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.

Creating Your Red Carpet Look

The whole purpose of home staging is to create your best red carpet look. Just like the stars walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes, it’s a process for the stars to look that way. From choosing the right gown, 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, real good 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?

How to get that red carpet look

Furthermore, using a professional stylist 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 your best red carpet look.

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 hair stylist? 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 industry around it. It’s so much more than clearing the countertops. It’s creating your best first impression look, so buyers are drawn in to 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 your red carpet look 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 competition. You need to be ready. There will always be another house that always looks better than yours if you don’t create your red carpet look. 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!

Home Staging Sells Homes

It never ceases to amaze me that many Overland Park home sellers just don’t understand how home staging sells homes. And more embarrassing than that, many agents don’t get it either. Furthermore, it’s not like home staging is a new concept – it was “created” in 1973 by a lady who knew houses could look better when selling. For that very reason, I took the course in 2006 and became an Accredited Home Staging Professional Stylist. Where has everyone been?

After showing 10 houses to some home buyers over a recent weekend, I just sometimes have to laugh. Above all, I’m embarrassed. “OMG –  let’s go. This isn’t going to get any better.” And then the agents want my feedback after showing your house? Come on now.

Selling a house is simple but it’s not easy. Prepare, List, Sell. Seems like that is all it takes. It’s the magic formula. It works over and over for those home sellers who get it.

Here are my 5 best tips to help you understand how home staging sells homes

  1. Have a plan – 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.
  2. Be 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.
  3. 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. Remember…home staging sells homes.
  4. Pick up your stuff. 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.
  5. 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 so buyers 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. Don’t hire 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.

Don’t waste my time!

You are not only wasting your time, 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. Consequently, 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?

Staging and selling homes is my business

The way you live in your home is your business, the way you sell your house is my business. Selling your house is simple, it’s just not easy. If you are Overland Park home sellers and need help getting your house ready to sell, reach out to me at (913) 515-3250. 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.

Search for your next home here.

Choosing the Right Home Stager

When it comes to staging your home for the best results you really should know about choosing the right home stager. First of all, what does a home stager even do? Certainly, a great home stager should create a “WOW Factor” that will knock buyers off their feet and make them want to buy the home because they fear they will lose it if they don’t act now. That’s a pretty tall order to expect but important when choosing the right home stager for your project.

The purpose of Home Staging

The purpose of the home staging is to make your very lived-in home appeal to the largest number of buyers. Whether a home stager is offering advice on painting, replacing or cleaning carpeting, or merely removing certain items that might distract buyers, the whole idea is to facilitate a faster sale and to sell the house for the most money possible.

You see, the way you live in a house and the way you stage a house are two very different ways. I learned home staging from the lady who created the concept in 1973. It’s an art and a science. And every artist is different so two home stagers could stage the same room totally differently. It’s a matter of opinion – and taste.

One thing I learned when being trained as a home stager in 2006 was that there are 10 techniques to use when staging any room. They were the basics of my home staging course and one way I set myself apart from other home stagers. It’s my secret sauce! I can always tell when looking at other homes that have been staged that those techniques I learned weren’t used.

Before and After Home Staging by Overland Park Home Staging

Home Staging is an art and a science

Staging is not decorating…it’s un-decorating. It’s un-layering and then adding back in to create the right look for the room with the right pieces of furniture and accessories.

Each home stager has their own style and way of doing things. I like to see things in place to make sure they look good. I always compare my home staging to buying a dress without trying it on…it looks great on the hanger but not on you. To me, home staging is the same. I want to “see” how the whole room looks after I’ve rearranged it. As I said, it’s an art and a science. It comes down to balance and choosing the right things to use. I always have an idea of where the furniture should be placed but I want to see it there also so each piece has the right angle and sister pieces.

Choosing the right Home Stager for you

When hiring a home stager, here are my top 4 tips:

  1. Ask to see their portfolio or website of before and after photos

o   Do you like what they’ve done for others?

o   Are their photos appealing to you?

  • Do you see enough differences in the photos to say “WOW”?
  • If you are working with a Realtor who is bringing in a home stager, ask who it is and do your own research

o   What is your Realtor paying the stager to do?

o   What is the process?

o   What will you be expected to do as part of that process?

  • Ask your Realtor if you can hire your own stager if you’d rather do that

o   Do your homework and choose someone whose style you like

o   Remember, your stager is setting the stage for your photoshoot, how your house will appear online and how many showings you will receive. For that reason, your home stager will determine how much your home will sell for, how many offers you’ll receive, and make the entire process faster and easier.

Most stagers can and will make a room look better than it is just by de-cluttering or depersonalizing the space. The key to home staging is in the rearrangement of the furniture and accessories. That one step alone will make or break a room. Is it the right balance for the room? And does it flow well? It’s the yin and yang! That’s what creates the WOW Factor when selling a home.

