Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.6)

Today’s Topic:  Is Staging Just for McMansions?

In today’s How–To-Sell-A-House Fast lesson we will talk about which properties will benefit from a small investment in Home Staging.  In my opinion whether a house is listed for $98,000 or $598,000 doesn’t matter.  It will benefit from staging.

I am biased. I admit it. As a professional home stager working in the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area I would love to see each and every home that hits the market get staged to sell.

Of course some of that is self interest.  I am a business woman, I sell staging services and my bottom line would greatly benefit from home staging becoming a norm and an expectation in the Twin Cities community.

But, it is also my deep felt belief that home buyers are customers, and they expect and deserve to be treated with high regard and respect.  As customers we are use to having things presented to us in the most satisfying way possible.   We are accustomed to being marketed to and we have come to expect it.

As you prepare your property for the market place keep in mind that you are out to attract customers. Then think about what your customer wants and needs.

3 Things Customers Want and Need

  1. To be drawn in.  Most buyers select the properties they want to tour from on-line listings.  Vacant rooms or messy/cluttered rooms don’t appeal. No problem, a click of the mouse will move the buyer on to the next property.  Tiny vacant homes are at an even greater disadvantage.
  2. Assurance. Buying a home is a huge commitment.  No one wants to end up with a lemon and a nicely maintained and thoughtfully presented home looks like a safer bet.
  3. Pizzazz. A home that reflects us and the lifestyle we aspire to.

Stage your home for your customers.Think about this for a second.  If you were selling your 8 year old Toyota would you spend a little time and a little money getting it cleaned up and polished before presenting it to prospective buyers.  I would.  If a cleaned up Toyota could net me a quick sale and a more attractive price than a similar Toyota that had fast food wrappers lining the floor of the back seat I’d invest a little time and effort into its presentation.  The point is, the asset doesn’t have to be the most expensive option in the marketplace to deserve a little TLC.

Another benefit of me investing a little time and money is that I know that buyers will automatically assume that my cleaned up Toyota was given better care over the course of its life than the messy Toyota my competitor is selling. Because it looks nice, buyers will assume that I had the oil changed regularly, that I invested time and money in its maintenance. People that come to see my car will feel much more confident making me an offer.

Some years ago it was assumed that only million dollar properties needed to be staged.  But times have changed.  Younger buyers are entering the market in droves right now to pick up value priced starter homes.  This generation has been exposed to slick marketing techniques since birth and put high value on first impression and how something reflects their desired lifestyle.  A vacant home will not talk to this audience.

Sometimes a really small homes
needs staging more than the McMansion does.
Without props a very small bedroom can be impossible for some buyers to visualize as large enough for their bed.

Consider staging it to meet your customer’s expectations and you will find that your property will sell fast and at the best possible price.

So now you know how to sell your small home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the Twin Cities metro 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, 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.

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.5)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Vacant Property

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging your vacant property.

Sometimes selling and buying homes is as complicated as learning the tango.  Maybe you found your dream home and your sellers would not even consider allowing for a contingent on sale clause.  Or maybe you were relocated, or redeployed, and an address change was part of the package.

No matter how it happened you now have two homes and only enough furniture to completely furnish one property.  That makes staging your vacant home more of a challenge.

Furniture solutions for vacant home staging in St. Paul, MN

Here Are 5 Potential Solutions for Furnishing Your Vacant Property

You could move and take all your furniture and accessories to your new home. The issue is that vacant homes do not show well and can linger a long time on the market.  There is nothing to engage buyers and every single flaw seems to have a spotlight shining on it.

You could leave the furniture in your old place for staging and get by with just a couple things in your new home.  This could be an expensive option if you are moving out of the area, but possible if you are moving only a short distance away.  The issue of course is that you will sacrifice a lot of comfort while you wait for your old property to secure an offer.

Vacant Home Staging Furniture SolutionsYou could try moving part of your furniture to your new home and leave some behind.  If you have good space planning and design sense you can make this work. Truthfully, I have rarely seen this done well without the help of a professional home stager.  I ran across an article the other day about using outdoor furniture inside.  An interesting idea, but I am not sure most people could pull it off. 

You can rent furniture to stage your old home and go ahead and get yourself settled in your new place. You would still need to purchase art, rugs, and accessories to make the home feel inviting, so this could turn out to be an expensive option for you.

You could hire a professional home stager. Some professional Home Stagers will rent furniture for your home; others have a full inventory of furniture, accessories, art, lighting and everything else that is needed to stage a vacant property. I bet you think this is the most expensive option, but it is not. When you factor in the savings from not having to make multiple mortgage payments, and/or steeply reducing the selling price of the home because you left it vacant or badly decorated, the decision to hire a stager becomes pretty obvious.

So now you know how to sell your house FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the St.
Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I have a full line of furniture, art, accessories to perfectly stage your property. 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.

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.3)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Laundry Room

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the laundry room.

I bet you thought I made a mistake when I typed the title to this post. How can staging your laundry room help you stand out from the competition?  Stay with me.

I live in a neighborhood that went up in a hurry in the late 1950s to accommodate all the families that were quickly producing the baby boom generation.  Block… after block…after block…of the same home went up.  Well, I might be exaggerating a little.  They did put four different colors of siding on the properties! I am the third blue house on the right.

