Saturday, December 13, 2014

Upscale 8,000 square foot Custom Home Staging - Denver - Sensational Home Staging transformation

This beautiful 8,000 square foot custom home needed Staging to help entice buyers once the sellers moved out. Photos show the before (lived in), before staging (Vacant) and Staged outcome. Being able to come up with the right color scheme, artwork, and other furnishings and décor to highlight the main rooms of this property was a welcome challenge for Sensational Home Staging. Staged and ready for new photos to be used to sell this property we are hoping for the good news of an offer in the coming weeks.

New Construction property - Staged and for sale - Denver - Sheridan area

This new construction property is in an up and coming area of Denver near lake Sheridan. Nice amenities and features but felt cold to buyers. Now the property is appropriately Staged and will appeal to the perfect buyer in the desired price range.

Investor Remodel - Denver Colorado - On the market 3 weeks and SOLD to the first Buyer that saw it after Staging!

Cute house - remodeled by investors and listed for sale with no offers after e weeks. Called me in to Stage and the house SOLD to the first buyers that saw it after the Staging was completed!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Home Staging Services FREE - How Sellers can get a win-win when Staging Their House for Sale

Who doesn't like a great deal? Right now deals are coming from all places promoting Black Friday and holiday specials.  As Americans we are geared to perk up when we hear about a good deal.  Well get ready to perk up about your house!

When it comes to Staging did you know that as a Seller you can actually get it for FREE or at a great discount?  HOW?  By partnering with a Stager that works with Realtors that provide this service as part of their listing package.

I work with Realtors that do this.  They believe so much in Home Staging that they ensure ALL their listings are Staged prior to coming on the market and one of the ways they make that happen is by paying for the Staging services on behalf of the seller.  This helps YOU and shows they are committed to the successful sale, not just taking a listing.

Smart Strategy.

Now as a Seller you will be expected to cooperate with the Staging recommendations and you might even have to pay all or a portion of the Staging services up front and get reimbursed by the listing agent at the successful close.  That is only fair - they are putting out the money to make sure YOU get the fastest sale at the best price.  It is a team effort and we are all doing our part to help you achieve the success you want in selling your house.

So if you live in the Denver area and are thinking about selling and want to partner with a REALTOR that will support you getting the very BEST price for your property - let me know and I will be happy to connect you.

By the way, all the REALTORS I refer to are excellent marketing strategists, work for top companies here in the area, they do more than the average Realtor as far as getting your property sold, and are great people to work with - I enjoy working with them and know you will too!

To get your house Staged and SOLD in the Denver area call Jennie Norris - Sensational Home Staging - 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE  Over 3,000 properties Staged since 2002!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sellers Move Out and Staging Moves In! End Result is a Visually Appealing Property that A Buyer Will Love! Sensational Home Staging Successories

Sometimes the best option is to have sellers move their things out especially when they are dated or not in a style that would appeal to the target buyer. Once the seller moved out of this property, new carpeting was installed and fresh paint applied where needed. When the Sensational Home Staging crew arrived to add the icing on the cake to create the visual appeal needed to attract a buyer, we made quick work of getting things in place prior to photos being taken. The final result is a house that shows well for the target buyer and should sell fast!

Mountain Property - Conifer, Colorado - Staged and under contract in 1 day! Sensational Home Staging Success!

This property was updated and looked great but had not received a solid offer after three weeks on the market. Location challenges aside, the house had a nice layout but some unusual features like 5 doors leading outside from various rooms of the house. Staging was used to help define the size and use of rooms, and the evening the Staging was completed a Buyer saw the house and made an offer that is a keeper!

Cute remodeled house near Stapleton - Updated and Staged to define size and use for buyers - Sensational Home Staging Succeess!

This house was updated nicely but buyers were having a hard time picturing how to place furniture. With limited space and open design the Staging helped to clear up the visual challenges and add some visual appeal for buyers.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Packaging Your House to Sell During the Holidays

Top 10 Tips for Packaging Your House to Sell During the Holidays

By Jennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP®-SRS, ASP®-REO,. ASP®-BTS
Accredited Staging Professional Master®, ASP®-Senior Relocation Specialist, ASP®-REO Property Specialist, and ASP® Buyer Trends Specialist

Owner, Sensational Home Staging – Denver Region’s Premier Home Staging Resource

The holidays are just around the corner and many Realtors will tell you that the last quarter of the year is often their best for closing sales. Homeowners might think that it’s best to wait until the start of next year to put their house on the market and yet the last couple of months of the year are a good time to sell because there is less inventory and more serious buyers, and tax benefits as well.

If you are contemplating Selling in November and December here are some key tips to keep in mind:

1. Get a Staging Professional 3rd Party Opinion.

A Stager is not tied to the sale of the house and what is shared is received as truly objective. A professional Stager is going to be honest about any changes that need to be done in the house from simply packing up excess to painting, updating, and rearranging. They will create a specific plan of action and are available to help the seller implement it if needed. If you are a Realtor® having a Stager interface with your Sellers will save you time and energy and allow you to focus on what you do best – getting more business.

