5 Things You Should Know Before Scheduling A Home Staging Consultation

5 Things You Should Know Before Scheduling A Home Staging Consultation

Are you getting ready to put your home up for sale? If so you may be wondering about the value and feasibility of hiring a professional home stager  to do a staging consultation .  I run a successful home staging business in St Paul, Minnesota and I’ve helped hundreds of homeowners get their properties ready for the market.  Here are some things to consider as you make the decision about whether a home staging consultation would be a wise investment for you.

 5 Things You May Not Know About Staging Consultations

  1.  It’s Not Always a Major Renovation.  The HGTV and TLC channels are full of home staging shows that are wonderfully creative and entertaining. If you haven’t had the chance to watch Get It Sold, or Designed To Sell I would recommend that you tune in for inspiration.  These programs can produce jaw dropping results, but they can be a little misleading. The shows always take on a major renovation. It makes for good TV! Walls are always painted, sometimes they are torn down. New furniture is often brought in, and sometimes whole kitchens are remodeled.  Watching the shows may scare you away from scheduling a home staging consultation.  Don’t be deterred. Most properties do not require major work to see a major improvement. Don’t let the fear of a laundry list of expensive home improvements keep you from hiring a stager.
  2. Your Home Does Not Have to Be Uncomfortable to Appeal To Buyers.  Sometimes home owners are reluctant to bring in a homestager because they are afraid that the home will be so pared down that it will no longer be comfortable for them to live in.  While there are often some compromises to be made when you are trying to appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers a skilled home stager will help you hit the perfect balance of comfort and visual appeal
  3. Staging Will Get You On The Market Faster.  Maybe you’re concerned that having a staging plan developed for your property will result in a laundry list of tasks and will slow your progress getting the property on the market.  Actually the opposite is true.  A professional house stager will be able to separate the must-haves from the nice-to-dos.  You will know what projects are worth your effort and which might be nice to have but are not critical.  You will also be given advice on which projects must be done before the listing goes on the market, and which can be handled while the property is listed.  Additionally, if your budget allows, hiring a stager to do some of the hands-on work for you can get you on the market in lightening speed.
  4. A Staged Home Is Easier to Keep in Show Condition.  Part of the process of stagmessy desk and counter toping will be getting the property decluttered and streamlined.  It just makes sense that it is faster to wipe down a counter top that is free of clutter, and easier to pick up at the end of the day when the drawers and closets are not filled to capacity.  It is also nice to have a checklist on hand to remind you about the things that should be done everyday to keep the house ready to show.  A little effort everyday is much easier to handle than crisis clean-up.
  5. Home Staging Is Very Affordable and Provides Excellent Return on Investment.  Of course, staging costs will vary by region and by stager.  In the Midwest, where I practice, a home staging consultation generally costs $100 – $200 dollars.  In a recent study, home staging was shown to provide around a 300% return on investment.  Hard to argue with that!

For more information about getting your property ready for the market you can download my free home staging e-book, or check out the many staging articles available on my blog.

Take A Quiz: Are You A Good Candidate For a Room Makeover?

Take A Quiz: Are You A Good Candidate For a Room Makeover?

I live in St Paul, Minnesota.  Most northerners like me spend a lot of time indoors in the winter and that can lead to a bit of cabin fever. If you like home design the way I do, you might find that giving a room in your house a room makeover will help chase those blues away.

When doing a room makeover (sometimes called room redesign) we will use the furniture, accessories, art, and lighting that you already own and rearrange them to create a brand new look and a room that provides the function or functions that you desire for the space.

Room Makeover (One Day Redesign)  is very different from interior design. Interior design usually starts with a blank slate. An interior designer will design a room from the ground up. The interior designer and the client then go out and purchase the furniture and accessories that are needed to create the room.  Interior design is a lengthy and expensive process.On the other hand,room makeovers are usually completed in less than a day and  are very affordable. The only cost is the redesigner’s fee and maybe a few new accessories to complete the look.

I am a professional home stager and room makeover specialist.  Here are some questions that I ask prospective clients to see if a room makeover would be a good idea for them.

Is It Time for A Room Makeover?   Test Your Readiness

If you find that you are a good candidate for doing a room makeover and if you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a makeover appointment today. You can also reach me by email.

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging is not always starting with an empty room or a vacant house. When staging the home you are living in, managing clutter becomes a challenge. It is also important to be objective and try to see your home through the eyes of a perspective buyer. Clear clutter and arrange furniture for a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Home staging an occupied home can start with organizing the cupboards.

Home staging an occupied home.

 Choose what furniture and accessories you need to create a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Ready to show!

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

Let me just say upfront, home staging is not rocket science, but by the same token not everyone has the skill to do it well.  I’ve heard staging skeptics make remarks such as, “Hey, if you want to pay me $150 to come over and tell you to turn the lights on for showings I will be right over.”

