Monday, January 26, 2015

When is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

When is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

It’s a new year and blog sites and the internet are full of advice from Realtors and other professionals that serve that industry giving advice to prospective home sellers.

According to some, the best time to sell a house is in the Spring when the market picks up.  While others share that the best time is now when there is less competition as Buyers are out all year long.  They focus on activity and price peaks which are both worthy considerations.

However, I am taking a different tactic here – in my opinion,

the BEST time to Sell Your House is . . . .

When it’s STAGED and READY TO SHOW!!!

You can put a house at the peak months, during the winter, when it’s slower, when it’s swift, in an increasing market, in a declining market, and unless the house is ready for Buyers to see it, the goal of Selling in the shortest time will not be met!

Think about these 3 key points:

1. Staging is a Listing tool for Realtors.

When a Realtor includes Staging as a key to marketing the property and lets the client know they believe in presenting the house the best way to the public and Buyers, this resonates with the Seller who wants EVERY tool available to them to get a successful sale and maximize their equity. And Realtors that are reading this – when you include Staging as part of your Listing Package you will get more business.

2.  Staging is a Marketing tool for Realtors and the House.

When the house is on the market, Staging helps differentiate that property from many other houses that are not Staged and prepared for sale.  This means it gains an edge over the competition.  The Listing Agent will also stand out from the crowd of Realtors who don’t incorporate Staging – and because the house WILL sell faster and at the best price when it’s Staged, this agent will develop a great reputation for getting the job done and for presenting a great product to market.  A Staged house sells up to 5 times faster than the un-Staged competition.

3.  Staging is a Financial tool for Realtors and Sellers.

It’s a fact that Staging will help a house sell at the best price – statistics that have been tracked for years prove this over and over.  When the house sells at the best price versus being reduced in price, the Realtor makes more commission, and the Seller keeps more equity.  National Association of Realtors shared recently that the average price reduction is now 15% - that is a lot of equity to possibly risk losing versus investing in Staging a property.

So when is the best time to put your house on the market?  When it’s ready for the buying public to come through.  Don’t put your house on the market until it’s Staged and ready to show – that means in photos, virtual tours and in person!

For help getting your property or listing in the greater Denver region in show-ready condition contact Jennie Norris, 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  Over 3,000 houses Staged since 2002.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Downtown Condo near DTC - 11th Floor with Western Facing Views - Staged and now ready to Show & Sell

One of our latest Staging projects showcases a Denver condo near DTC in the prestigious Penterra Plaza - on the 11th Floor.  With Western facing views this condo has a great compact floor plan and has been updated with tasteful amenities.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Messes Send Messages - What Does Your House or LIsting Say?

Messes Send Messages©
What does your house or listing say?
by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO, ASP-BTS
Owner, Sensational Home Staging
Denver Region's Premier Home Staging Resource


In life 90% of communication is non-verbal.  Body language, tone, expressions - they all convey our message more than what we actually say.

Houses send messages too.  They communicate with us whether we are living in, buying or selling them.  Some messages are of sadness.  Some are of depression.  Some of joy.  Whatever the situation, we can tell when people living in a house have had issues because the house looks neglected.  And for good reason - when life takes an unexpected turn, the last thing we make a priority is making sure our house looks fabulous.

Mess Causes Stress©.  Some of these homeowners don't realize that by living in disarray they are actually creating stress for themselves and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues.  The elimination of "stuff" actually helps de-stress not only the house but the person living IN the house.

When a house is for sale, what message is it giving to the buying public?  Messes Send Messages.  A house communicates and elicits emotions for a buyer who either loves what they see and feels a connection to the house or not.  When they feel that connection the house becomes a must have.  No connection means it is a must leave.  A messy house says, "No one cares about me," or "Don't buy me because you are going to find other issues with maintenance."  A house also send messages about the Sellers such as, "We have given up." or "We don't care about getting the most for our house."  And a house that has too much on display also sends the message that there is not enough storage in this house. That simple message can be enough to deter a potential buyer.
Look at any messy house photo and you just feel stressed looking at it.   Because "Mess causes Stress" when the house is not prepared for sale the buyer literally FEELS stressed standing among the chaos.  They can just look at a photo online and get that feeling of stress.  Is it any wonder these houses don't sell? 

It's so easy to address this issue when selling a house and yet the big question I have is why are so many houses in poor shape when listed for sale?  It's not like the Realtor doesn't see the mess.  At least I would hope they notice because it's right in front of our faces.  We can give the Seller a little break because when we LIVE with a mess we get used to it and don't see it for how bad it really is.  But anyone coming in from the outside who works in this industry HAS to know the house is a mess.  And when it's our job to get the seller the MOST money when selling a house, it is up to US to tell the Seller what they need to do.  