2. Fall warm décor is always a good visual.

The warm tone colors of the gourds, cornucopias, and fall leaves are always a nice addition to a home. Just remember “less is more” – so have one centerpiece on a table that is the highlight and keep all the smaller décor additions packed this year. A nice seasonal wreath on the door is nice, and warm snuggly throws on a couple of pieces of furniture add a layer of texture and visual appeal. Just because it’s cold outside does not mean it has to feel cold inside.

3. Keep holiday décor to a minimum.

This cannot be the year you pull all your treasured décor and holiday collections out and display it throughout the house. The items might be wonderful to you but to a potential buyer they are a distraction either because the buyer will be looking at all your holiday treasures and not your house, or they will be hiding some key selling feature like a fire place mantel or countertop. Remember not to put out anything that identifies your family – children’s names should never be on display which means maybe this year you wait to hang your stockings until Christmas Eve.

4. Not everyone celebrates your holidays.

We want the house to appeal to ALL buyers. If you know 100% that the buyer for your house is your same faith and will celebrate the exact same way you do then by all means leave all your items out. Fact is none of us know who the buyer is going to be until it happens. Don’t give them any reason not to buy YOUR house. There are many faiths out there so whatever yours is you need to eliminate it from the buying equation. Otherwise it can be uncomfortable for a buyer who is viewing all your personal faith items, and they might have a bias against faiths not their own, so putting your things away for a short period of time will help your house sell.

5. Christmas trees need to be in a good spot.

If you are determined to put a tree up for Christmas think location, location, location. Maybe you usually place it in a prominent area of your house but now that you are selling that tree will be a visual and physical block for buyers. Make sure that it is not blocking a real selling feature such as a view window or access to your backyard. Remember not to put any ornaments out that are treasures to you – as anything that is out on display is at risk of damage or loss.

6. Wreaths, Poinsettias and twinkly lights are good décor options.

A wreath on the door that is simple and elegant is a good idea. Poinsettias by the front door or displayed on a table to add color are a nice touch. Twinkly lights on outdoor trees and a few touches inside add that winter sparkle. Just remember less is more. Have only one or two on display because there is a point where an item goes from adding a highlight of color to a buyer’s experience to becoming a visual distraction.

7. No presents under the tree early.

Presents should not be wrapped and put under the tree early as anything that is left out is at risk of damage or loss. Wait until a couple of nights before Christmas to put those out. They take up visual space for the floor which is the selling feature and the fact is you will have people you don’t know touring your house. As careful as Realtors are to ensure the security of a seller’s things, stuff happens. Be proactive and don’t become a victim.

8. Keep your yard cheerful.

The weather is turning colder and in many parts of the country snow will soon cover the ground. Trees are bare and there is a lack of curb appeal with color in most yards. A seller needs to help this situation out by adding color with annuals that like the cold and other splashes of color. Pansies, primroses, and kale are all cold hearty annuals. Pine boughs with pinecones and red berries are a nice seasonal touch. Put a few pots of these outside by the front door, by the mailbox and at the corner of your walkway to add some color. Certain berry bush varieties also do well in the cold and add a nice splash of red to the landscape. And remember the twinkly white lights add a little sparkle too. Any lights should be tasteful and not overdone to the point of distraction with either cords hanging in odd or dangerous spots, or are visually distracting.

9. Remove ice from walkways, decks, porches and steps.

If you live in an area where it gets icy you need to stay on top of your walkways and yard to eliminate slipping hazards. The last thing you need is for some buyer to slip as they are viewing your house as that could lead to potential financial and legal issues. There are easy solutions for staying on top of the icing issue from salting the ice to scraping it. Remember it’s a temporary inconvenience to help your house sell.

10. Keep your house at a comfy temperature.

Keep your house at a comfortable temperature so that buyers will linger and really look around. Buyers don’t want to walk around long if the house feels like an igloo. You might not mind walking around in a knit hat and winter coat, but cold houses are unappealing to buyers. Remind yourself that the heating is for a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Even if you are not home during the day, keep the heater on and set at a reasonable temperature (68-70 degrees) so that any potential buyers are welcomed with warmth. If you are selling a vacant house it has to be kept warm as well physically and visually - with heating and Staging.

Come up with a plan of action for selling your house by working with your REALTOR® on a key strategy to get maximum exposure for your property. Follow the tips above knowing the goal is to help YOU sell your house in the shortest time and at the best price before year’s end.


For help in the Denver region getting your house or listing Staged and ready to show, contact Jennie Norris at 888-93-STAGE, 303-717-7918 or Licensed, Accredited & Insured. Over 3,000 houses Staged since 2002.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gorgeous Denver Remodel - Upscale Property - Sensational Home Staging

This beautiful craftsman style house was remodeled nicely inside but needed to dazzle buyers. Enter Sensational Home Staging who brought inventory that highlights the best features of this property to make it appeal to Buyers.

