Boylan Heights Reno

I recently got a chance to work with a builder, Olmstead Homesteads, who renovated a 1920 home in Boylan Heights in Raleigh NC. WOW! It was hard not to make this home look great. Here’s a few photos of the staging. Love. Love. Love the kitchen and dining room the most! Address is 608 S. Boylan Ave in Raleigh. Won’t be for sale long!


The One Thing

What is the ONE THING you can do to improve your Listing Presentation, Closing Ratio, Seller Satisfaction, Seller Marketing, and Days on Market?

Easy. Hire a Stager! Offer a free staging consultation. Every. Single. Listing.


The value I offer to seller clients is not my ability to give them a list of things to do. Anyone can print a good list off the internet. Free staging advice is all over the place!

I help sellers understand their own home from a buyer’s perspective. Sellers cannot see their own home or their own things objectively!

I help sellers understand the value and importance of making a great first impression through staging.

I give them specific instructions on how to stage their home, with their things, or not. And what to purchase, often including online links from local and online retailers.

What if the house is empty? No need to stage? Yikes – every flaw is glaring! For a minimal investment, accessory staging provides warmth, depth, and color to online photographs, and a welcoming feeling to buyers who would otherwise walk into a cold vacant home. Hire a stager.

The real estate business is competitive and more and more price driven. Don’t be a commodity realtor. Offer value and expertise. Offer a team of professionals, including a Accredited Staging Professional!


Happy New Year!

It is January 1, 2016 and I’m already thrilled about what I’m accomplishing in the new year. Okay, it isn’t that big, but as an small business owner who loves what I do, but not always the matters of business, I’m excited that QuickBooks Online is set up and ready to go for the year!

2015 has been a great year in the Staging and Real Estate business. I’ve connected with 20-some realtors to assist with Staging Consultations and Vacant Home Staging services. I’ve worked with fantastic buyers and sellers on first-time homes, upsizing, investing and even some folks who’ve left the Triangle.

2016 – The list of things I want to accomplish this year is pretty long, but all do-able. I look forward to working with more Realtors to partner in staging and more buyers, sellers and investors. I want to establish some new habits (and get rid of a few) and spend quality time with friends and family.

I am grateful beyond measure for all that God has provided to me through business, family and friendship. Here’s to a wonderful 2016!

Holiday Staging

‘Tis the season … for real estate, if you would like to sell your home! Home staging is a big dilemma for folks who want to sell in December, but don’t want to skip on the holiday cheer for their own family. Doing it correctly is always important, especially when over-doing it is a risk.

Here are some things to keep in mind when staging your home for the holidays:

  1. Before you decorate for the holidays, stage your home to sell. Remember to pack away the personal items and clutter, re-arrange and pre-pack furnishings and decor. This is an important first step for all sellers.
  2. Less is more: Subtle touches of holiday cheer will make buyers feel the warmth of the season without feeling overwhelmed. A little greenery and pinecones will go a long way.
  3. Compliment your own style: Remember that if you don’t already decorate with Christmas red, it might clash with what you have. If your living room is blue, add touches of whites and browns and skip the giant poinsettia.
  4. Accentuate the positive: Add greenery to the beautiful mantle or unique doorway arches.
  5. Go light on the lights: Step away from the inflatable Santa this year! Chose subtle lighting to highlight your beautiful porch, hang a wreath on the front door and skip the window lights and wreaths. Don’t clutter the windows or block the natural light coming into your home!
  6. Mind the tree: When buyers start talking about where the Christmas tree will go, agents know they are getting serious. Don’t blow it by putting a giant tree in the wrong spot. A tall tree that accentuates the two story family room is great, but if the base is too big, it will eat up valuable floor space that the buyer will not be able to imagine the other 11 months of the year.

This is certainly a tougher time of year to sell, with so many other things going on. Remember though, buyers who are looking for a home around the holidays are serious, and you have less competition! Get out there and sell!

Enjoy your holiday decorations, show off your beautiful house and stage it to sell for the season!

Who needs real estate staging?

I had a conversation the other day with a busy realtor about the value of staging consultation services and staging for sellers.

The difference? A consultation is a meeting with a stager and a seller about the steps to take inside and outside their home in preparation for marketing. The seller does all the work, but the stager tells them what to do. Beyond that, there are various levels of assistance a stager can give with the implementation of the actual staging work.

