Home Staging: Did Your  Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Home Staging: Did Your Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Selecting the Right Real Estate Professional

The decision you make about who will help you to market your property is a critical one.   You need to know that you can trust the professional that is handling this important emotional, financial and legal transaction for you. You are looking for a professional that:

  • Presents you with a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Understands your neighborhood/market area
  • Responds to your inquiries quickly and completely
  • Tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear
  • Stays current and understands emerging trends such as the importance of staging your property for sale.

If your real estate professional has talked to you about the importance of  preparing your property for the market, that is a clear sign that he or she is in touch with a major trendthe importance of staging your property for the marketplace.

Setting the Right Price

From conversations I have had with many real estate professionals over the years I have learned that pricing the property correctly is the number one factor in getting a property sold quickly. You can stage a property to perfection…but if it isn’t priced correctly it will not sell. It is absolutely critical that you price the house appropriately for the market right from the start.  Why?  There are a couple reasons:

  1. Your property will draw the most attention in the first weeks of listing. If the property is priced too high you will not get as many requests for showings as you would have received if the property was priced correctly.
  2. Once a property is on the market for awhile, buyers will think you are anxious to sell, and their offer price will reflect that.

It is important that you select a real estate professional that you have trust in, and that you trust his or her recommendation for selling price.  Even if your home is staged perfectly and in excellent repair if you go in with a price higher than the market will support, you are likely to have your property linger for a long time.

I work with many excellent Real Estate Professionals that are very aware of the importance of staging a property to sell.  If you need a referral I am happy to help.

Christi Bond
Professional Home Staging and Redesign Services
The Home Staging Coaches
Contact Me by Email

Property Goes From Staged to Sold in 7 Days!

Property Goes From Staged to Sold in 7 Days!

The real estate market is hot in St Paul, Minnesota! Smart sellers are taking advantage of this long anticipated market improvement…they are preparing their property for the market, not leaving things to chance.

Here are 7 important steps to take to get your property SOLD fast

  1. Hire an experienced real estate agent that is familiar with your neighborhood
  2. Make all necessary repairs
  3. Clear out items that will distract buyers attention (in this case dated furniture)
  4. Clean the property thoroughly
  5. Price the property competitively
  6. Say yes to every showing request
  7. Stage the property to appeal to your target buyer

If you would like more information about any of these steps you should download my FREE HOME STAGING E-BOOK.

A couple of weeks ago I worked with a really nice couple that were about to put their property on the market.  They had been in the property for many, many years and would be the first to admit that home decorating was not high on their priority list.

The location, size, and selling price of this property made it perfect for young families. Some of their furniture was Early American style, and would not appeal to the young families.

I know, at this point many of you are thinking, well they aren’t buying the house furnished so why should it matter?  I can’t tell you for certain why it matters…but I can tell you emphatically that it does.  Home buying is not just a rational decision, it is an emotional decision.  Most of us have fond memories of our grandparents homes and the homes we were raised in.  But that doesn’t mean we want a house that looks like them; We want a house that reflects us.

Since getting the home sold fast was on their priority list they took their real estate agents advice and called me.

We toured the property together and talked about the changes that would make the property appeal to a young couple with children…their target buyer.  On the positive side, the home was solid, clean and uncluttered. On the negative side we had some strong colors in some of the bedrooms, some rooms that were not clearly defined, and some dated furniture that would distract buyers.

We used some of their furniture and accessories and some of the furniture and accessories that I had in my staging inventory. We were able to give the property a comfortable contemporary feel without replacing everything.

One thing that I would like to draw your attention to is the sofa.  Staging is NOT about drawing attention to the furnishings, it is about drawing positive attention to the space.  None of the furniture that is used in the room is expensive.  It is the layout and the simplicity that give the room staged appeal.

Lighting  is another inexpensive and quick fix that can make an incredible difference in the way a property presents. The light fixtures in the house were dated.  The home owners replaced several fixtures…the transformation that occurred in the bathroom by just changing the light fixture was amazing.  I could kick myself for not getting a before  and after picture.

I am thrilled to tell you that all of their hard work and their  investment in home  staging paid off.  This Stilllwater, Minnesota property went from STAGED  to SOLD in one week.


St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

The real estate market in the St Paul/Minneapolis metroarea is heating up and this staged home took advantage of that uptick in buyer activity.  This house  sold just days after I staged it and it is going to CLOSE tomorrow.  From staged to closed in under 5 weeks!

Imagine…no more mortgage payment, no more utilities to pay, no more property tax, no more costly vacant property insurance.  The very reasonable staging cost was more than made up with the quick close.

Homeowners sometimes forget to factor in the cost of doing nothing when they look at staging costs.  Staging this house  saved these homeowners thousands of dollars and gave priceless peace of mind.

Loft space after homestaging photo.

Oh, now I see how to use the space..Love it!

This property has some spaces that would be hard for buyers to visualize if left un-staged.  For example, the 2nd floor loft is very long, and has sloping ceilings.  It also has dormers and a staircase that breakup the floor plan. Left un-staged buyers would likely have figured it was too choppy to be very useful.


Stage Homed sold in less than five weeks

Awkward spaces benefit greatly from home staging.

