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.