In this slow housing market, home buyers expect a lot. And sellers know they need to give their homes a more competitive edge. Getting the sold sign in front of a house can be a challenge.
Liz Cooley, with Rearranged for Change, says, "When you walk into a home you have 30 seconds to grab them. They make a decision in 30 seconds."
Liz showed us what was keeping one house from selling for two years.
In a nutshell, she said, "There's just not a wow factor."
The home is plain. The decorations: outdated and distracting.
The stagers were able to show us the potential the home has. Within 10 minutes a dull dining room was transformed.
Liz says they, "removed some chairs to add some more walk way, added some color to the floor with the rug, with the table the top, around the room with the pictures, the draperies, just to give purpose to the room; give someone a reason to sit in here and notice the beautiful detail in this room."
For adding a real wow factor to the room our stagers recommended adding a simple floral arrangement.
An all white kitchen got a splash of color to add depth. A downstairs living area with too much going on benefited from clearing the clutter.
We moved on to another house.
"This home has been on the market for a little while," Liz said. "And we're getting to the point where we're going to seriously look at some staging."
Liz spotted some obvious items that needed to be addressed. One room was very style specific. Furniture in another room was too big. And she advised, "get rid of that wallpaper," in another room.
When it comes to selling your home, it's all about neutralizing so you appeal to the most people. That can mean packing up items you're fond of.
A room bursting with floral patterns and dated decorations benefited from a switch to furniture that was better suited, updated window treatments, new paint and some greenery to add a little color.
The downstairs "man cave" had a few too many themes. With some work it appealed to a few more people. There was less clutter and more defined space.
Liz says suggestions might be hard for homeowners to hear, but shouldn't be taken personally.
"We say, 'you're no longer living in your home, your marketing your home.'"
Although it wasn't a problem in the two homes we looked at, our stagers say a home should always be cleaned top to bottom and any mysterious smells should be eliminated.