This agent believes that only the most expensive homes warrant the added cost of staging services – half million dollar homes and above. I disagree! Why do folks sell their starter homes? Usually, it is because they’ve outgrown the space and need a larger home for their larger family. Kids, at home offices and the accumulation of stuff fills up that starter home and it’s time to move on.

When staging a home, it is vital to pre-pack that stuff and de-personalize the home in order for buyers to imagine themselves living in that home. In my experience, it’s the buyers of those starter homes that have the least experience in imagining themselves in someone else’s space, making it even more important for the starter home to be staged!

Here are two starter homes, recently sold in the Triangle. In each case, the realtor hired me to work with their sellers through consultation services to decide how to re-arrange furniture and pack away things in order to prepare for sale. The result, each sold within 2 days!

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So the answer to the question is that every seller can benefit from staging services! Are you working with a realtor who is willing to offer staging services as part of their marketing?

Staging Implementation done well

Just had to post this new listing that went live today!

I met a great couple who were eager to do all the right things to get their home sold quickly. When we met, they were in the middle of packing away the clutter, and even told me right away, the dog is going to storage too! (He’s staying with the parents, by the way!) I received the LINK to their virtual tour today … the house went live and I can’t imagine it won’t sell in a flash. Good luck, Darin & Nikki!

Check out these great pictures of this beauty in Fuquay! 629 Timber Meadow Lake Drive, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

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Staging Reviews

I received the best email yesterday!

The thing I love most about staging is that I get to help people accomplish their goals. When a homeowner decides to sell, they are entering into one of life’s most stressful situations. Packing and moving is hard! Facing judgement from a bunch of unknown buyers and real estate agents is tough! Wondering how long it will take to sell…torture.

So yesterday, I opened an email from a name I didn’t immediately recognize. I had met with her husband to discuss staging recommendations for their home. She received the email from me, but I did not get a chance to meet her. Here’s what she sent…

I just wanted to say thank you for all your ideas.  It was rather fun to see our house turn into something different with the changes.  I think we did most of what you suggested and worked hard to get it all done.  I almost wished we had done this sooner, but when you live in a house and you have no time…it’s a hard thing to keep up with everything.  There were a few things we ran out of time for, but it didn’t deter someone from buying our home in 1 week and I think they were the smallest things on the list really!   Whew!

They sold in a week! That’s the best news, when that stress only lasts for a short time for my clients.


Little victories, one at a time, are the best!

Real Estate Market Report – July 2015

The real estate market in the NC Triangle area is Hot Hot Hot! Everyone says so, right? Homes are selling quickly and if you watch the report below, you’ll hear details directly from the folks at the Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

What’s my take away? “Don’t be a failed listing!”

Homes are selling faster than they have in a long time in the Triangle area, and for more money as well. The number of available homes is slim and buyers are struggling to have choices. This doesn’t mean that ALL the homes sell. An unfortunate statistic is that the number of Expired and Withdrawn listings is also way up significantly. These are homes that were listed for sale and never sold.

There are only a few things that a Seller can control when listing their home for sale: Price, Presentation and Promotion.

There are Sellers and Agents who believe that putting a home with a few pictures in the MLS is all that’s needed. Sometimes that succeeds, but not always, which is why most Sellers still chose to use a full service listing agent versus For Sale By Owner or Entry Only Listing services.

Pricing: a well priced home will sell, many say. I say, without correct presentation, the Seller can still fail even with the correct price. That’s where staging makes all the difference! A Buyer must be able to see the features and value a home offers before they are able to justify your price. A home sells when a Buyer sees the greatest value for the lowest price. That is when they make offers. Finally, promotion, or marketing a home to the largest number of potential Buyers will get a home sold.

Don’t make the mistake of skipping the important step of PRESENTATION! Without all three components correct, Price, Presentation and Promotion, a Seller risks the opportunity to get their home under contract for the best price, and in the shortest amount of time.

Home Staging Success Stories

I began working with a colleague this year who took quite a number of listings; each time, I met with his client, reviewed staging recommendations and his clients implemented!

At each Consultation, I meet clients, review what it means to “stage a home” and why it is so important. We then go room by room and discuss what should be removed, added, moved or changed. We might re-arrange furniture, move items from room to room or even decide on items to purchase. I love when they begin to see how it all helps before I even leave!

Mick’s average Days on Market is 6 this year! Here’s a few shots of his listings:

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Staging Consultations are great fun for me! I love meeting new people and helping them see the value of home staging. I also love partnering with and learning from other great Realtors!