Investor Fip - Arvada Colorado - Sensational Home Staging - Complete Transformation of this Property with Remodel and Staging

Check out the transformation of this property with the vision the investor had to remodel this property and then Sensational Home Staging set the scene in the key rooms with color and visual appeal for Buyers.

Denver Bungalow Staged and Prepared for Sale - Sensational Home Staging

Cute property in Denver that was listed by another Realtor that did not get the job done - and relisted with Realtors that supported Staging properly to get the house SOLD! I expect this property to go fast now that it is presented well and marketed properly.

Greenwood Village Property - Investor Remodel comes alive with Sensational Home Staging touches

This property was in dire need of some warmth and appeal for buyers. Priced at a higher than median price for the region, this property needs to attract buyers and Sensational Home Staging had just the remedy to help the rooms come alive with color and appeal.

Fall Colors Inspire Staging - Sensational Home Staging and Seller gets Success

I just love using fall colors for Staging - these rooms come alive with the pops of orange and yellow! This property SOLD within 10 days after Staging was completed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sensational Home Staging - Littleton Property Bef & After Staging! Now will be listed for TOP dollar because of how it shows and the views the property has!

Our latest Staging project is an investor remodel/flip in Littleton. The house has been totally transformed with the work the investor and his team put in to make the house shine. The Sensational Home Staging Team put the finishing touches on the property with our Staging to highlight the key rooms. When we finished, the seller remarked that he might be able to actually list it for MORE than planned - another $30-40K!! THAT is the power of Staging!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Staging is deductible as an Advertising Expense for Sellers - get the info from your ASP-ASPM Stagers that attended the IAHSP 2014 Educational Conference

Don't drop your price which is a total loss -
 invest in Staging and be able to deduct the investment
off the proceeds of the sale!

Having just attended our International Association of Home Staging Professionals(R) (IAHSP) Educational Conference one of the key things I brought back for my clients is the following information on Home Staging and tax benefits:

According to CPA Rob Unger of Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, P.C., “Home sellers can benefit from Home Staging, as the fees for Staging services can be considered as advertising costs, according to the IRS guidelines. Since a home Stager prepares your house for potential homebuyers, the IRS considers the service as an advertising expense as long as the home Stager has been hired for the sole purpose of selling your home. The costs of Staging are subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the home and decrease the total realized profit. In summary, the IRS’ position is that Staging costs are a legitimate selling expense for both primary and secondary homes and are therefore tax deductible.

However, it is important to note that if a house is Staged and then taken off the market, the Staging expenses are not tax deductible.”

** Always check with your own CPA concerning all tax write offs, tax information and the above information as well.

Denver Duplex - Sensational Home Staging helps highlight new construction property - Investor flip

Check out the before and afters of one of our recent Staging projects. This new construction property has some nice interior options and amenities and the Staging is the icing on the cake to help the house come alive!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The 5 Senses of Staging a House – a Sensible and Sensational Idea!

The 5 Senses of Staging a House –
a Sensible and Sensational Idea!

By Jennie Norris, APS Master®, Owner, Sensational Home Staging
Denver Region's Premier Home Staging Resource

I read something recently that caught my attention as it talked about how our 5 senses – SIGHT, SMELL, TOUCH, HEARING, TASTE – engage as we look at houses, or rather how they don’t engage if the seller has not deliberately put things out to make that happen or has not bothered to prepare their house for sale.

I thought about this – and as a professional Home Stager – I realized this is what I do every time I work with a Seller and on a house to Stage it for sale.    But there is an imbalance with some Staging out there – where the focus is really on ONE sense – SIGHT and the others are sort of forgotten. 

Let’s take a look at what a complete sensory Staging would be like. . .

Before we take a look at what happens with Staging, let’s consider the flip side - when a Seller does NOT prepare their house for sale and what a Buyer might experience within their 5 senses.

SIGHT:  Cluttered and dirty houses are a turnoff to Buyers.  If the house is not picked up it says, “I don’t care about my house.”  If a Buyer sees too many personal things, they feel like they are invading someone’s space and they are uncomfortable and will leave.  If they see all the Seller’s things it not only distracts them from just being able to take in each room as a whole, it also could turn them away if the items are too personal, tacky, or just plain odd. 

SMELL:  Do I really have to mention that ANY unpleasant odor, aroma, or smell in a house is not a good thing for Selling?  If a Seller is unsure whether their house has a smell that is unpleasant, tell them to ASK any number of people that do not live there.  The most common culprits are cooking odors, pet odors, cigarette smoke odors, old house, and mildew smells but it could even be too much fragrance or plug-ins that cloister the senses.  However, most people are afraid to tell them the truth, and that is where the Home Stager can help.

TOUCH:  This can go a couple of ways, but let’s first start with the touch that ends up with sticky residue on your hands – that is a house that needs cleaning!  Buyers are going to open doors, cupboards, and touch things as they go through the house.  Buyers will also consider the furniture in the house, and if touching it gets a reaction like “EWW” – that is not a good thing.  Threadbare, torn or tattered is not a good look for any Seller hoping to attract a Buyer and give them the belief that, “Hey I took great care of this house – just look at how well I cared for my furniture!” 

