Archives for December 2011

Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

In today’s Staging a Home lesson we will turn our attention to the special needs of sellers pursuing a For Sale by Owner sales strategy.

If you will be selling your property yourself you will need to fill in some of the gaps that a real estate professional generally provides. Things you will need to purchase ala carte might include:

  • Legal assistance to understand local listing requirements and help you review purchase agreements when the time comes,
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Advice about getting your property ready for sale

I can’t provide legal assistance or be much help with advertising or marketing but I would like to share a few ideas about getting the property ready for the market.

4 Good Reasons FSBO’s Need Professional Homestaging

In order for your property to appeal to buyers both on-line and in person you may need to make a few changes.  Deciding which changes are necessary can be a little tricky for a For Sale By Owner seller for the following reasons:

  1.  As a For Sale by Owner listing you will not be getting honest feedback from a real estate agent about the condition of your home.
  2. It is very difficult for sellers to critically evaluate their own homes.  I think it is a defense mechanism that we are born with.  We learn to not see every little flaw in our home while we are living there.  Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s way of ensuring that we can find a little peace and comfort in our homes.
  3. When you list with a real estate professional they often hold a Realtor Open House right before the property goes on the MLS.  The listing agent uses the realtor open house to collect feedback from his/her peers  on the condition of the property or the appropriateness of the asking price.  If real estate agents do come to your first open house, you can assume they are there to solicit your business. Telling you the nitty-gritty truth about the condition of your home or the appropriateness of your asking price is not likely to be forthcoming until you have a formal arrangement with them.
  4.  Relying on your friends and families to give you an honest assessment is risky too.  It is difficult for your friends and family to tell you that there is an off odor in your home, or that all your prized hunting trophies need to be removed and stored offsite.

Staging A Home is one of the best investments of time and money you can make when preparing your home for market. A small investment in professional home staging can make an amazing difference in the amount of traffic you get through your home.

Staging is also very affordable and can save you so much time.  How does it save you time? Your stager will help you zero in on the changes or fixes that will have the most impact on the sales process.  Sometimes people get bogged down doing things that really have little or no payback. A prioritized list will be a  huge time saver for you.

If you live in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project. You can reach me at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.



A Top Rated Home Stager In Twin Cities Wants a Do-Over

A Top Rated Home Stager In Twin Cities Wants a Do-Over

Power of A Business Name AAA


The Home Staging Coaches, An A Rated Staging Expert In The Twin Cities  Has Regrets

 Wishes  Her Business Name was AAAmazing Transformations by The Home Staging Coaches

Why do I wish that I had named my business AAAmazing Transformations by the Home Staging Coaches?  Because when your name starts with an A…or better yet with three or four A’s, you get more attention…and what small business owner doesn’t love attention?

For example:  Angie’s List has 69 Home Staging Businesses in their Twin Cities data base.

  • Of those 69 only about 15% have client reviews
  • Of that 15% only 10 have reviews from an Angie’s List member giving them an A rating
  • I am happy to tell you that I am on the short list, with both customers reviews, and an A rating

When someone does a Google search for Twin Cities Home Staging Businesses  Angie’s List pops up to indicate that they have  home staging businesses in their database. The problem is only two business names are included in the Google results…and they both start with A. It looks something like this:

Saint Paul Home Stager Reviews you can Trust | Angie’s List | Best ..

  • Abode Design
  • Al   Theilson

Unless you are an Angie’s List paid subscriber you can’t get into Angie’s List database to see that The Home Staging Coaches (me!) is rated superior in service and price by her customers.  But if I was AAAmazing Transformations I would show up on the list before Abode..or Al Theilson.  Then even non Angie’s List members could learn about my business and  call me  to manage their Real Estate Staging project. 

That is why in my next life I am going to call my business AAAmazing-Transformations…or AAAhomestaging, or something starting with at least 3 A’s.

If you live in the Minneapolis or St Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I’ll give you A+ results even thought my business name starts with T.  You can read lots of comments from my satisfied customers right here on my website … who needs for you to get into Angie’s List! Please contact me by email or by phone at 651.587.5887 if I can assist you with your Home Staging or Room Makeover projects.


2011 Home Staging Statistics

2011 Home Staging Statistics

What do you think?  Is Home Staging an expense or an investment?

I think most home owners initially think of home staging as an expense.  I see staging as an investment,

I am a professional home stager in the Twin Cities so my viewpoint on the subject may be a bit slanted. But stay with me for a second and see if I can help you see that making a small investment in home staging can reap financial returns for you.

A respected organization recently surveyed 600 real estate agents to understand what types of things they recommend sellers  do to get their property ready for sale.

 The goal of the survey was to see:

  • The 10 actions Real Estate Agents suggested most often to their clients,
  • To figure out what the average cost of implementing the suggestion was,
  • To calculate what the expected Return on Investment for implementing the suggestion would be

Not surprisingly giving the home a deep and through cleaning came in as the number one thing Real Estate Agents recommended to their sellers.  The investment cost is very low and the return on the effort is very high.

home staging statisticsHome Staging was ranked as Number 3 on the list of 10.  With an average investment of $550 the realized gain was $2,194.   That means for every dollar invested in staging the property, the seller realized $3 in return.

Keep in mind that many people are able to stage their properties for well under the average of $550. In the Twin Cities a staging consultation will run you anywhere from $150 to $225.

