Staging foreclosure and Investment properties: Before/after pics

Home Stager with Chicagoland Home Staging LLC


Are investors starting to manage and sell foreclosure properties differently?

We are seeing a new trend in Illinois market were investment companies are working in a staging budget to sell these properties faster and for higher returns. For a long time staging a RELO or foreclosure was a rarity. It was all about price..formulas used to calucate everthing...good "Cap Rates" (operating income divided by selling price) when purchasing an investment property. 

Well many investors are seeing the advantage of using a PROFESSIONAL STAGING COMPANY...but it may not be popular for everyone. WE SEE THESE COMPANIES ARE NOT INCREASING THEIR OPERATING COST to include a staging budget just dividing it up differently. In other words the property managers and RE/Agents are being asked to take less if they want the property or listing. So far its been a WIN - WIN for everyone. The properties are selling much faster, they are attracking buyers otherwise not interested in foreclosures, and the offers are much better.


EXAMPLE: This new construction forclosure in WHEATON Illinios was on the market for almost 2 years. On paper it looked fanastic...a real steal! Everyone agreed it was priced right at 585k, so what was the problem..

NOTHING A PROFESSIONAL STAGER, couldn't fix. The first offer came in within hours of being finshed.   

Here are some photos:

We staged the main level and master bedroom of the 3500 sqft home.

Living Room before-





FAMILY ROOM BEFORE- The yellow walls were over powering so we painted it a softer gray/green to not make the room all about the color.


The inexpensive faux silk panels hung on metal utility rods cost approximately $130 for all 4 windows. We have many in this color as they seem to go with everything and go up and down in a flash. They really give a room a finished look.









CAll Margaret today for additional information.

Re-Arrange It Interiors, Home Staging & Design

Margaret Gehr, 815-530-3566

Serving Chicagoland home owners, investors, and Real Estate Agents.

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Margaret Gehr is the principle owner of Chicagoland Home Staging, servicing the greater Chicago area for home staging, redesign, and design projects. We work in both occupied and vacant homes. 


Comments (36)

Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Ginger, I'm thinking you posted just as I responded to Julia. I do key windows when the budget allows. I see many beautiful rooms that have none so everyone has there own style. I find you need less stuff when the windows are done and it gives the room a finished look. Honestly the pvc and such is to complicated and not an easy up/down. I like any rod 18-20" wide that can be hung at each end of the window. Its cheap, easy and I don't need a specialty person to hang or remove. just a small drill. 

Thanks Nancy, To me its always about the picture..if you don't add enough furniture the online pictures won't look good. I try to balance the room so if feels good. There is nothing worse than art thats to small or half a room of furniture. The photograph of the family room actually felt like it had just to much..didn't look that way in person but I had to go back pull the tray and book off the ottoman. 

Jan 06, 2010 12:57 PM
Christine T.
C.A.T. Construction and Home Staging & Design - Crown Point, IN

The living room not only looks elegant but at the same time like a cozy family gathering spot. You hit the nail on the head.

Jan 06, 2010 01:26 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks  Christine, cute puppy.

Jan 06, 2010 01:49 PM
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


Absolutely beautiful! I'm sure the investors were happy that they allowed a part of their budget to cover the investment in professional home staging.  What a difference YOU have made in the way this property was presented...congratulations!  Continued success to you throughout the year! 

Jan 06, 2010 03:31 PM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Margaret, got it, thanks for coming back with an explanation. 

Jan 07, 2010 02:18 AM
Patti Glover
Stage It In A Day! - Moorpark, CA
CISS,RESA, Home Staging, Ventura County CA, Conejo Valley, LA

Margaret - Congratulations on the speedy sale!  Your work is absolutely beautiful!  It's so promising to hear from you and others that banks and investors are seeing (and reaping the benefits) of staging.  Thanks also for the window treatment tricks - they look fabulous!

Jan 07, 2010 11:41 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Patti, I think its a slow process to educate, we can only keep trying. Now if I could just find a few more...

Thanks for your kind words.

Jan 07, 2010 01:10 PM
Randy Larson
East Coast Staging & Re-design - Leland, NC

WOW! no wonder it sold in no time!!!  You did a fantastic job!!!!!   Beautiful I tell ya, just Beautiful!!!!