HEARING:  We cannot always control the noise outside of our houses – traffic, dogs, construction, but we can control the noise inside.  A faucet that sounds like a Mack truck engine when you turn it one says, “There is something gravely wrong with the plumbing in this house.”  Squeaky hinges, doors that drag on the floor, and in general any noise that advertises the age of the house is not a good thing for Selling.

TASTE:  This one really does not pertain to pre-Selling so we’ll just skip this one for now and go right into the recommendations for when the house is Staged.

It’s easy to incorporate all 5 Senses in a positive way when Staging and Selling a House.  This can be done with Occupied or Vacant houses for sale and is a key process that ensures a Buyer has a complete experience in the house. . .

SIGHT:  Make sure the house is light and bright.  Open up windows where there is a view to show off, and minimize any unattractive views with blinds or strategically placed objects.  Make sure the house is very CLEAN and also DEPERSONALIZED as far as collections, personal items (bills, medicine), photos, and anything that could be a potential distraction for a Buyer.  Any brightly painted walls should be painted a warm neutral color.  Walls that are too dark actually make the room feel smaller as it closes the room in . . . And when a Seller does not paint, they are eliminating a large portion of the Buyer pool who don’t like that color, it does not go with their stuff, and they don’t to have to paint when they move in!  They’ll just go buy something else that is ready for them and does go with their things, a.k.a. NEUTRAL.

However, we need and want COLOR and NATURE for visual appeal in Staging.  Accent décor and greenery, artwork that draws a person closer, and other fun whimsical displays are good for Staging and Selling.

Do not make your house so stark and plain that all the pizzazz is gone.  This is taking the “de-cluttering” too far – and now your house is cleared out but it’s Boring. 

TIP:  Your Home Stager will know what to do in each room to make it visually stimulating and appealing to draw the buyer in and want to see more!  They can use your things or enhance what you have with décor, but the plan should be to keep or add pizzazz but allow the Buyer to take each room in its entirety and not be distracted by décor or too much.  There is a fine balance your Home Stager can help you achieve.

SMELL:  We want houses on the market to smell good – fresh and inviting.  For showing houses Realtors often use the baked cookies or bread trick or the cinnamon simmering on the stove trick . . . but Buyers can detect if there are other underlying aromas.  This is where a house must be CLEAN – and there is no concession here – we don’t want smells –urine, dirty clothes, smoke smell, cooking odors, mold or mildew smells in the house.   Once the smells are eliminated, the house should smell fresh and clean – and be kept that way while the house is on the market.  There are products that eliminate odors for good as long as they are not reintroduced. 

When others may be afraid to tell the truth about odors in a house that is coming on the market, a professional Home Stager owes it to the Seller to tell them the truth.  Those that are trained understand how to couch their message in kindness so they don’t offend – and yet if we don’t tell the truth and the house does not sell because of this issue, we did not do our job.

TIP:  Ask your Home Stager what they recommend as a permanent solution for challenging aromas. There are inexpensive yet effective products that are odor eliminators, as well as machines that can be used.

TOUCH:  The house should look “plush” and inviting.  There should be soft surfaces along with the hard – and this relates to the furniture.  A bed can have a comforter, but why not add some accent pillows and a throw as well to create layers of softness?  If a Seller has a collection of Adirondack furniture throughout the house, they need to possibly minimize the collection, and for sure bring in accent pillows or cushions, and silk trees or plants to help soften all that wood.  Not that a Buyer is going to sit in a Seller’s couch, but we want them to feel like each room is inviting them in to experience more. By the same token if the Seller has a bunch of overstuffed couches, bean bags, or large floor pillows, we want to bring in some structured furniture to help add strength and solidness to the room, otherwise we feel like we are sinking.  Throughout the house there should be a balance of hard and soft, plush and streamlined. 

 TIP:  An experienced Home Stager will know what to do in each room, how to make the most of what a Seller already has, and bring in any needed décor to complete the look.

HEARING:  Showing houses agents will often play music – and I think that is a good thing to create an atmosphere that is pleasant and inviting.  There are other audible enhancements that are appealing to buyers as well.  A water feature is enticing and relaxing – consider putting one in the Master bath or a larger one in the courtyard or back patio.  Sellers need to fix all the squeaks and groans in the house they can before it comes on the market.  You cannot “Stage away” traffic or construction noise, but you can minimize it by having another sound distract from it.  This helps a buyer to know, “Even though there is some exterior noise, I could still live here if I had this water feature.”  Help them to know how to override what may be a potential detraction to buying the house. 

TIP:  Your Home Stager can provide a creative solution or idea to help override a potentially negative sound.  They cannot “Stage away” the issues, but they can help come up with a plan that will minimize or eliminate the issue.

