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Home Staging 101: How to Sell Your Home Efficiently

Home Staging 101: How to Sell Your Home Efficiently

staged homes denver

Downtown Condo for Sale | Staged by Sagewood Interiors | Listed by Usaj Realty

You’ve loved, cared for and made your home into a special place over the years. Now you’re selling your home and your real estate agent suggests bringing a home stager into the works.

What? But it’s perfect for you! For many people, parting with a home is a difficult process. But the countless ‘special touches’ you’ve added may not be ideal for the next owner.

In other words, it’s time to change your residence into a ‘model home.’

Trish Sidebotham, a professional home staging specialist with Sagewood Interiors, loves transforming homes for people getting ready to sell. Here are some home staging tips and insights into the process.

Is there any history behind home staging?

Staging started back in 1972 by a woman named Barbara Scharz. She noticed the challenges agents faced when suggesting house changes to clients without offending them. Because she had a background in theatre, Scharz recommended “setting the scene” for the potential buyer, which eventually led to “staging” a home for sale.

What prompted people to start engaging in this practice?

Staging really took off when people noticed that homes that were “staged for potential buyers” were selling faster and for higher prices.

Is this something everyone should consider doing before selling a home or just owners of high-end homes?

Absolutely! Home staging is for everyone. We’ve seen a huge impact for all price points and notice that first impression, in particular, get people excited to schedule a showing immediately.

What is involved in staging a home?

Staging a home has two parts, a consultation and the staging. The consultation is meeting with the client or agent to discuss specific recommendations prior to bringing in any furniture or accessories. These recommendations might include how to work on curb appeal, painting, updating light fixtures or hardware, and more. Once these items are complete, we’ll schedule the staging. All the furniture, accessories, and artwork are selected for the specific house and loaded for installation. The install takes one full day, and we make sure that all the items are strategically placed to allow for potential buyers to visualize themselves living in their new home.

In order, what are the priorities in a solid home staging project?

The first priority is to understand the target market for potential buyers and make sure to keep that front of mind. From there, paint is important and can often completely transform a space. Finally, you want to minimize any flaws the home may have and maximize the strengths of the property to its fullest potential.

selling a home denver

Downtown Condo for Sale | Staged by Sagewood Interiors | Listed by Usaj Realty

What kind of budget should someone be prepared to have?

This can vary based on which home staging company you’re using, but I would plan to have a minimum budget of $1750-$2000 for the first 30 days of staging. This includes the living room, kitchen, dining, and master bedroom. That number varies significantly based on number of rooms, price point of the home, and how many additional spaces are needed.

If you could choose only three things, what would you do to get a home ready to sell? What rooms would you focus on and why?

As I mentioned before my number one priority is always fresh/new paint! I highly recommend a bright white paint, as it allows the space to feel bright and airy and usually makes a space feel larger. My favorites are Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace or Super White. Second, if you have dated flooring (laminate or carpet) in main living spaces, I would look for an alternate luxury vinyl. They make really nice affordable options these days. Lastly, I would update lighting fixtures. It can easily transform a space without breaking the bank.

What are you trying to accomplish in a successful staging?

Our goal is to create a huge amount of interest in the property and to emotionally connect potential buyers to the home. We always want to increase the number of showings, get more offers, and allow the sellers to get top dollar for their house. Staging helps with all of these!

Why should people invest in this type of practice? What are the benefits?

Staging really benefits the sellers and buyers equally. It allows for additional visibility because beautiful photos online translate to people wanting to see the house in person. Because of this, staged homes spend less time on the market when compared to non-staged homes. It also helps buyers visualize how the home and spaces would be best utilized, since 90% of people don’t have the ability to visualize a blank space. These factors together contribute to more offers, for a higher price point. Staged homes usually sell for an additional 9%.

What are some of the latest trends in home staging?

The biggest trends I have seen are towards neutral decor pieces, especially warmer whites over the cool grey tone that has been very popular in the past. Natural elements are huge, and I don’t see those going away anytime soon. This includes woods, natural stones, and lots of greenery. We’ve also seen a big transition mixing and matching unique elements to provide a more custom feel. Gone are the days where you match your coffee table and side tables or match your pillows to your artwork. People want to feel like there is a more interior design focused approach.

selling my denver home

Staged by Sagewood Interiors | Listed and Sold by Usaj Realty

Talk about an unusual or memorable story from a home staging project you created.

Since I started my home staging business, my first stage has always held a special place for me. It was a beautiful mid-century modern home in Littleton and both the agent and I were nervous because the style was pretty different from the neighborhood. I went all out and once it was listed it had 75 shows in the first day and sold for more than 55K over ask. The before and after transformation from staging and incredible interest garnered told me I was definitely in the right industry!

Any last words of advice to people who are considering hiring a home staging professional?

I highly recommend hiring someone who has a good online presence so you can feel confident in their staging outcomes. Ask for statistics on how staging has helped agents or investors they’ve worked for in the past and see if you feel like it would be a good fit. Consider the neighborhood and style you’re going for and make sure that stagers have had success with similar homes. A good stager might be more expensive but that is often because they have newer and nicer inventory or a better design aesthetic overall. This will lead to a well balanced house with items that are chosen to scale. Good staging can make a huge difference but the opposite is true, poor staging can actually end up hurting the listing as well. Choose wisely!

For more information on home staging services, contact Trish at 617-820-8823 or visit her website,


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