Look what staging did for the space! Buyers can easily see how a queen size bed and two night tables fit easily under the low sloped ceiling. They can visualize a nice comfortable seating area at the end of the space, and the area that is separated from the rest of the room due to the staircase makes a nice office space.   It must have worked.  Selling properties in Minnesota in February is not the easiest thing to accomplish…but we did it!

If your property has rooms that might baffle a buyer, consider having it staged.  Staging is remarkably affordable, and can be done in a matter of days.  If you live in the Twin Cities metro area I encourage you to give me call at 651.587.5887 to discuss your project or contact me by email

Staging: Small Changes with Big Results

Staging: Small Changes with Big Results

Have you ever wondered, “Why Should I Stage My Property?”  You are not alone.  In my years as a professional Home Stager in St Paul,  I have met with  clients that were less than sold on the idea of homestaging, but went along with it because their Real Estate agent suggested that they do it.

When clients ask me the question; “Why Should I Stage My Property?”, I tell them to do it because some buyers are kind of lazy; if you make them work too hard, they will abandon you!

The bottom line is that many buyers do not have the patience or the skill to really appreciate a property that is not decorated well, or empty.  If they pull up a picture on the MLS of a property that looks  chaotic, dirty, dated or boring…they just move on to the next property.  CLICK!

I stage lots of vacant properties. Why? Because empty homes are not very interesting or informative to look at online.  Once they are staged, they are visually inviting and buyers can better understand the size of the room when they see it with furniture in it.

Take a look at these before and after photos to see what I mean.

An empty living room before staging.

 Before staging this living room looked tiny and difficult to arrange


Now buyers can imagine how they would use the space

Now buyers can imagine how they would use the space.

After home staging buyers can imagine how they would use the space.

Here is the same living room from a different angle. 

I bet you would never have guessed that the room was this large when you looked at the picture of it empty.  If your home is not showing well in pictures, consider having it staged.  Staging is remarkably affordable, and can be done in a matter of days.  If you live in the Twin Cities metro area I encourage you to give me call at 651.587.5887 to discuss your project or contact me by email 

Staging a Bonus Room: Before and After Pictures

Staging a Bonus Room: Before and After Pictures

A Day in the Life of a St Paul Minnesota Professional Home Stager

One of the things I like best about being a professional home stager in St Paul, MN is helping people deal with a difficult transition.  I moved 15 times by the time I was 30 years old.  I know how hard a move is on a family, but I also appreciate that good things often come from exposure to new environments.   I can add calm to the situation by having genuine empathy for what the family is dealing with as they embark on a move.

This family  had a very busy life: two professionals and two teenagers.  They were relocated across the country with very little notice.  They only had time to sort and pull what was essential for short term living in their new location; they did not have time to restore order. They called me in for that.

Home Staging Coaches St Paul, MN

In the flurry to move, everything in the bonus room was rearranged into disorganization.

The pictures tell the story of staging using only the furniture and accessories that were available in the home.

Home Staging Coaches St. Paul, MN

Using just what was available in the room, we created an amazing transformation.

One of the reasons that I am really good at my job is that I am passionate about taking something that looks like it is beyond repair, and making it new again. Check out my lamp transformation video when you have a second.

Staging is a very creative and rewarding occupation that requires lots of different skills.  You need to be able to work well with people, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, and you have to have good business skills to keep your small business on track.  If that sounds like you…I recommend staging as a career without hesitation.

If you have a property that could use a stager’s expertise call me at 651.587.5887 on contact me using my contact form.

Offer the Free Home Staging eBook on your Website

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How I Became A Home Stager

How I Became A Home Stager

I’ve been operating a home staging business in St Paul, Minnesota since 2005.  

I was one of those people that even in adulthood always had to answer the question:  “What do you want to be when you grow up?  ”With, “I don’t  know yet, I’ll fill you in once I figure it out.”

I now know why I couldn’t answer the question until I was nearly 40 years old…what I wanted to be…a Home Stager, didn’t even exist when I was a kid.

I went to college and graduate school and had a long and successful career in Corporate America.  I didn’t dislike my job, but I never felt like I was doing something that fed my spirit.  It was an ok fit, but not a great fit.

Then one day I had just arrived at my office, following a really dreadful morning commute, when I got a call that my sister passed away in her sleep.  She was just a few years older than me and her death shook me to my very core.  The message, life is short, became clear and loud…and unrelenting.

The Bond Family Now

I was a newly single, middle aged woman with a teenager and a 3 year old.  I was trying to balance work, and commuting, and a toddler and a teen.  I was keeping things together, but worried that if I suffered the same demise as my sister my toddler would only remember me as the woman who sometimes cooed, sometimes screamed,…”hurry up honey, we are going to be late.”  Something needed to change, and I decided to fulfill my dream of being self-employed.

As it turned out, my midlife crisis happened at just the right time. HGTV had recently launched a new show called Designed To Sell.  It was a show about homestaging. The show focused on helping homeowners  prepare their properties for the market.  It was a new concept for a Midwesterner like me, and from the first time I saw the program I was hooked.

I thank Lisa LaPorta and Clive (the original cast of Designed to Sell) for helping me finally answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I wanted to be a Home Stager.

It was the right decision for me.  I love what I do, and my clients tell me that it shows.

Follow your passion, you won’t regret it.





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.

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.