TASTE:  Of the 5 senses this one is probably the least utilized when Staging as most of the time we are not using real food as props that are supposed to be eaten. However, when Showing a house, it’s fun to have cookies or fruit and refreshing drinks for Buyers.  Stagers can use faux prop food for a look – such as parfaits or small cakes, faux fruit or even faux champagne in glasses, but these are props.  Some Stagers can use real fruit as a prop – but with most it’s not to be eaten.  To get this 5th sense involved with Buyers the Seller or Realtor will have to provide the delicious snack that gets that last sense engaged, or a team partner Stager can bring cookies and lemonade for the open house – and get that last sense checked off!

Let’s face it – the market is competitive and to get the Sale you want within the timeframe you need, you owe it to yourself and your house to engage all 5 senses for the Buyer.

The Results?  A SENSATIONAL Sale . . . When Buyers make a 5 senses connection to a house it is more likely to become their HOME and the Seller will achieve their goals as well of selling versus sitting on the market.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Suburban Residential Property Staging - Highlands Ranch CO - Staged to help Showcase the floor plan and attract Buyers

This property is located in a suburban area of Denver - and needed Staging to help define the size of rooms and counter balance the red drapes and custom paint colors left by the Sellers. Now Buyers can see the potential for each room - and visually the house presents much better to the buying public.

Investor Remodel and Flip - Staged to sell to attract today's buyer

Check out the before and afters of this investor flip of a property near the High Line Canal in Centennial. The property tuned out nicely and the Staging is the icing on the cake to help really showcase the features of the property.

Urban Condo - Denver - cute hipster condo area Staged and for sale

This condo is located in a hip location in Denver - close to shops and downtown - and in a secure building. The Staging helps buyers see that the rooms are large enough for full groupings and the icing on the cake is this property has been remodeled with today's buyer in mind!

Great remodeled property in Thornton

Check out the before and afters of this remodeled property in Thornton - in a great family neighborhood. Went under contract immediately following our Staging - another success!

Westminster Staging - Cute House that needed visual appeal for Buyers to appreciate the rooms and potential in this house

Cute property in Westminster - twice under contract and fell through prior to Staging - and now Staged and prepared for serious buyers who want to make this property their home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Hire me to sell your house – I will only charge you 0.5%!" - A Stager's Courtesy Request

Hire me to sell your house – I will only charge you 0.5%!
Why would I sell real estate for 1/6 of the traditional going rate?  Because selling houses is FUN!  Isn’t that a great reason?

Now – Reality check.  No. I am not a Realtor.  No, I am not selling houses or working with buyers.  If I ever did decide to do that I would never undercut the professionals with an explanation that “it’s fun” – or "I don’t make my real money doing this so I won’t  charge for my services." 

Realtors – don’t you get tired of the Help U Sells, FSBO, and other low or no commission “listing companies” that undercut your professionalism, your business practices, your income and way of life?  You have taken the time to get professional training, education, adhere to code of ethics and belong to a professional association.

You know who else does?  Professional Stagers.  We have made the investment in our education, memberships and business in order to provide a service that brings value to the process of selling a house.  To my Realtor clients that use me as part of their team to help make them more productive, I say, “Thank you” for recognizing my talent and efforts are of value to you and your clients.  To the others that have yet to “get it” that having a Stager on your team doing the Staging actually helps YOU be more productive, read on.


Furniture and décor resourced from local thrift stores

Professionally Staged - with the target buyer in mind

I have to say I grow weary of seeing some really questionable “staging” being done by agents under the guise of saving a buck or the idea that “I can do it myself so why should I pay someone or encourage my client to hire a professional?”  Or not even recommending it be done because “the house will sell anyway,” not focusing on the fact that Staging helps houses sell for the very BEST price and helps your sellers net the most from the sale.

What if everyone had that same idea when it came to hiring you?  “We don’t need a Realtor – we can just list our house ourselves, honey.  Who cares about the legal ramifications or the fact that we know nothing about marketing or heck – even negotiating on our own behalf.  It looks easy – so we are going to do it to save ourselves some money.”

Does that thought process upset you?  If it does – and I am sure it does – then why do some turn around and do the same thing when it comes to Staging?  In most cases Staging the property costs less than you think and helps YOU net the most for your client and yourself.
Not doing anything or thinking that you can do it yourself and then putting furniture and décor that in no way fits the style, property price-point, or target buyer is doing your client (and yourself) a disservice.  Staging is not about just tossing some extra décor you might have lingering in your house or basement, or going to thrift stores to gather up a few things you can hang or place in a house. 

Card table covered with ill fitting table cloth, artwork is too small.
None of this would attract the buyer

Professionally Staged and in line with the seller's list price and Staging budget
Staging requires a lot of planning and mental coordinating before the actual Staging takes place.  It’s not about plopping random furniture and décor in a house – it’s about adding visual appeal, defining use and size of rooms, and creating an atmosphere that entices buyers to want to make the house they are standing in their home.  Stagers are constantly transitioning our inventory to keep up with the trends and styles to providing a service that is going to help houses sell.  We make monetary investments to ensure that the finished product represents not only our professionalism but also YOU as our client – so that you get the results you want of a sale at the best price.

