John Kelly
(651) 238-5649

Have Your Home Staged


Anybody who is visiting this site from outside the Midwest might be surprised to find out that professional "home staging" has only recently become mainstream here in St. Paul Minnesota. Of course we have always known that clean, uncluttered, freshly painted, and neutrally decorated homes sell faster and for more money than other homes. It just seemed like we as St. Paul real estate agents should be able to show homeowners how to prepare their homes for showings.

And of course real estate agents around St. Paul do know some things about decluttering, and getting homes ready to show. In fact I used to think I was pretty good at helping sellers prepare their homes--that was before I saw the difference professional stagers can make in a home's appearance. When I see a home before and after it has been staged I'm always amazed, and I know what to expect. You can only imagine how the staged home stands out in the minds of buyers. Buyers consistently choose to buy professionally staged homes when they have a choice.

It doesn't surprise me that staging helps homes sell. But it does surprise me when I see the incredible return homeowners get on a relatively small investment. And I'm not really 100% sure how to explain it. Part of me believes that today's buyers are inherently more demanding than buyers used to be. My wife claims that people today have so little discretionary time that they place an extraordinary value on a property that is move in ready. A St. Paul building inspector tells me that people believe clean, bright, well decorated spaces are also likely to be in excellent shape structurally and mechanically. Or it could simply be that the glut of unsold homes has made ordinary buyers become more discriminating. If they have 20 homes to choose from, why not be picky? I think technology is also part of the reason staging has become so important. It wouldn't seem that staging is related to technology, but staged homes don't just show better, they photograph better. Today's buyers are constantly looking for homes on the internet, and they expect to see nice looking pictures. I have been a St. Paul area real estate agent for over 20 years. So I remember the old days when I knew everything that was for sale, and the buyers didn't. They saw the homes that I chose to show them. I'm still getting used to having buyers tell me which 5 or 6 houses they want to look at. What didn't take me long to notice is that they consistently choose homes with nice pictures and nice curb appeal. Staging your home will not only make it look better once the buyer is inside; it might also help get the buyer inside!!

Staged Homes Sell Faster!

Regardless of why staging works so well, the fact is that it does. Staged homes sell faster and for more money than other homes. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a successful stager. For the initial consultation, most stagers will spend an hour or two going through your home and then sit down with you and put together a plan. Expect the initial consultation to cost about $250. Often the initial consultation is all that is needed. A good stager should be able to clearly show you what needs to be done, and should also be able to help you rearrange the things you have and not have to bring in a lot of furniture or accessories. Of course if you're unable to spend some time doing the things that need to be done, the stager will do them--for a price. And if you're selling a vacant property the staging can get more expensive in a hurry. Even this additional expense can be well worth it. Successful builders in the St. Paul area don't just show empty homes.  They have them staged because they know that staged Saint Paul MLS listings sell faster.

Staged Homes Sell for More Money!

I want to help my clients sell their homes faster, and for more money. So of course I want them to benefit from having their home professionally staged. I think this is so important that I am willing to help them pay for their initial consultation. If my sellers decide they need to retain the stager for additional help, they can easily afford to do so. Because of my discounted real estate commissions, and my free HMS Home Warranty, my sellers can afford to have their home professionally staged, get more money for their home, and still pay less out of pocket than they would for traditional services. In today's economy many of my sellers don't have enough money to pay for additional staging up front. In that situation, I can include it in the real estate commission, and it will still be less than what most of my competitors are charging.

If you would like to know more about staging your home, or if you have any other questions about Saint Paul real estate, please call me. I would be delighted to hear from you.

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