What to expect when hiring Melinda Bartling as your Home Stager

I understand how important it is when choosing the right home stagers. When you hire me to sell your home, I will stage each room to look the best it can be. I will bring in extra accessories if necessary. I will loan you furniture from my storage inventory if needed. I spend an average of 4-6 hours on each of my listings before they ever come on the market. Time well-spent upfront pays off in faster sales for you and for the most money possible.

Check out my website and look at what I can do for you to create your home’s best look! You do want more money don’t you?

If you’re considering selling your home and want to find out about my home staging services, please call me at (913) 515-3250 or learn more about my home staging process here.

Home Staging Biggest Mistake

When you are thinking of selling your home, the number one home staging biggest mistake by far is dead animals mounted on the wall. I call them home staging don’ts or no-no’s.

This, by far is one of the hardest discussions I have with sellers. First of all, they must come down and sellers never want to hear that. But you have to remember, when you are selling your home, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about your buyers. And unfortunately, most women don’t like seeing these things. As a buyer’s agent, I will be the first one running out the front door. Those things creep me out!!!

Years ago, I received a call from a lady I knew that was trying to sell her home. The agent she hired had not been able to sell the house. She paid 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:

  • 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

Home staging biggest mistake

Then we went downstairs to the “man cave” and my jaw dropped. There it was! The number one home staging biggest mistake. There was an entire room full of mounted heads with brass name plates next to each one. There must have been at least 25 dead animals in that room. 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.

They weren’t moving if he had to take them down? What sense did that make? Was he leaving them for the new buyers? In other words, what he meant was, in case the house didn’t sell he wanted to leave his trophies mounted in his trophy room.

It’s your money that you’re giving away

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 didn’t have that model home look that every buyer wants.

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. 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 your hard-earned equity away.

Your days on the market will affect how much money you will make. Don’t give buyers the edge when selling your house. You’re in control as long as you price your house to sell, it’s staged to their emotions and you have the right Realtor who knows how to sell houses and will tell you the truth.

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

Home Staging or Consultation?

People call me all the time about the difference between a home staging consultation vs home staging. What’s the difference? In a nutshell, the consultation is a walk through followed up with a list of things for you to do. The home staging is the actual hands-on 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 of 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 home staging

As your home stager, once you’ve completed your punch list of things you need to do, I would come back in and create your best model home selling look. 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, 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
  • If needed, I’ll provide you with reasonably priced professionals to complete 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 captures the best features of your house
  • You’ll receive my best 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 home staging. My home stagings make my sellers thousands of dollars over 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. Even though the market is hot right now, 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.

The 10 Second Rule

The typical Overland Park home buyers use the 10 second rule when they arrive at your house. What does that mean? It means, that within 10 seconds, the buyers have made a decision whether or not they are going to buy your home.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many homes I see that have terrible curb appeal, porch appeal and entry appeal. Sellers who don’t think these things are important should think again.

What today’s home buyers want

Furthermore, today’s home buyers want to be impressed. Why? They are getting ready to spend their entire life’s savings to buy a home. It’s a place they will make memories for themselves. So many of these home buyers are moving from apartments that are pretty impressive. If they have a gorgeous rental, they certainly expect to be impressed with a house they are going to buy.

Therefore, buyers want to know the home they are considering buying has been well maintained. At a recent panel I was on for first time home buyers, their biggest fear was buying a money pit. That means if you are selling, you had better step up your game because today’s buyers are looking for a reason not to buy your house. They are looking in every nook and cranny for something that isn’t right. They are eliminating all of their options until they find that perfect home with the Goldilocks effect.

Consequently, Overland Park home buyers have already decided about your home long before they reach your front door. Even more, they have researched everything they possibly can online. They’ve done an aerial view, they know what your street looks like and your next door neighbor’s house. When your house is ready, the buyers will come.

Finally, here’s what they really want to see when they get there: (and while living up to the 10 Second Rule)

  • A good street
  • A well maintained neighborhood
  • Respectable looking homes
  • Awesome curb appeal
  • Perfection at the front door
  • And a “wow” factor as they enter your house

When home buyers fall in love with your home

In addition, to please today’s Overland Park home buyers you’ve got to have that “you had them at hello” scenario. It all comes down to the details. Let it begin in that first 10 seconds and keep it going as they walk through each room of your house. When they’re done with their tour they’ll be saying, “We have to have this house and we’ll pay more money for it.” That’s how smart sellers are winning at the 10 second rule with today’s picky buyers.

Think this is foolish? As a result, buyers can take your house or leave it? With that attitude you’ll surely be on the market awhile. It’s not the new way to sell your house. You’ve got to change with the times or take your chances of not winning the home selling game. The choice is yours. Remember, not all houses sell. Will you be one that adopts the new rules to sell your home and adopt the 10 second rule as part of your home selling strategy? Selling your home is simple – but it’s not easy.

I’ve been helping home sellers with their 10 second rule since 2006 when I started my home staging business. If you’d like to incorporate it into your home selling strategy, call me direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

The Golden Rule of Home Staging

Selling your Overland Park home can be very intimidating but if you use the 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 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.