So to the Realtors that may be reading this - as a professional surround yourself with other professionals that make you look good to your client and make you more productive.  You really don’t have time to be hauling furniture and décor around when time is limited and you could be meeting with a new client and earning far more on the sale of a house than I ever will Staging a property.

No, I am not going to list a house for 0.5%.  IF I ever did get into real estate I would not be foolish enough to leave money on the table or operate a business where I did not practice at the highest standard.   I recognize your expertise and happily refer you to those I know that need a trusted professional.  Ask a professional Stager, I ask for the same courtesy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Denver New Construction - Staged to appeal to the Target Buyer

This house is a new construction property in an up and coming area of Denver - and needed to appeal to the target buyer. The photos show the before (Staged but not to the right target audience) the emptied and then the Sensational Home Staging version of what needs to be done to Stage this property.

Denver Remodeled House - Sensational Home Staging Succees

This updated house needed Staging to help it get the very best price for sale. Sensational Home Staging added furniture and décor to help bring the rooms to life!

Golden Vacant now Staged for Sale! Sensational Home Staging Crew does it again!

Vacant house in Golden - now Sensationally staged for sale by the Sensational Home Staging crew! Should attract buyers now that the key rooms are Staged to show size, purpose, and create visual appeal.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Custom home in Boulder - Erie - Staged and ready to show!

This custom home in the Boulder-Erie border needed to be Staged to help it show best to buyers. We call this a "mixed-media" Staging - because we combined some of what the Seller had in the house with inventory brought in by Sensational Home Staging. The end result is a look that helps highlight the main rooms, adds color and updated appeal for buyers.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Jennie Norris featured on national blog for Two Men And A Truck

Recently I was asked to write a blog post on Staging for Two Men And A Truck and their national blog.  Here is the link to the blog post featured nationally.  "Home Staging and the Laws of Buyer Attraction"

Sensational Denver Custom - Staged and ready to Show!

Out latest Staging success - beautiful custom home vacant to Staged and ready to show and sell! Sensational Home Staging Success!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Denver Custom - Staged and under contract in days with 8 offers! Now that is a Sensational Home Staging success!

This property was fully Staged - all areas done after the Seller moved out - and the Seller was beyond thrilled with how it turned out. The excitement continued as they received 8 offers on their property and sold for more than expected! In a hot market - Staged houses sell for EVEN MORE - and sell quickly!

Littleton Vacant gone Sensational with Sensational Home Staging

This house lacked visual appeal - and after replacing the carpeting the Realtor wisely encouraged the Sellers to Stage - to help give Buyers the best first impression. The end result is color and room definition that is in line with the price of the house and the sellers' budget.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

6 UPLIFTING TIPS to Get Your House Staged & Sold

6 UPLIFTING TIPS to Get Your House
By Jennie Norris, ASP Master®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-REO®, ASP-SRS®
Owner, Sensational Home Staging – serving the Greater Denver region

1. If it’s cluttered – PACK IT UP

     Clutter is a natural part of life and most of us do our best to stay on top of it. Things on surfaces, floors, walls, and in our yards – are all items we enjoy or have “plans for” – and that is life. However, when selling a house – the clutter that is part of daily lives actually cuts into our equity. As Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging®, says, “Clutter eats equity” and the more of it that is around, the harder it is for a buyer to look past and see the possibilities of the house and of living there as their home. When Selling – PACK IT UP – pack up the clutter and this actually gives the Seller a head start on moving – as when the Seller gets an offer they will already have packed up a lot of their smaller things and personal items – which will lessen the stress of having to move.

2. If it’s dated – SPRUCE IT UP

     Not all houses are new. Not all buyers want new houses, and yet most all buyers want houses that are in move-in condition. This means that if your house or listing is dated, it might be worth the investment to paint or upgrade elements of the house so it stands up to the competition. Spruce it up – put in warm neutral paint colors on walls and paint over any custom colors that are too bright, too dark, or too dingy. Don’t be stubborn about painting – you are moving. You can paint your new house the colors you want but for Buyers – make the effort to help them mentally move in to the house you are selling by giving them a warm neutral palette.

Take down wall paper or paint over it – wall paper is too customized and individualized - make your house Buyer neutral. Replace worn carpeting if possible, and remove odd objects, funky art that is possibly distracting, and pack up controversial items. Replace dated fixtures – for about $25.00-$75.00 you can replace a faucet, ceiling fan or lighting fixture. That means for an entire house when you invest about $500 you can update a lot of elements that will help your house compete with newer houses for sale.

3. If it’s dirty, CLEAN IT UP!

     Dirty houses are a turn off to Buyers. It sends the message, “I did not care for my house and you will probably find maintenance issues here.” It may also send the wrong message to the buyer that you are desperate or in some sort of sticky situation if you are not maintaining your house. That is the wrong message to send when selling. Dig in and do whatever you can to make your house really shine. If you are not able to do it yourself get help. Call in favors or get volunteers that can help you do what you need but do not put a dirty house on the market. If there are pets, get rid of the hair – and that means you need to vacuum UNDER the furniture too – and suck up those dust balls.

