Staging Your Home for a Faster Sale

Hands holding a miniature house

Foreword by Joe Gladden:

Are you trying to sell your home in this “tough” market? Are you serious about selling it? If so, the article below is a must read. Home sales are always an emotional decision — no exceptions. We make it a point to observe a prospective home buyer’s reaction as they enter a home. Homes that are properly staged will evoke an immediate positive response from prospective buyers. The Roanoke Times reports that staged homes sell 50 percent faster and for 5.8 percent more.

When working with selling clients, we always recommend a consultation with a professional home stager prior to listing their home. We do this whether the home looks spectacular, needs work, or is vacant. With more than 80 percent of buyers shopping on the Internet first, pictures are crucial and a stager can offer suggestions to help make those photos memorable.

Sandy Gardner, of Commonwealth Staging, is not only a professional home stager but also a “career Navy spouse.” She has seen it from both sides and we believe her insight can be most helpful in selling your home.

Do you dream of buying a new home? What is your idea of a dream house? Would you ever dream of moving up to a luxury home? Wouldn’t you love to find something in your price range that makes your heart beat a little faster? Have you ever seen a house that made you want to hide your enthusiasm so no one would know how desperately you hoped the owner would take your offer?

Pretty emotional language for someone making the largest purchase in their life don’t you think? Yet that’s exactly how decisions are made. Yes, we’ll crunch the numbers, calculate payments, and check the comps, but only after we fall in love with the house.

And we do fall in love. Often it’s at first sight. In the blink of an eye we have taken in enough information for impressions to be formed: Do we fit in here? Are we moving up or down by buying this house? How does it feel to come through this door? Does it feel like home? Do we love it?

That’s how we buy homes. When we’re the one selling the home, we need to be aware of the power of presentation. A home stager’s work is to create an environment buyers will dream of living in. Our goals are to help buyer’s see “dreams and possibilities.” If you think I’m headed off to “Lah Lah Land” please hang in there with me for a moment. Our goals are not to dazzle them with potted plants and scented candles, but to help them see what will make them want to make an offer — the features of the home. Only 10 percent of buyers can envision the home as it would be if they lived there. Plainly put, they have trouble seeing past your stuff. We know what they should look at but they still see the plaid wallpaper instead of the windows, the deer’s head instead of the vaulted ceiling, and they’ll always remember the cosmetics on the bathroom counter.

We help prepare the home to show at its best and attract the widest range of potential buyers. We come in with buyer’s eyes and make lists of what to keep, what to move, and what to remove. Sometimes a list is all the seller needs and can use it as a guide to get ready for that very first visitor. Sometimes we come in and reposition, edit, arrange and accessorize to achieve a look that says, “you’re home!” Home Stagers are a valuable addition to your home selling team. Talk to a home stager before your first open house and soon you can dream about new spaces of your own.


Contact Sandy Gardner at

As always, VR SAM® invites your comments and questions. Contact VR SAM® at ; 877 878-7726 or 877 VRV-RSAM. Or visit us on our website

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