The value of a home isn’t entirely based on the state of the economy, the current interest rates and local market trends. Some of the responsibility to profit a high return lies within the choices made prior to the home hitting the open market.


As reported by the Real Estate Staging Association, staged properties spend 73% less time on the market, and generally sell for more money.


Picture two identical homes listed on the same street, at the same price; one is disorganized and full of clutter, and the other is fresh, bright, and spacious. What message does the buyer walk away with? Which home will get the best offer? Staging is a form of marketing, and you want to stand out in a crowd.


Staged homes appeal to the greatest pool of buyers with a special emphasis on presentation; it enables buyers to see the actual dimensions of the room and helps them mentally move in. Staging requires an unbiased evaluation of a home’s strengths and weak spots; it doesn’t conceal anything, it simply accentuates the home’s natural character.


According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 94% of buyers start their home search online and 85% of buyers reported that the photos were the most helpful information in a listing; consequently, the photos are the first step to a sale.

Some may make reference to a seller's market, therefore a lot of effort isn’t necessary. There may be some truth to that, however, a homeowner can sell with confidence that they’re not leaving any money on the table.


Most buyers understand they’re purchasing a used home; normal wear and tear is to be expected, yet still, a seller can stand out and look better than their competitors.


Here are a few tips to get started: Reduce some of the photos and artwork to just a few; evaluate which bulky pieces of furniture should be removed or rearranged to create better flow. Pack up to 60% of collectibles and decor, including unused small appliances, gadgets, collectables, trophies, awards, piles of mail, books and magazines. Clear away cereal boxes, baskets and faux greenery atop kitchen cabinets; these items visually lower the ceiling height. Remember, you are not selling things, you are selling space. You may feel the home is too bare, but the buyer won’t think so. The goal is to define the space, and show as much square footage as possible, including wall, closet, cabinet and counter space.


Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs magazines are great resources for inspiration, and can be recreated with items the homeowner already owns.  A simple home office can be made with a narrow table, a chair; lamp and stationary to set the scene. A spa like bathroom can be achieved by removing excessive shampoo bottles, toiletries, and bathroom clutter, and add some fresh flowers and hand towels in it’s place. Create a small mudroom with a small bench, a mirror, and a shelf with hooks.


Reduce some of the stress of selling by preparing your home several months before your target date; help buyers see the potential of your home; the process can be enjoyable and your efforts will be rewarded.


Written by Allison Cassieri for the Broomfield Enterprise. Allison Cassieri is a Broker Associate with RE/MAX Alliance in Westminster, an accredited home stager and resident of Broomfield.