I will admit that some staging advice would fall into the category of common sense.  For example, a professional home stager will probably remind you to:

  • Take out the trash everyday so odors don’t build up in the property
  • Open the drapes (or remove them if out of style) to let in the light
  • Don’t let horizontal surfaces fill up with clutter
  • Turn on lights for showings

On my website I have a complete checklist of common sense things that a seller should do each and everyday to enable them to say yes to a showing at a moments notice.  I know it may seem like common sense to make your bed before leaving the house, but a gentle reminder in the form of a checklist can help make those new habits stick.

But what a good professional home stager will also do is look at your space objectively. He or she will be able to quickly identify the best feature in the room and determine if it is the first thing that catches a buyer’s attention when they walk into the room.  If it isn’t she will know what to do to remedy the situation.

She will have the ability to read the room quickly.  If there is too much furniture in the room she can quickly identify the pieces that should stay and what needs to go into storage.

A good home stager also keeps alerts to trends and design innovations.  Sometimes when you have been in a home for awhile you become numb to the décor.  I follow the trends so I know what will appeal to today’s buyers and what will turn them off.

Some Real Estate Agents have a very good idea of what needs to be done to make a property appeal to buyers.  The problem is that they want to keep you happy and keep your listing.  They might make a couple of recommendations, but then they stop.  Why? Because, you prefer to hear about what they like about your property rather than what they don’t like.

The Real Estate Agent wants to be your friend, and show their appreciation for your business.  They want to play the good cop. They call me in to be the bad cop!

Home staging is also referred to as real estate staging and property staging, and house staging.  No matter what you call it, it is a very good investment for anyone preparing their home for the market and it is a win, win, win scenario.

  •  You win by managing your time well. If you invest in home staging you will get specific advice about what changes will have the most impact on the saleability of your property. This will enable you to focus your limited time on the right things.
  •  The real estate agent wins because he or she has a quality product to take to the market,
  •  I win because I make a living doing work that I am passionate about and excel at.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a staging consultation today. You can also reach me by email.

Staging a Home; Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Staging a Home; Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Twin Cities Staging Professional Christi Bond answers seller’s question “What Is Homestaging?” with real life examples, tips, suggestions, and warnings…and she does it one room at a time.

In today’s House Staging lesson we will turn our attention to the importance of maximizing your properties curb appeal.

Curb appeal may seem like a funny topic for a St Paul, Minnesota house staging professional to write about at the beginning of February when we are blanketed in snow and whatever is in the yard is frozen in place.  Here’s the thing.  February is to the seasonal calendar as Wednesday is to the workweek.  On February 1st Minnesotans celebrate the survival of the first part of the torment (December and January), and get ready to welcome spring in just a few short months. February 1st is our hump day, the top of the bell curve, the promise of spring.  For those of us in the real estate field February is also the perfect time to start preparing for a vigorous spring market.

 “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline” 

I think everyone understands that curb appeal is an important component in attracting buyers.  But I don’t think everyone understands that it is not something that you either have or don’t have.  Like the Maybelline slogan suggests, a little touch here, a little touch there, and you can have a different look all together.

A little paint and clean-up can make a big difference in curb appeal.

This is an excellent illustration of how a few simple changes can make an incredible impact on how the property looks.

 Ten Affordable Home Staging Tips for Creating Great Curb Appeal

  1. Update the light fixtures on the front of the house if they are worn or dated.  Sometimes all you need to do is take them down and give them a fresh coat of spray paint
  2. The front door is very important since buyers will be standing there waiting for the property to be opened.  Make sure the paint color is appropriate and in good condition.  How does the hardware look?  I have seen doors painted in Viking Purple and Gold…had to go, and I have seen doors completely transformed by adding a brass kick plate, fabulous!
  3. Add a planter of fresh flowers or evergreens/pinecones to the entry. Try to pick up the color of the front door or the color of the house in your arrangement
  4. Move the garbage bin and recycling bins inside the garage and keep the garage door down at all times.  Lots of buyers cruise neighborhoods looking for available properties. 
  5. Check for wear and tear.  Look at the paint on the window trim, the condition of the mail box, check the condition of the fence. 
  6. If your driveway is asphalt consider applying a sealant if the surface is faded
  7. Powerwash the property if it is dusty or grimy or the sidewalk or driveway is soiled.  Store trailers, RV’s, boats, motorcycles etc off-site.
  8. Pay special attention to the front stoop. Look up for cobwebs, add a fresh door mat, make sure everything you see says “this house has been well maintained.”  Don’t forget to check to make sure the doorbell works
  9. Make sure your house numbers are visible from the street
  10. Make sure your lawn and bedding areas are in great shape 

Home staging is one of the best investments of time and money you can make when preparing your home for market.

If you live in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area 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, or about how to stage your home 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. You can also download my free eBook: “Lighting the Way to a Fast and Profitable Sale: Tips and Advice from a Professional Home Stager“.



Free Home Staging eBook by Christi Bond

Free Home Staging eBook by Christi Bond

Advice and Tips from Professional Home Stager Christi Bond of St. Paul, MNNeed information, tips and advice on Home Staging? Professional Home Stager Christi Bond has written an eBook to provide just the information you need on staging your home for a quick and profitable sale. The eBook, entitled “Lighting the Way to a Fast and Profitable Sale: Tips and Advice from a Professional Home Stager” is available for immediate download here. You can also share Christi Bond’s eBook from your website. Learn more here.

