The Short List: Mindi Wolfe’s Top Staging Secrets

by James McClister

Mindi Wolfe

Mindi Wolfe is a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty working in The Woodlands, Texas.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Mindi Wolfe, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty. She shared with us her secrets on how to stage a listing. 

As a seller, it is critical to start thinking of your house as a product for sale. This will help take the emotion out of the staging process and allow you to see the house through the eyes of a buyer.

By staging, you set the scene for prospective buyers to be able to see it as their next home. It is important to stage both the inside and outside of the house. Here is a short list for the inside:

8. Start Packing – Buyers look in closets and in cabinets. Pack 50% of all closets & everything else you will not need until after the sale. Cramped closets and cabinets tell buyers there is not enough storage space. You’re going to move anyway, so why not get a head start on packing.

7. Less is More – The objective of staging furniture is to make the house feel inviting and spacious. Pair down each room to the basics and arrange furniture to highlight the focal points such as fireplaces, windows, built-ins, beautiful flooring. Pay attention to pathways for buyers to easily walk around furniture. If possible, rent a storage unit to store the excess furniture and packed boxes. If that is not an option, move these items to the garage and arrange neatly as buyers will certainly look in the garage too.

6. Clean is Queen – Buyers love clean houses that smell clean. Never underestimate the power of clean when it comes to selling your home.

5. Stage Each Room as it was Intended to be – For example, a dining room for dining, not as a study or playroom. Remove exercise equipment from bedrooms. Buyers only know what they see, not what it could be.

4. Simplify Window Coverings – Take down outdated valances and swags. Most of the time blinds or shutters are fine by themselves. This allows buyers to envision their own style.

3. De-personalize – Take down family photos, personalized sports memorabilia and children’s names from their bedrooms. Buyers can get distracted looking at your beautiful family. This will help them focus on the features of the house and picture themselves living there.

2. Use Movable Color – After everything else is in place, bring in some movable color such as pillows, art work and accessories. Choose only one or two main accent colors and carry that through most of the rooms of the house. This gives it a cohesive feel and adds some interest. It will also look great in listing photos.

1. Professional Photos – Last on the short list is to hire a professional photographer to capture the beauty and essence of the home after staging. Most buyers start their search on line when searching for a home. I have had several buyers tell me if photos are not good on line, they will not schedule an appointment to see the house in person. You don’t want this to happen to you.

Mindi Wolfe, a staging veteran and Certified Home Marketing Specialist, is an accomplished Realtor who’s been working with the Keller Williams Realty team since 2011. 

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