     Get an objective opinion from someone that has high cleanliness standards – and LISTEN to their advice about your house and don’t take it personally. The things we do for buyers may be beyond what we do for ourselves, but remember this is all about the EQUITY in your house – and your desire to get the BEST offer in the SHORTEST time. Be willing to clean your windows and bathrooms until they sparkle. Buyers can tell how well you’ve cared for your house by looking at the small things – window tracks, bathroom or tile grout, fixtures. If you cannot afford to replace worn carpet, at least CLEAN it! It is an inexpensive investment to ensure your house looks the very best based on your timeframe and budget.

4. If it’s broken – FIX IT UP

Houses that are for sale need to be in good condition as well as show well. It would be worth it to have a home inspector go through your house for sale and find all the things that need repair or replacement so that when the house comes on the market it is ready to sell. A buyer does not like going through a house that has “issues” that need addressing – and anything that can be done up front will help the sale. If you cannot afford a home inspection, go through your house with "Buyer's Eyes" and see how your house stands up to the scrutiny you know it will go through with showings. Make sure things are in working order, any cosmetic scuffs or knicks are repaired, and your house is ready for the public to come through.

5. If it’s overgrown – TRIM IT UP

     The outside of the house makes the first impression and we have about 3-10 seconds to capture the attention . Curb appeal is extremely important and yet many Sellers fail to address that when their house comes on the market. Trees get bigger and overgrown, and shrubs grow wider and taller – and sometimes the house – that is the product – is hidden. Take the time to trim trees and shrubs so that they don't make the house feel crowded. Add color to help with curb appeal - with annuals or perennials that highlight the yard and house and show up well in photos. And don't forget the side yards and back yard. If there is a view - show it off. If there is an eyesore - minimize it with strategically placed trees or lattice. If there are unused pots or other yard items, box them up or get rid of them. Minimize "yard art" as well - remember we want the focus on the house, not pink flamingos or a collection of cute bunnies.

6. If it’s not selling – LISTEN UP

     Ultimately, Staging is a marketing tool and a financial tool to help the Seller and Staging will help a house sell faster and at the best price in any market. It is well worth it to invest in an objective opinion about your house by hiring a professional Stager to come and create a Staging plan for your house. Listen up to your Stager and do your best not to take things personally when you may be advised to pack, paint or perk up your house.

     Staging works – however it is not a “magic wand” that allows a seller to price their house outside of where it will sell. It will help a house sell faster than the un-Staged competition. Statistics prove that fact – and yet Sellers - Listen UP to your Realtor and if your house is not selling and it is Staged properly for sale, then it is the price that is keeping a buyer from buying. This does not mean that the Staging did not work – it means that the house needs to meet the market conditions and other factors that could be impacting the sale – and it WILL sell before the competition that has NOT taken into account presentation and Staging as a marketing, listing and financial tool.

     Follow this UPLIFTING advice and you should be receiving an offer on your house that will lift you up and make you glad that you invested the time and dollars in Staging. Whether you implement the suggestions provided to you by a professional Home Stager or you hire them to help you do the work, Staging is a proven way to get top dollar for your house in any market. And in today’s market and economy, we need every tool available to help put our best foot – or your case – house – forward and attract the positive attention that will get your house SOLD!

If you are in the Denver region and want a professional Home Stager’s evaluation of your house or listing, contact Jennie Norris, ASP Master®, past President of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP), and Owner of Sensational Home Staging (

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Highlands Ranch - Staged and Show Ready! Sensational Home Staging does it again!

This house has a great layout and inviting features. The sellers moved out and left a blank palette for us to Stage - and we had a great time incorporating fresh greens and blues to create an inviting look for buyers. The house should sell fast - in this market a well presented house attracts the buyers!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Custom Property with Acreage - Franktown - Sensational Home Staging Before & After

This unique property has a floor plan that needs defining for buyers. The sellers used the space the way that made sense for them but for selling we decided to define key areas that a buyer would expect to see in the house. The end result is an inviting arrangement in the key rooms.

Highlands Ranch Home Staging - Sensational Home Staging

This house was sitting on the market unsold and needed some color and visual appeal to help buyers see the potential for the key rooms. Sensational Home Staging helped set the scene room by room to provide the needed appeal for buyers.

Are You In Control of Your Business & Clients?

Are You in Control of Your Business & Clients?

By Jennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO®, Owner, Sensational Home Staging


Someone once wisely taught me that we are in a people business and since we deal with people we cannot control what they do, think, or say.  Thanks, Barb Schwarz, for that valuable life and business lesson I learned back in 2002.  That principle has served me well over the years as I have grown a Home Staging business serving sellers, Realtors, builders and investors.  Even though we cannot control other people we can control our process, practices, and how we educate our clients, ultimately remaining in professional control of our business.