About the Author:

Christi Bond lives in St Paul, Minnesota and is a recognized leader in the field of home staging and room makeovers.  She has been providing value added services to homeowners, real estate investors, and real estate agents for nearly seven years.

If you live in the twin cities metro area I would welcome the opportunity to share my staging, organizing and design expertise with you. I can be reached  by phone at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.

I provide Home Staging and Room Makeover services in the greater Twin Cities metro.  Including but not limited to: White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, Maplewood, North Oaks, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Hudson, Hastings, Hugo, Forest Lake, Columbia Heights, Highland Park, St Paul, Minneapolis, South St Paul, Apple Valley,  Minnesota

Staging Renovated Investment Property | Video

Staging Renovated Investment Property | Video

See for yourself how this newly renovated investment property was brought to life with staging. Warm, rich autumn colors will wrap around buyer’s as soon as they walk through the front door.

Daily Home Staging Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings

Daily Home Staging Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings

You have worked hard to get your home staged and in excellent repair. Now you need to make sure that your property stays in show condition. I know it is not an easy task, but keep in mind that the sooner you get it sold, the sooner you can relax and enjoy your home again.

Home Staging Daily Checklist

Keeping Your Property in Staged To Sell Condition

The days of scheduling showings days in advance are virtually gone.  Today, it is not unusual for you to receive a call at your office asking if it will be ok to show your property in an hour or two. Cell phones, electronic locks, and agent accessibility have transformed this process.  This is great if you are a buyer, but it can be a headache when you are the seller.

To maximize the number of showings at your staged property you will want to keep it in show condition.  If you follow these suggestions on a regular basis your property will be ready for a showing a moments notice.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you can confidently say, “Yes, a showing this afternoon will be fine.”  LET’S GET IT SOLD FAST!

Daily Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings


  • Make the beds
  • Make sure all clothing has been hung up, put in dresser, or placed in a hamper
  • Put all personal items put away.  Try to make the bedroom as impersonal as you might find in a nice hotel
  • Dressers and nightstands should be clear off except for items you chose to display when you were doing the home staging
  • If the room is dark and not adequately illuminated by a light switch at the door, leave lamps on, or plan on coming home to turn on lamps prior to the showing  (remember, your real estate agent is often not the showing agent)
  • Close closet doors
  • Open curtains and shades


  • Make sure sink in is empty and cleaned out
  • Wipe down counters
  • Spot clean floor if necessary
  • Put away any items such as dish draining rack, dish soap, and any other items that may have been used but not put away
  • Make sure kitchen and dining room table is cleared of dishes and wiped down
  • If the centerpiece has been removed from the table, put it back so that table looks attractive
  • Close all cabinets and drawers so the kitchen has a neat profile
  • Take out trash
  • If you need to defrost something for dinner, leave it in the refrigerator if you can


  • Make sure wet bath towels have been placed in the dryer with a dryer sheet.  This has three benefits, your towels will not get mildew, the house smells nice from the dryer sheet, and buyers will not be uncomfortable being in a private space
  • Put out fresh towels
  • Wipe down the bathroom sink toilet and tub/shower (disposable cloths make short work of this)
  • Make sure all personal items are put away. This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, antiperspirants, makeup, creams and lotions.  You want the bathroom to look like a bathroom in a hotel.
  • Empty trash can


  • Clear out all accumulated clutter such as yesterday’s mail, the morning newspaper, miscellaneous keys, cell phone chargers, etc
  • All shoes, boots, skates, slippers etc should be put away
  • Door locks set properly to allow access by real estate professionals and their clients


  • Open all blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible
  • Spray a little air freshener if needed.  Don’t go overboard and choose a non-floral sent like spring rain, or use an unscented air freshener.
  • Make sure the property is left at a comfortable temperature
  • Leave on a radio with soft music playing.  A classic rock station is usually a good bet
  • Vacuum or sweep floors as necessary
  • Pick up toys, books, games, paperwork that accumulated from the previous day


  • Make sure pets are secured
  • Put away all unneeded pet bowls and toys
  • Make sure litter box has been cleaned and is as out of the way as possible


Add items here that are specific to your home that you will need to remember to do to keep your property ready for a showing at a moments notice.

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Prepared By Christi Bond, The Home Staging Coaches


Guest Bedroom Home Staging Before and After Photos

Guest Bedroom Home Staging Before and After Photos

>>>View Bathroom Photos

Home Staging in St. Paul Minneapolis MN

Vacant Guest Bedroom

Vacant home staging in St. Paul, MN

Guest Bedroom after staging by the Home Staging Coaches

Watch the video or see the Bathroom photos

Master Bedroom Before and After Home Staging Photos

Master Bedroom Before and After Home Staging Photos

>>>Guest Bedroom Photos

Vacant Home Staging Photos by the Home Staging Coaches

Master Bedroom photo in vacant house.

Vacant home staging by the Home Staging Coaches

Master Bedroom after Staging – Photo One

Vacant Home Staging by the Home Staging Coaches

Master Bedroom after Staging – Photo Two

See the guest bedroom photos or watch the video.