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Staging Matters. Here's the Proof

Nestled in a secret garden of blueberry bushes, native shrubs, mature fruit trees, and flowering dogwoods, lies a gem of a home. With the peaceful backdrop of Harper Lake, birdsongs greet you each morning and the bullfrogs' croaks bid you goodnight.

When I was approached to list 410 Harper Lake Drive, I was thrilled. The location was fantastic, the yard was truly a secret garden and the house had so much charm. Although the homeowner hadn't made any updates in a number of years, I knew with a little sprucing up, we could make his home shine. And I was really excited to make it happen.

The homeowner had decided to move out ahead of listing, which mostly took care of the decluttering phase of the pre-listing process. The things he left behind were free for me to use for staging or donate. I kept most of the furniture and arranged for Goodwill to pick up the rest. Next, I called in the professionals to deep clean the interior and power wash the exterior. Do not ever skip this step, promise? Even if your house is clean, a house just presents itself differently when it's deeply clean. Like, with confidence.

So with a fresh, clean slate, it was time for staging and I could barely contain myself. As a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was rearranging my bedroom, usually at some unholy hour, and not much has changed. I will move a lamp back and forth for 30 minutes until I find just the right spot. And once I find that spot, I will stare at it in admiration for way too long. What can I say, it's my joy. And as expected, this project didn't disappoint. Keep on scrolling for a little tour.

What a difference, right??

This room needed the least amount of staging, but the removal of the rug and the addition of a table runner, tray and plant made such a big impact on the overall feel.

This kitchen gets the most beautiful afternoon light and it was hidden by window treatments. A few accessories brought this happy kitchen to life.

This bedroom was my favorite transformation. I love how light and airy it feels. I removed the headboard and window treatments that were left behind and repurposed the bookshelf from the guest bedroom.

Some crips linens, a few accessories and a pretty plant were all this room needed.

Like all of the other spaces, staging in the master bathroom began with removing heavy window treatments. Bringing light into a room is the easiest staging hack of all time. A few cute accessories on the counter and a pretty runner don't hurt either.

Sometimes you don't need a full room of furniture to stage a room. A clean, clearly defined space allows your buyers to envision any number of uses for a room. Right now it's a playroom. Could be an office, a media room or a gym - you get the point.

I did steam the wrinkles out of the shower curtain - I just didn't get to it before photography. Now they live on to haunt me forever.

With the house looking like a dream, showings began rolling in and my seller was under contract within 48 hours. But like all great stories, there was a major twist headed our way.

It was the day of the buyer's home inspection and I was feeling good. The transaction was moving along smoothly and all parties were excited to get to closing. Then it happened. I got a call to discuss the home inspection report. Words like water intrusion, damaged flooring structure and black mold came pouring through the line. And finally, termination.

I panicked for a minute, not wanting to deliver this news to my client. I knew he would be as shocked as I was, maybe even more so. But I reminded myself that everything is fixable and, despite the flaws, this house was still a fantastic home.

After talking it through with my client, I reworked the home's marketing to provide complete transparency about the newly discovered defects. I obtained estimates for all needed repairs and the seller lowered his asking price to accommodate.

And wouldn't you know it, two weeks later, we were under contract again. The buyers fell in love with the yard and saw their forever home in the cheery interior - they even asked to keep a few of the staging pieces.

So while competitive pricing and honest promotion both played a role in the sale, it was the presentation that sealed the deal. The end.




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Pretty houses, messy kids & a snapshot of life along North Carolina's southern coast. 

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