We recently chatted with The Staging Girl herself, Barbi Mackinnon, one of Charlotte’s leading staging professionals. We asked her to give us a little advice to pass on to sellers and to tell us a little more about the staging industry – we think it’s one of the most underutilized real estate services around.
Here’s what Barbi had to say in response to our questions about making your home look (and smell!) its best:
If you could give homeowners one piece of advice before putting their homes on the market, what would it be?
Hire a professional. Hire a professional stager, a professional Realtor and unless your Realtor has one, hire a professional photographer. You may be good at debate but you would never go to court and represent yourself, right? Trying to stage your home, paint your home, clean your own carpets, and so on will ensure that your home will look like you did it yourself and pale in comparison to those that hired and took the advise of professionals.
What does the staging process involve? How does it work?
The process involves a full home analysis. This can include details of what needs to be done, research on what can be added and guidance as to what needs to be subtracted or repaired and more. Working hand in hand with the Realtor, the homeowner and the outside contractors bring the process together to produce a home that looks the right way. There many moving pieces to the staging process (no pun intended) and each home is special. Think of this process as the Real Estate version of online dating; it needs to look, walk, talk, sound and smell right for someone to want to give you HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars for your home. Do not take this process lightly!
Do people living in furnished homes ever decide to stage and if so, what are the steps?
Yes, it’s one of my most-requested services. Most people already have what they need but have it in the wrong place or have too much of it. The steps are the same for a furnished home as they are for an unfurnished home. Knowing how much of everything is they key. Keeping it clean, welcoming, and smelling good (again, think of dating!) will get you a long way.
Do you think homes that are staged get a better response on the market than those that aren’t?
Yes. A home that is staged properly (and those whose owners take the advice of their Realtor and price it properly) can have great success. These homes can sell faster and for more money than those that are not. Last year I staged 69 homes that sold in less than 48 hours. This year I had a home sell in ZERO days. Staging really can make all the difference.
Any quick design tips for summer sellers?
Call a stager...we can help! Also, turn on the air conditioning; nothing in a home feels good or smells good when it’s hot! Empty the garbage cans, make sure the wet bathing suits and towels are in the dryer and make sure you water your grass and plants!
At Hendrix Properties we’re big believers in staging. It’s often a service we recommend for our clients and we’ll be happy to talk to you about how it all works if you’re thinking of selling your home.
A special thanks to Barbi of “The Staging Girl” who’s been busier than ever lately! You can reach her at 704.430.3600 or email her at BarbiMackinnon@gmail.com.
And if you'd like more quality information, take a look at my truthful and information packed e-book called "13 Things Every Seller Should Know". Download for Free now.