Ideas about organizing your laundry room from Woman's Day

Laundry Room Tips from Woman’s Day

When I moved into my home I had an itch to make a beautiful laundry room.  I envisioned a place where I would enjoy being while I washed, and folded and ironed my families mountains of dirty clothes; A place where I could catch a little of my favorite show on a small portable TV; a fabulous location for wrapping gifts.  All of this in eight by six foot room!

I worked hard on the space.  I added a table for wrapping gifts, hung wrapping paper and ribbons from dowels above the table.  I could find stain remover and wrapping tape with out a moment’s hesitation. My TV was mounted on the wall; a folding ironing board was installed. It was grand!

Shortly after finishing my laundry room project I had the neighbors over for a holiday open house. Without a doubt, the most talked about topic that night was the laundry room.  Why? Think about it. All my neighbors have the exact same house as I have…I stood out from the “competition” because I had the most amazing laundry room in a three block radius!  They all wanted my laundry lady lifestyle.

I wish I could show you a picture of it…but that was eight years ago and it isn’t so grand anymore.  BUT…if I was selling my house I would spend two hours and bring her back to her glory days.  Remember, how you live and how you present your property to sell are two different stories.

Think about how you can stage your property to stand out from the competition and you will sell your property fast and for the best possible price.

If you live in the St. Paul 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, 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.


Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Do You Remember the Story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears?

  • Sometimes the porridge is too hot,
  • sometimes the porridge is too cold,
  • and sometimes the porridge is just right

The same is true with home staging. I have been staging vacant and owner occupied properties in the St. Paul, MN areas for many years and I see staging results that are:

  • too hot …busy and distracting
  • too cold…uninspired and leave you flat, and
  • just right…that’s where I like my projects to be!

busy decor in staged vacant property


Here is an example of the staging being too hot!

A buyer viewing this property on the MLS or in person would likely miss the great features the space has to offer because his or her eye is drawn to

  • the large green plant looming in the foreground,
  • the enormous vase of flowers on the sideboard and
  • even more flowers on the window treatment and the table.

Home staging is all about making the property appeal to the maximum number of buyers. A skilled stager will stage the property to appeal to the lifestyle and taste of the target buyer.

This property is in Highland Park, MN, a neighborhood in St. Paul, MN.  Highland Park appeals to young professional families. Most 30 somethings would not relate to this decorating style, it might even remind them of their grannies house. I bet that most would not make a listing appointment after viewing this on-line.

Home buyers in St Paul, Minnesota are discriminating and sophisticated.  This staged vacant home would not be on the top of their must see list.

I wonder if a buyer would even notice that updated light fixture, the beautiful hard wood floor and the generous size window that lets in lots of natural light?

stripped staged vacant


Then there is the other extreme.  A property that is stripped of all accessories and only has a piece of furniture placed under a light fixture to keep buyers from bumping their heads is also not going to capture positive attention either.

In this picture a buyer would be struck by how crowded the room is with the sideboard and the table completing for the space. The room is cold because there are no accessories on the table, or art work to soften the wall, or rug to anchor the table in the space.

I think most buyers would pass up this listing on line because their first impression would be that the dining room is too small to be really useful.

perfectly staged vacant dining room


And now we have a room that is simple but lovely.  The sideboard has been moved out, accessories have been added to the table, art has been added to the walls, a small natural element has been placed in the corner to soften the angles in the room, and an area rug has been placed under the table.  Oh…and let’s not forget about the floral
from the window.  Too taste specific, it had to be removed.

Staging a vacant home in this crowded St. Paul, MN real estate market is critical.  But just as important is hiring the stager that will get it JUST RIGHT.  You can count on me to do just that!

Make It A Great One!


Home Staging SUCKS!

First Impressions Happen On-Line…Not Curbside

I bet when you saw the message Home Staging Sucks! in the subject line you thought something was amiss. If you know me, you know that I am passionate about telling anyone that will listen about the benefits of staging…..but here is the truth:

Staging Does Suck

It sucks prospective buyers that are previewing the property on-line into making an appointment to view the property in person!

Real estate professionals and home stagers are always talking to clients about the importance of a positive first impression.

Yes, it is a cliche, and yes it’s trite, but it’s still true. You only get one chance to make a positive first impression.

But here’s the twist

Not long ago that first impression happened when the prospective buyer(s) pulled up to the property. Even if the property didn’t especially grab them they would go ahead and tour since they were already there. Sometimes they discovered that the property had more to offer than they originally thought…sometimes not.

But today, over 90% of buyers will preview properties on-line before they even take the next step to schedule a showing. If the property does not grab them the instant they open the page they click the mouse and move on to the next listing. In a buyer’s market, like the one we are experiencing today, you can’t afford to miss an opportunity.

A staged property will make a great first impression. Care has been taken to insure that the best features of the room are not blocked by furniture or clutter, the lighting in the room is appropriate, the colors have been neutralized and attention has been given to considering how the property will appear in photographs.

If you want to suck in buyers and get showings booked….give me a call today.

Thanks, Christi


For more information about The Home Staging Coaches services and pricing check out my website at

Video Sampler of Amazing Transformations

A video tour of before and after photos demonstrating how Home Staging can make an amazing transformation to your room.