Let’s say that during the staging consultation ($150) I  suggest that you replace a dated light fixture  ($65), swap out the vase of silk plants with a candle arrangement for ($30), give you specific suggestions on how to declutter and brighten the space ($0), and provide a game plan for rearranging your furniture and accessories to showcase the best feature in the room ($0).  Your investment is only $245.

If an investment of $245 would help you:

  1. Develop a hit list so you knew what to focus your energy on
  2. Made the house more appealing to buyers
  3. Encouraged more buyers to make an appointment to tour the property after looking at the MLS pictures, and
  4. Resulted in a property that sold faster than it would have if you had not invested the time and money into staging

I bet you would agree with me. Staging is a good investment!

If you live in the Minneapolis or St Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager, contact me.  I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I’ll give you excellent service and work hard to make your investment in staging just that, An Investment!

Home Staging Tips for Your Master Bedroom

Home Staging Tips for Your Master Bedroom

Depersonalizing the Master Bedroom is Key When You are Trying to Sell A House

How To Sell A House … Fast; Musings from A Twin Cities, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.8)

Today’s Topic:  Home Staging Tips for Preparing Your Master Bedroom For Visitors

In today’s How to Sell a House … Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging the Master Bedroom. 

One of the key goals of home staging is creating a property that buyers feel comfortable in.

Think about this.  When was the last time you invited your guests into your master bedroom?   I bet it was when you last redecorated and couldn’t wait to show your BFF or your Mom your new paint color and comforter.

The point is, Master Bedrooms are private.  And Master Bathrooms…well we will talk about that at another time.

What can you do to make buyers feel more comfortable in your Master Bedroom?  I have a few ideas.

Seven Tips for Staging your  Bedroom to Make Buyers Comfortable

  1. Pack away all the wedding photos.  If you have lots of photos of your kids in your room you should pack up most of them too
  2. Remove or downplay religious items
  3. Never leave makeup, clothing, or jams and jellies (as Candace Olson my favorite HGTV designer calls lotions and wrinkle creams!) out in public view.  Having items like this on display is a huge reminder to a buyer that they are in your private space.
  4. Edit the nightstands.  They don’t need to see the contraption you breathe into at night, or your pills for insomnia.  A lamp, a non controversial topic book, and an alarm clock should do it.
  5. Make sure your master closet appears spacious and big enough to hold two peoples clothing. I can’t even count the number of times I have seen HIS clothes in the guest closet because HER things take up the whole closet.
  6. Make sure that a buyer doesn’t have to come across lingerie, nighties, or bathrooms to gain access to the closet.
  7. If your comforter is dated or worn, get a new one.  It is a small investment with huge impact.  After all the bed often takes up 1/3rd of the floorspace, sometimes more.

So now you know how to sell a house… FAST…You Stage it to make people feel comfortable so they will linger longer!

Real estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.





Twin Cities Home Stager Has a Question For You

Twin Cities Home Stager Has a Question For You

Hi, I am Christi Bond and I have been providing Real Estate/Home Staging services and advice to homeowners in the Twin Cities, MN metro area for nearly seven years.  My home staging business is called The Home Staging Coaches.  I chose the name because I coach home sellers about the things they can do to  ensure that their property sells fast and  at the best possible price.

The terms property staging, real estate staging, and home staging all refer to the same thing. If you are not familiar with the term here is the definition:

Home Staging definition: (verb) The act of preparing a property to look visually appealing to the maximum number of buyers before placing it for sale.  The goal of home staging is to sell the property fast for the highest possible price.

One of the services that I offer is called a staging consultation.  During a home staging consultation I walk through your property with you and we talk about quick and budget friendly changes that you can do to make the property show well and appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers possible.

Of course we start out the conversation with some small talk to get comfortable with one another.  One of the questions I will always ask is:


Why are you moving? Now I could be asking this question just to make small talk, or because I am curious, but that isn’t my motivation.  I ask this question to see if it provides any insights that could be of interest as we tour the home.

Here is what I mean.  I ask the question; why are you moving?

You respond;

  • We have outgrown this house, or
  • We are moving to a newly constructed house that doesn’t require as much upkeep, or
  • We are downsizing and moving to a condo where we won’t have to worry about exterior maintenance, or
  • We don’t like the noise of being so close to the high school, or
  • We are being relocated by my employer, or
  • This house was built 13 years ago and it is starting to need a lot of updates.

Do you see how your response to the question provides me with some clues as to what we need to pay particular attention to as we tour the property?

For example, if you tell me that you have outgrown the property we will pay special attention to all storage areas.  It will be very important that the message “this house is too small” is not broadcast to prospective buyers.  Your goal as a seller will be to make it look like you have lived in the home for years and still haven’t been able to fill it up.

If you tell me you don’t like living so close to the high school we will want to make sure that the home appeals to families with children who would see the proximity to the high school as a plus not a minus.

The only response that doesn’t give me clues for things to look for during the home staging consultation is “we are being relocated”.  But I won’t stop there, I’ll ask the followup question. Do you wish you could take this property with you when you move?…and I’ll be listening closely to your response.

As you begin to develop a staging plan or checklist ask yourself, Why Are We Moving?  You may find it enlightening.

If you live in the Twin Cities, MN metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your
project. Please call me at 651.587.5887  or you may contact me by email.