Have you ever had a seller of a vacant house tell you they don’t like your Staging or the items you used to prepare their house for sale?  I call this client “The Controller.”  Have you ever had a seller of an occupied house tell you they are not going to do what you recommend?  This client is “The Resistor.”   Any Stager that has been in business has definitely encountered both of these types of sellers.  They don’t like change.  They also are not thinking about the selling process in the right framework.  A house has to appeal to the BUYER – not the seller.

I met a couple selling their vacant house and as I toured the house to take photos, the wife wanted to know what type of furniture I was going to use, the colors, placement, and style (The Controller).  When I shared that I don’t work that way, I don’t solidify the plan until I am hired and make selections based on what I know works for their house based on their budget and be Staged for the target buyer, I am not sure she “got it.”  A seller that fancies themselves to be a “designer or decorator” and who wants control of the “look” is going to find themselves either paying much more than necessary for “staging” or be disappointed at the “look” because the Staging is not to their decorating taste.  I am reluctant to work with The Controller who does not relinquish the control because they never totally back off and will find something that “has to change” so they feel they are in control.  Personally, I don’t have the time or desire to work with that client.

I had an older couple decide they were not willing to do much of the Staging Consultation recommendations.  It surprises me when I hear this because when I left their house they were on board and had already started making piles of things that were going to be packed.  For them it is about change being hard and the physical aspect of having to pack and remove things.  This type of seller (The Resistor) can be brought around by letting them know they have help whether you as the Stager do the hands-on or their family members and friends are engaged to help.  Physical limitations are much easier to overcome than mental or emotional ones.

When we encounter these Sellers it might be hard to identify them up front and they don’t reveal themselves until after the Staging is completed.  So the goal then becomes bring up the concern BEFORE they do – by educating them how you work and reminding them of the goal of the Staging.   It all boils down to education.  When we fail to do this, and engage with these clients, we end up frustrated and spend time fixing what is broken when all we had to do was handle concerns and educate them up front – and decide if we want to engage them as our client.  We do have choices. 

The fact is, for both The Controller and The Resistor, they do not have to like what is done in their house.  Since they are not the buyer, the Staging is not being done for THEM – it is being done for the unknown buyer who we have not met.  We do not know anything about the buyer except they have money to invest in a property and are looking in that neighborhood.  We know nothing about their background, age, race, faith, family status, work status, or education.  A seller has to understand that even though they might be paying for the Staging it does not mean they have input on what is done and it does mean they have to trust us as the 3rd Party expert.  It’s all about trust and establishing our professional leadership at the onset of the relationship.

By engaging in educational dialogue up front, it will help identify The Controller and The Resistor and allow us to make choices.   For me, if The Controller does not allow me to be in charge of my process, then I am walking away.  I  am not going to be relegated to criticism, requests to swap things out or make changes when I know the house is properly and appropriately Staged for the target buyer.  Not getting the business is the best thing that can happen in that situation because I know it will save me time and frustration.  My peace of mind and happiness for what I do for my clients is priceless to me.  If The Resistor fights me on every recommended change, then I have to ask myself, “Do I really want a client that will not listen to what I know is best for their property?”  When The Resistor shows up I am not going to put them in a head-lock and force them to implement recommendations.  They still have free will and a choice.  When I have done my part in educating them about WHY implementing the recommendations is important that is all I can ask of myself.


Engaging with people is always a learning experience.  When things don’t go as planned the key is not to beat ourselves up over what went “wrong.”  Instead, praise yourself for what went well, identify what did not go so well, and then make a change in a business practice, policy or dialogue with future clients so that we get the results we want and have a smooth process.  


For help getting your house Staged to sell in the greater Denver region, call Sensational Home Staging – Jennie Norris at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  Over 2,700 houses Staged since 2002.

Friday, May 30, 2014

New Construction Staging - Denver CO - Sensational Home Staging

This new construction property needed color and appeal to help it sell. Sensational Home Staging to the rescue. Now rooms use and size are defined and color and appeal is added. Key was fitting the builder's budget and timeframe. From initial preview to Staging installation - 48 hours.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cute bungalow near DU - Sensationally Staged for sale - Sensational Home Staging Success!

This cute, remodeled house near DU in Denver is sure to go fast! Remodeled nicely and Staging puts the finishing touches on the product for sale. Letting buyers know how large a room is by installing furniture groupings is key.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Staging Custom Home in Lakewood - Sensationally Staged for sale!

This custom home has been on the market and after a switch in Realtors the house is Staged for sale! The Realtor values Staging so much that she paid for it - which is a smart choice to ensure that the house looks its best!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Centennial Hands-on Staging - Sensational Home Staging

Check out the improvement from the before to the after. Seller implemented Staging recommendations and we followed up with a Phase 2 Hands-on Staging to bring in some updated furniture and décor in the LR, DR and FR. The end result is a house that is show ready and Sensationally staged for sale!