How to Sell your Home for More Money!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Grants Pass, OR 199909023

How to Sell Your Home for More MoneySeveral years ago, I took some staging courses and became a certified Stager.  My intent was to use the skills I learned to accessorize my marketing plan by adding a complimentary staging consult to my listing package.  The investment has paid off in spades.

When I take a new listing, I spend a considerable amount of time with the Seller preparing the home in advance for picture day.  It's a two-step process, where the first meet and greet is spent walking around the home, discussing what needs to be done to prepare the home for market.  The Seller is given a homework assignment to declutter and depersonalize prior to the second visit, where we stage the home.

I ask for creative license from the Seller to move furniture, rearrange odds and ends, and accessorize the home.  This next step seems to work best if the Seller isn't present.  Why?  Because it's difficult for some Sellers to envision the process.  Their belongings are very personal to them, and our decision to change the way they live (temporarily) isn't always received in a positive light.  However, when the staging is done, they are usually delightfully surprised.  So much so, that sometimes they change their mind about selling =)

Staging is a good thing.  It adds a layer of expertise to the service REALTORS provide, and it's a great tool to differentiate oneself from the competition.  Staging benefits the Seller too, as most staged homes sell faster, and for more money than other competing homes on the market.  As Martha Stewart would say... It's a Good Thing!

Staging - It's a Good Thing!

Posted by

Melinda Peterson


Melinda Peterson ~ Oregon Principal Broker


Real Estate Cafe LLC


Serving Central & Southern Oregon

Inspired by her love for dreamy homes and lattes, Mel specializes in creating relationships of land and life... with a latte laughter =)





Discover Central & Southern Oregon

Nature's Playground for Outdoor Enthusiasts 

Comments (32)

Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Staging is very important in the selling of a house, one that can bring a positive note to the property. 

Mar 04, 2020 07:03 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I couldn't agree more Laura Filip.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Mar 04, 2020 09:49 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Melinda - I'm a huge proponent of staging, and applaud you for adding that skill to your repertoire of services for sellers.

Mar 04, 2020 08:28 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Me too Lottie Kendall.  Many years ago, we did a live staging event in Orange County, CA with media and all.  They gave us only three tools to use... scissors, twine, and tape.  We worked with the furniture the seller already had in the home (and rearranged it of course).  We had 3 hours to complete the job.  When the Seller returned, her facial expression was priceless!   

Mar 04, 2020 09:56 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Mel,  good that you can help them with your talents.  I use to have a partner and she cause me some listing because she would offend the wife with moving her furnitures.  So can go both way!


Mar 04, 2020 08:37 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

LOL... that's always a possibility Will Hamm.  That's why I ask for creative license (permission) to rearrange the Seller's furniture and precious possessions. 

Mar 04, 2020 10:00 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I think a real estate agent that can also act as stager is a huge added benefit. But - I know from experience that it's another whole job. Some homes needs a lot of work and often one person can't do it alone.

But I've also thought of getting certified for those homes that don't need a complete overhaul to be ready for market.

Mar 04, 2020 10:14 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

It is indeed a benefit Margaret Goss.  I only offer my services to my sellers.  The biggest challenge I've faced is warehousing furniture/decor.  I recently decided to build a garage at my office so I can save on storage fees! 

Mar 04, 2020 10:30 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Staging is a good thing! I haven't taken courses on it, but I could probably benefit from them. Although 15 years of experience has definitely helped. Thanks!

Mar 04, 2020 10:49 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Hi Erik!  It's nice to take the courses, but you can also glean a lot about staging by reading posts online and watching YouTube videos 

Mar 04, 2020 11:14 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

"As curb appeal is a huge factor in a property's appeal, attractive interiors close the deal."  John Henry     Great staging will get a house sold faster.  Reworking and editing interiors are vitally important in the marketing effort.  

Mar 04, 2020 10:55 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Love the quote John Henry, Florida Architect, and couldn't agree with you more! 

Mar 04, 2020 11:18 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Beautiful Mel! I did/do the same thing  and also very much believe in the value of staging. Our clients deserve nothing less but for us to showcase their property in the best possible light. Many buyers make their decision on which home to see based on the virtual presentation - great staging + great pictures = more interest (and more $). 

Mar 04, 2020 11:08 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

So true Andrea Bedard!  When I started in real estate (many moons ago), agents in my area thought little about presentation.  When I began staging and hiring a professional photographer for great pics and virtual tour, I raised the bar for my colleagues.  Now, they're using my Photographer... and I have to book him 2 weeks out.  Lol... it's totally worth it! 

Mar 04, 2020 11:23 AM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Melpunzal, your reemergence on AR -- it's a good thing!

You're fortunate to have a keen eye and diplomatic personality to facilitate your staging efforts.  Sellers are oh-so lucky to have you!

