Dec 15, 2015

Budget Staging that Makes Cents for Occupied Homes

You have made the decision to move but you have 4 kids, a husband that travels and you work outside the home. How the heck are you going to make your house look fabulous with your chaotic lifestyle so somebody will buy it? Read through and I’ll tell you a little secret at the end! 

Call a professional Home Stager! Not only will they help make your house look fantastic, they help you streamline early in the selling process so when your house sells, a lot of the packing and organizing is already done.

With the internet available to most home buyers, they are spending more time searching for their dream home online. This makes it critical if you are selling your house that your online photos and presentation of your home be featured in the best way. Remember this when you don’t want to pack your collectibles - 

People don’t want to look at your “things”. They want to see if their “things” will fit in your house. So open your spaces up to them!

Homeowner’s often think they can’t afford a professional Home Stager, but many times, they cannot afford not to hire one! You look at your house as your cozy nest with all your treasures and collections, as it should be, but show people who are walking through your house that there is A LOT of space. I can tell you with utmost conviction that if you follow at least the most basic of Home Staging principles, that you will sell your house much faster than the one down the street who does nothing but slap a sign on their lawn! You can sell it quicker, make the marketing photos and much more appealing and sometimes even sell it for more money.

Basic Home Staging consultation

The least expensive way to stage your home is to simply have a professional Stager come to your house, look at it with “buyers eyes”, and put together a plan for you in writing. This includes, what to remove, what can stay, and how to re-arrange and edit furniture to create a cohesive pathway throughout the house. Staging is not just “decorating”, there is specific training with what they do. You can’t see beyond your own “things” like the Stager can, your too biased. Even Stagers have their house “Staged” by other professionals. Once they leave you with a written report, you can implement the recommendations yourself. The simplest and most budget friendly way to get a professional look! Depending on the size of your home, it could take them an hour for a very small home, and up to three hours plus for a very large home. They will leave you with detailed instructions of what to do.

If you have nothing much to Stage, as far as furniture and décor, they may need to come back with their décor inventory to fill in the holes. This is much easier than going out to buy everything, unless that is something you want to do and take with you. With Home Staging, LESS IS MORE. That my friends is a very good thing!

The picture below shows a room with nothing but a bed with glass doors. It was the very first impression upon entering the house. The house sat on the market for 2 months with no offer. The next Realtor listing the house, hired me for a consultation. I told the homeowners to take the bed here and place in the bedroom they had their office in and then turn this room into an office.

BEFORE - office space as a bedroom?

The homeowner did all the work. They implemented my suggestions on their own. The after picture below brings to light that they have an office. It worked out great and they had an offer within the first week! The way you live in your home and the way you market your home are very different.  The key in this situation was good communication, clear instructions, and a willing homeowner.

AFTER - re-purposed as an office, (ahhhh, yes!)

This next picture below is a master bedroom before. Comfortable and simple to the homeowners but doesn't connect with any potential buyer walking into the room.  

BEFORE -  bedroom with no appeal

As seen below, after the homeowner hired me to help them, I re-arranged the room and then added a few pieces to finish it off. Which room do you think will attract more emotion in a buyer?

AFTER - rearranged with decor added

This room below had nice furniture but no real purpose to showcase the space. I needed to remove some furniture, and had to bring life to the room. I found a few different furniture pieces the homeowner had in their house that I could use. 

BEFORE - great front room but needed purpose

Below, I brought in a few decor pieces to bring cohesiveness to the room. The transformation is instant and it looks inviting as this is the very first thing you see upon entering the home.   

AFTER - Come on in and sit awhile :)

My Secret for you...

When you are interviewing Realtors to list your home, ask them if they will throw in a Staging consultation. If they want your business and know you are savvy homeowners and understand the benefit of Home Staging, they usually will do it in order to gain your listing. This is for full service Realtors. If further work needs to be done after the initial consultation, you the homeowner should be accountable for that. Check with your tax adviser as certain percentages of Home Staging costs are tax deductible when you list your house to sell. Most Realtors understand the benefits to you AND to them so it is a "WIN WIN" situation! Why wouldn't they want to sell it quicker? Not only that, when your neighbors see how fast your house sells, they are going to want to know who your Realtor is when they may want to sell their own house! This helps the Realtor market themselves. If a Realtor tells you your house doesn’t need Staging and is not willing to pay for the initial consultation, then don’t hire them.

There are many Realtors out there who really don't understand the benefits of marketing a home. Even homes that look beautiful can benefit because chances are, they have too much to look at!  It really is a MUST in the Real Estate world!

Cheri Eggleston
Eggleston Designs Logo


I soooooo agree with your post!!! Take personalized items out of the space so potential buyers have room to envision it as their new home.

Such a great post!I really like your all ideas.Please visit once at

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