Jan 08, 2010 06:58 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Margaret the paint in the family room really improved the look of the fireplace. Congrats on the great success.

Jan 08, 2010 11:40 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Randy for the nice comments...(We'll talk soon.. ;) are you going to RESA conference?  

Janice - The yellow was so intense thats all you saw. personally I thought it was nausating..I'm sure the builder thought he was adding warmth. 

Jan 09, 2010 02:23 AM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

This huse turned out fantastic.  Love the window treatments.

Jan 09, 2010 03:53 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Cindy..super simple.

Jan 11, 2010 02:00 PM
Ryan Dressel
Stage Right Design, Inc. - Roseville, CA
Sacramento Home Staging

Man, this house is totally making me smile!!!  It looks great!  It exudes warmth and comfort, exactly what you want the potential home buyer to feel.  I bet people hung around a longer than usual when touring this property!  Nice Job Margaret!

Jan 12, 2010 06:21 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Ryan, what a compliment..thanks. I even had a hard time leaving. Actually ended up with 3 offers within a week after being on the market 2 years with nothing.  The REA is lovin me :)

Jan 13, 2010 03:44 PM
Holly Battaglia

Curious overall....the cost for this staging job.....or should I say the "investment" ....what did your cllient's put out.  That is always the bottom line with my clients!  Renting furniture and accessories is something no one ever wants to do because of the cost involved....even on million dollar houses.


Oct 25, 2011 04:26 AM
Beth Lester
Beth Lester Designs - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

Gorgeous!  I'd be surprised if the new owners didn't want you to come help them decorate their new home.

Oct 25, 2011 06:15 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Holly, This property was staged for an investor who purchase it from the bank, it was in horrible condition (the pipes busted while in foreclosure and the ceiling collapsed, it remained flooded for over a year!) A investor took it down to the studs and fixed it up for resale but it still sat for 2 years. They needed something drastic! I own all my inventory which has sold many homes, I believe the total investment was about $4000 for 2 months which was totally worth it because it sold within days and they ended up with a price they were very happy with. The staging made all the difference! 


Thanks Beth - I think staging is "shoe-in" for redesign and is an excellent secondary income stream. If I remember correctly they wanted to purchase alot of the inventory. Thanks for the comment.



Oct 25, 2011 01:26 PM
Holly Battaglia

Thanks for the info.  Your inventory is beautiful.  I had a warehouse full and just coordinate and direct rentals for about the same price as you quoted above.  I just had a request for an "investment" property and one of the first properties I ever staged was an investment.....such fun when you have a blank slate!  The difference your service made above was astonishing.....GREAT JOB!  Congrats!


Nov 13, 2011 01:43 PM

Hi Again,

Revisting this post trying to figure out the window treatments.  My client has a large sunroom window and we just want to put panels on each end and two in the corner where the windows meet.  I am not sure what you mean when you say "cheapy" 'u' shaped metal rod that you can get anywhere.  Is the 'u' shape what holds the curtain rod?  How do you keep panels from sliding off ends if there are no finials?  What do you use in this photo above as the actual rod?  Thanks soo much!

Holly Battaglia

Mar 17, 2012 10:12 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Holly,

The rods we used in this house are the inexpensive metal rods, the kind you usually use to hang a valance and are sold everywhere for around $2-$4.00. They are a U shape and clip into little brackets on the wall, since the rod turns into the wall the drapery does not slide off, though tape wrapped around the rod will also prevent them from sliding. We always use 95’ panels and hang them above the window frame as you will not get the same look with 84” panels. This works best on smaller to med size windows, if I have a big picture window I usually buy the smallest rod I can find with finials, since a standard panel width is 18-23” inches I sometimes hacksaw one the pieces down so it smaller than the usually 24” you find in the store. Another option to consider; rods usually come with two poles that slide into each other so the rod can extend, sometimes I just remove the larger rod and just use the smaller one. Hope that helps!

This is a super simple for staging as they go up and down in snap, understand I would never do this for a decorating client.   

Here are a few more examples:



Mar 18, 2012 11:50 PM