Could what's in your home affect the value of it?

Home Stager with Chicagoland Home Staging LLC

Here in Chicagoland we stage both occupied and vacant properties. Sometimes we can use what's available and sometimes we need to bring in furniture, art, or accessories. While we can always make a space look better, even on a low budget with no rentals, some times what a home really needs to maximize its equity is different stuff. Not just a few things, but a lot of it. 

While stagers often don't like to tell a seller that they really need a better sofa, sometimes it is the best thing we can do. After all, our job isn't to decide their budget for them, it is to tell them what will create the most equity and then let them decide how they want to proceed. 

Home Staging creates equity in Chicagoland 

chicagoland home staging

There isnt' necessarily anything wrong with the furniture in this breakfast room. I'm sure most of us know someone who either has or has had this dinette set. 

home staging in chicagoland

Let's be honest that this suddenly feels a little more luxurious and modern. The home actually feels less dated even though the only thing that really changed was the table and a few accessories. 

naperville home staging

This room is not cluttered. There is a lot of floor space. It feels clean, light, and bright. 

home staging in naperville

Which photo, this one, or the previous one, do you think will get a better, faster offer? 

margaret gehr home stager

Polka dots are great, so are the trees from Dr Suess. They are fun and whimsical. Are they the stuff that dream {homes} are made of though? 

naperville and chicagoland home staging

When the answer is "YES!" then the home tends to end up with a higher price tag. 

naperville home staging

It's not that Chicagoland Home Staging wants to make you move out all of your stuff. We just want to be sure that your equity is maximized and that you get the best possible selling price out of your home as possible. 

When we can do that will what's already working for the home, we love to do that. 

chicagoland home staging

The key to achieving the best and highest sale price possible on your home is to always rely on the professionals. We aren't afraid to tell you how to get the most money in the shortest return. It's what our business is founded on. If you don't have the budget for our best recommendations, then let us know what your budget is and we'll work with what you have. In any case, you can be assured that we'll do our best to help your property move so you can get to the next phase of your life. 

Posted by


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 (89)

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Margaret:  Came over from Margaret Goss's re-blog of your post to tell you I love the extra lift your changes and staging provided visually to this home.  As I told Margaret Goss, I suspect it will provide a "lift" to the sale too ...


Feb 06, 2014 07:04 AM
Patricia Marie Kelly
Marie Kelly Unlimited - Algonquin, IL
Award Winning Home Staging & Lifestyle Design Expe

Great job Margaret of showing how a Professional Stager can help make a difference in the overallperception and outcome of a home!!

Feb 06, 2014 07:35 AM
Rosie Crow
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX
Excellent job!! I love the before and after photos. You can definitely tell how simple staging can impact the look and feel of a room. Once buyers are emotionally connected to the home, they are ready to make an offer.
Feb 06, 2014 08:29 AM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

Great post Margaret!  I really could see a HUGE difference between the before and afters!  I would definitely be a lot more interested in the after pictures and would be more willing to put in an offer, even if it wasn't my exact style, because while there was nothing really "wrong" with the before pictures, the after pictures just screamed more modern and had more pizzazz!

Feb 06, 2014 09:06 AM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Margaret -- Fabulous job!  It's not that the befores look bad, but with your enhancements they look so much better and positioned to appeal to a broader segment of buyers. 

Feb 06, 2014 09:15 AM
Lynn Ashley-Rohovit
Suwanee, GA
Suwanee, Johns Creek, Rivermoore Park Realtor

Great points made for just changing furniture and not necessarily anything else in the home.  You are so right....even though some of them were clean and uncluttered, the appeal was there to draw you in emotionally.  Great job.  

Feb 06, 2014 10:13 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

wow thank you everyone for the wonderful comments...

Laura - I'm a Feng Shui believer and implement many placement techniques

Beverly - perfectly said

Hello Praful - Thank you for your comments. Staging is part art ..part science. Knowing who the target buyer is dictates the style of staging not necessarily the age of the property. 

Hi Rod - You should try it! staging is progressive marketing and it works but also agree, not all stagers are created equal. It has a taken 9 years to perfect our craft and I'm still learning. 

Tina-yep! what motivates a buyer to make an offer is not always logical

Thanks Debbie me to. not the easiest to take care of though

Hi Margaret - I think it's a perfect example because the house is ordinary and like you say clean, bright, and clutter free but it was still lingering for 3 months not sold. We staged 1/27 and went under contract within 7 days! 

Kat - thanks. good news is its sold now.





Feb 06, 2014 10:45 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Ginny for your comment and support

Hi Dorie, prefectly said. It's all about appealing to the broadest sector of buyers

Melanie - thanks. with the internet marketing and the MLS photos visual marketing is essential to appeal to todays buyers. Seeing is believing when you have the stats to back it up.

thanks Ed.. it's all about creating a new story for buyers

Hi Karen - it works over and over. This home went under contract within 7 days of staging with no price reduction this week. we more often the highest selling home in the neighborhood than not.

