Viewpoints: Maritza Ortega, Staging Professional and MCE Instructor, Texas Real Estate Commission, Houston

by James McClister


Maritza Ortega is a home staging professional and an MCE instructor at the Texas Real Estate Commission working in Houston. 

Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we spoke with Maritza Ortega, a home staging professional and MCE instructor at the Texas Real Estate Commission. 

Houston Agent (HA): What are some quick staging tips agents can use to help prepare a home for sale? Is there anything specific to Houston that you’ve noticed buyers or appraisers prefer?

Maritza Ortega (MO): Deep Cleaning – it is one of the most important things. It is also a very effective and inexpensive way to spruce up a home.

De Cluttering – by removing the excess furniture and unnecessary items in every room, not only will the house look more spacious, but it will also allow buyers to focus on the features of the home and not on the homeowner’s belongings. Think “necessity” as you are preparing each room. If it is not needed or serving a purpose, store it or get rid of it.

Neutralizing – don’t give buyers a reason to remember your listing as “the house with the yellow kitchen.” Keeping the walls and floors neutral will create a spacious feeling throughout the house.

Buyers are interested in “move in ready” properties that do not require updates or repairs. If the buyer perceives that the home is well maintained, updated and clean, they are more likely to pay full price for a better product.

HA: What are the benefits of agents going a step further and hiring a professional stager to help prepare a home for sale?

MO: Stagers can be a great asset to a Realtor. It is never easy to tell a seller that they are not a “world class decorator,” or that their house doesn’t look good enough to sell. Telling a seller that they need to pack up and move stuff out of the house puts Realtors in a difficult position. Secure a listing and pass it on to the expert! It is much easier for the stager to do that!

HA: Agents spend a lot of time using the Internet to market themselves and their listings. How important is an online presence to a staging professional, and what outlets do you find most affective in communicating with your audience?

MO: Most people these days start searching online for individuals, businesses and/or services. Having an online presence is extremely important! It not only gives you credibility, but also allows you to stay in touch with your audience; and it is an opportunity to let them see your work, because in staging, a picture speaks more than 1000 words!

The most effective way for me to communicate with my audience is through the updates and news I share via email, as well as through my presence in different sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

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