Mar 04, 2020 11:27 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Hello Bri, my Favorite Human!  It's nice to see you on my morning roll.  So, I have to tell ya, I'm not always so diplomatic.  Case in point... I spent 8 hours staging one bachelor's home, and went back the next day to add some finishing touches.  When I arrived, I saw that he had moved EVERYTHING back in it's original position.  I said; "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?"  He smiled and unapologetically said the position of the furniture was messing with his morning meditation.  I almost lost it!  He is also the same seller who told me (right before closing) about a 1940 vehicle overturned in his creek below the house.  I asked him how long it had been there, and he said; "I don't know Mel, probably since 1940."  Oh, dear Lord! 

Mar 04, 2020 11:39 AM
Peter Mohylsky. BRIX REALTY
Brix Realty - Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

Selling a home is very personal business.  Trust me, I know.

Mar 04, 2020 12:03 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I hear ya Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert.  One should tread lightly when it comes to people's personal possessions. 

Mar 04, 2020 01:14 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

ahhh, 'creative license' can be tough for some that think they are stagers/designers themselves. It's tough sometimes to be tactful isn't it? Great post Melinda.

Mar 04, 2020 03:25 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Yes Lyn, sometimes it's difficult explaining to a Seller why the beanie babie collection can't be in the living room for showings!   

Mar 04, 2020 08:39 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I remember the first time (about 2012) when I asked a client if I could move their furniture to list the house.  They looked at me like I had three heads.  WHY did I want to move the furniture?  I explained the classes, the strategy and they said HAVE AT IT GIRL.  So I did.  Do  you know those people took their house off the market and kept it 5 more years before they sold it. They did call me back.  But they discovered a lot more space my eye than their own.

Mar 04, 2020 03:43 PM
Tammy Lankford,

PS- I did get to list it again after that 5 years.

Mar 04, 2020 03:44 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

LOL... Tammy Lankford! I had that happen once.  They felt so bad, they bought a bunch of plastic bins and packed up my staging props so I didn't have to tear down everything.  I still have the bins, and they still have the home.  Glad you got the listing!

Mar 04, 2020 08:44 PM
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Your post tweaked my brain a bit Mel. Whenever I do an open house I often move things around and sometimes hide a few things. When it's over I put things back the way they were...if I remember. So I guess there's a little bit of stager in me. Probably should take a basic stager course to help keep me out of trouble. 

Mar 04, 2020 03:58 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Lol James, I can totally relate to this... "When it's over I put things back the way they were...if I remember." 

Mar 04, 2020 08:46 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Staging is always a good thing!

Staging benefits the Seller too, as most staged homes sell faster, and for more money than other competing homes on the market.  As Martha Stewart would say... It's a Good Thing!

Mar 05, 2020 04:27 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Yes indeed Sham, and staging works especially well for vacant homes.

Mar 05, 2020 10:39 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a great skill to add to your portfolio of expertise! Staging really can make a big difference in the amount of time in takes to sell, and in the amount of money the seller walks away with. 

Mar 05, 2020 05:16 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Hi Kat ~ I've learned so much about staging... not just about placement of furnishings, but also the psychology that goes with viewing a staged home.

Mar 05, 2020 10:43 AM
Deb McGuire CNE, ABR, SRS
Keller Williams Capital Partners - Columbus, OH

The class I took really helps.  I don't naturally have a good eye for staging and even I can offer some suggestions now that I know some of the basics of staging.

Mar 05, 2020 08:38 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

That's awesome that you took the initiative to learn about staging Deb!  I'm sure it has come in handy when working with your Sellers.

Mar 05, 2020 10:45 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Whenever you can demonstrate added value, regardless of your primary skill or service, securing clients are not only easier to attract but also retain for many years to come. Great post. 

Mar 05, 2020 06:59 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

So true Kimo.  It's all about our value propostion, and how that translates to benefits for our clients.  

Mar 09, 2020 03:46 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Congrats on the feature. Staging works and it's a real skill to be able to transform a room via staging.  

Mar 07, 2020 01:18 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Thank you Mary!  I love the transformation part, and the look on my client's face when they see it for the first time!

Mar 09, 2020 03:48 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Mel, that's a match made in heaven. Your clients are lucky to have such a talented representative.

Mar 07, 2020 03:59 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Awe, thanks Mike!  I've only had a few clients who didn't subscribe to staging... mostly because they didn't want their furniture moved in different positions. 

Mar 09, 2020 03:50 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mel:

Your clients are indeed forutnate to have your guidance. Getting a home prepared for the market can be a big challenge, more so for some than others depending on how they live. Seems most get the idea of de-cluttering and de-personalizing but some can have a tough time doing so on their own.


Mar 07, 2020 10:09 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I would agree Jeff.  If I were listing my home for sale, even I'd have some work to do in the decluttering department!  

Mar 09, 2020 03:51 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Melinda (Mel) Peterson - There are many designations and other talent Real Estate Agents can have, but not all are successful. You proved that you could learn something different and compliment your business using it too. Kudos to you for fulfilling a dream for yourself and for fullfilling your client's dreams too!

Melinda, you are simply amazing!

Mar 09, 2020 09:47 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I don't know how I missed your comment Patricia, but thank you once again for reading my post and taking the time to comment.  I so appreciate seeing your smiling face here! 

Apr 14, 2020 06:17 PM