Thanks Michael - exciting gets you offers fast

Thanks Eric I always say it's the small things that make a big difference

Hi Gary - Price-Presentration-Promotion is a winning combination

Thank Bob - your right ho-hum does not get you top dollar

Thanks for your comment Mary Ann- I hope you have a stager on your team

Exactly Richard! just heard the house went under contract  just 7 days after we staged it. it had 124 DOM

Sheila - excellent point! I falling down on the job with pinterest

Deborah - it falls on the sellers shoulder to present the very best product they can to the market place. They have the most to gain or lose. It does not have to be expensive and often they just need a good action plan they can implement on their own. The price point of the home irrelevant. Staging with what a seller has is better that not making any effort at all. There are lots of things we can do and suggest to make a house show better even with old dated furniture.

The one thing I've never understood is why REA's decide what their sellers will do or will not do and never even share the information. I say treat them all the same...present what's best for the sale of their home and let them decide. Any good stager or broker for matter is going to work within their means.  

Thanks Terry

Hi Larry - I bet it was a surprise walking into that. :0)

Andrew you crack me up with your comments. Have a great day!

Hi Tessa thanks! actually works just as well if not better when the "canvas" is not as good

Hi Wayne - thanks. creating easy to implement action plans is the key

Hi Peter - yes good visuals make it much easier for people to understand..along with statistics

Thanks ben:)






Feb 06, 2014 11:40 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Wow the differences are amazing!

Feb 06, 2014 12:07 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I see this post is doing well and it makes me smile! :

Feb 06, 2014 12:28 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

People are often in a hurry for lots of reasons. The empty home could show where the couch was or the interstate through the living room run pattern jumps out at you. Bt empty is bigger. Empty means (beep beep beep) the family and household belongs can gain access pronto. If other homes are not so Johnny on the spot available quicikly, suddenly the empty home is drop dead gorgeous to their situation. A match, what they need. Practical outweighs pretty, frilly.

Feb 06, 2014 07:51 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I like a well staged home.  If vacant...I want it very clean...and touched up...and new paint and floor coverings if needed.

But regardless whether it is professionally staged or not...vacant or lived in...

I want the Honey-Do list completed so that my client does not have to become a repairman after move-in!

Feb 06, 2014 09:38 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Margaret - absolutely, ever house is different and regularly used all the owners items and just make it better -  sometimes it's with what they own and sometimes we supplement. In this case the before was not getting the job done so a different course of action was necessary

Hi Kimo, This subject of stagers getting paid at close does come up, even with stagers, and I do understand it's not always easy to help sellers understand the benefits. I way I see it is there are many factors that go into a successful sale and the presentation part is just one of them. IMO the main issue is stagers have no control or say on some very important price, major repairs, and even which Realtor the seller selects. I understand a Realtor is commission based and takes on alot of risk but you also counsel and quide on other important factors and if the seller is unrealistic you have the option of not taking on that client. I doubt any Realtor would want a stager getting involved in the price or promotion end of the transaction, but if I'm asked to front 5000.00 in inventory (like this house), hire professional movers 2X, hire design staff, installers, and pay hefty insurance premiuims I should also be in loop and have the option of not doing a job if I don't think the property will sell within a reasonable time frame.  

As a stager our business model and pay scale is more like a tradesmen. The scale is based on an hourly rate verses a percentage of the in other words our gross profit is in the hundreds verses 4-6% of the sale price. And then when providing inventory the turn makes a huge difference... for us the faster the home  sells the better it is. (furniture rental companies are the opposite) All that said I have seen a few companies get paid a close but the fee was also higher..approx 1-1.5% of the sale. I think it's an interesting concept and maybe one based on individual relationships.  


Feb 06, 2014 10:08 PM
Rosemarie Heindel
Harry Norman Realtors - Big Canoe, GA
Rosemarie Heindel

Margaret has a great point to make.  Making a home appear to be updated can sometimes take just chaning out a few accessories, rearranging furniture or adding some updated pieces.  Definitely changing out a paint color which is very hard for people to do. However, all of this can sell a house versus letting it sit for a very long time.

Feb 06, 2014 11:27 PM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

How a home is staged is very important and can make or break a sale. Money is always and issue and the presentation of the home means money  gained or lost.

Feb 07, 2014 09:18 AM
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Your photos tell a great story, and better than I can recall seeing before.

Feb 09, 2014 01:33 AM
Bryan Tobiason
Keller Williams Partners, Inc. - Gardner, KS

Excellent post. I have a listing now that has had the same comment from two different agents, "This house would look a lot better vacant." That's not a compliment. My seller can't afford to stage it, I've tried explaining that she likely can't afford NOT to stage it. We'll see what happens in the end. This is a great post!

Feb 10, 2014 12:48 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Rosemarie - Yes your right sometimes it just takes moving some furniture around and adding some updated accessories

Thanks Jimmy - Definately right...It certainly can influence how fast it sales and the quality of your offers

Well thank you very much Tina. This was just an average stage for us.

Thanks Bryan! I agree that's not a compliment. Hopefully you have a good stager that can get creative with what she has and do it on a budget. I see homes all the time that try it "their" way first and end up callinmonths later to stage. In the end you can only recommend the best course of action and than it's falls on themto follow through. 

Feb 10, 2014 10:02 AM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Staging makes a huge difference. Thank you for sharing!

Feb 11, 2014 04:34 AM
Jordan Gouger
Keller Williams Realty Inc. - Austin, TX
Helping you to achieve your housing goals!

Wow! You are very talented at what you do!

Feb 20, 2014 05:19 AM