So why do so many houses for sale still look messy?
Is it because the Sellers don't "get it" that they need to address the issue?  Do they not see the value in making changes? Do they resist because it's overwhelming to them?  Or do they just not care.  I think it could be a combination of all of those reasons.

There are ways to get a Seller to cooperate - especially when they see the benefit for THEM.  They will get a better offer when their house shows its best, and their house will sell faster - which means they get to move on to the next phase of their life and into their new home - wherever that is.  As professionals serving sellers we need to be equipped with what to say and how to say it so that the Seller is compelled to make changes.  We also have to be ready to help them.  As a professional Stager, my team and I can and have transformed a house in a matter of hours.  It is a very cost-affordable investment with a high rate of return.  This takes the pressure off the Seller who may be overwhelmed with the move, with life and is unable to make decisions about what to do.  It's a wonderful service we offer - and it makes the Realtor's role a lot easier too because we are the ones doing the heavy lifting, packing, sweating, and setting the scene room by room.  The Realtor can be working on paperwork or meeting with a new prospective client and leave the Staging to us.

In all of this process, the key ingredient is to make sure the seller knows we care and this effort is being done FOR them.  When they know we care and want the very best for them, my belief is that they will get on board.  It might require hand-holding and helping them through a stressful time but in the end they are grateful for the results.  Their house can be presented as a stress-free environment for buyers looking for a connection to a place they can call home.


For help in the Denver area getting your house or listing de-stressed and ready to buy, give Jennie a call.  Her Sensational Home Staging stage crew can make a big impact in a short time to help the house sell faster and at the best price.  303-717-7918©2015 Jennie Norris and Sensational Home Staging.

Staging and Selling in the Winter - by Jennie Norris, Owner of Sensational Home Staging

Staging and Selling in the Winter
by Jennie Norris, Owner of Sensational Home Staging

Staging a house can become challenging in the winter when the landscape around the country does not look that great - dead grass, spindly trees with no leaves, two-tone colors with snow and dirt. In fact I believe winter time is the toughest time of the year to sell when dealing with curb appeal. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have lots of green and warmth this time of year, or deal with the barren landscape. When there is snow on the ground, it does look pretty, but as the snow melts, you are often left with bald patches of dirt, icy or muddy streets, and little color in the yards with deciduous trees that have no leaves.

So how do you add that curb appeal necessary for Selling when Mother Nature seems to have another plan?

Here is an excerpt from an article entitled "Home Staging Tips for Every Season" where expert and my personal mentor, Barb Schwarz, was interviewed by AOL online (

Home Staging Tips for Winter:

• Keep your place warm. You want the house looked at! If you aren't living there or even if you are, spend the money to keep it warm. They will walk out if it's too cold," says Schwarz. "And that means no sale." Trying to save money by keeping your house cold and not heating it properly is a turn-off to buyers.

• Keep lighting in mind during the winter months. Winter means it gets dark earlier, so put lighting on timers inside and outside the house. Every room in the house can be on timers, as it welcomes buyers into a room and you want them to keep walking and checking out the house.

• Just because it's winter doesn't mean you shouldn't have flower boxes and greenery at your front door, in pots. On the contrary, it's really warm and welcoming. Just make sure they are seasonally appropriate.

• Keep snow off the back patio and front porch. You want people to go out and see the back and front of the house and the patio and yard, too. Go back to your back fence and see what does the back of your house looks like, does it look boring? You can keep flower pots by the slider doors, as it softens the look of the house in the gray winter.

• Don't forget to put out the summer photos of your great outdoor deck, so people know what it will be like in warmer months.

Here are some added tips:

• Invest in some annuals or perennials that like the cold weather and put them in pots or line the walkway with them. Some of the best annuals for color that like the cold are pansies, primroses, kale (cabbage), and emerald greens (arborvitaes). Think not just about adding green bushes, but add color with annuals that will survive in your climate. If you are not sure, consult with your local landscape supplier and ask what you should put in those pots in the front and back yards.

• Remove hazardous ice from walkways, streets, etc. - this could pose a slipping hazard for a potential buyer and you want to avoid potential issues arising from a buyer that falls on your property. Plus, it makes it look like you care about your house when you have taken the time to remove the ice and piles of snow so that the house is easily accessible.

• Add outdoor cushions to your chairs that may be outside for color and appeal. You can have a fireplace set up on your patio or deck where when the nights are not too cold, you could convey enjoying a nice cozy fire outside.

• When the outside is lacking in color, make sure you have plenty of color elements INSIDE your house to balance out the bleak. Use accessories and layers of color to help create that buyer appeal and transition from the outside to inside. If a house is bleak on the outside, and then on the inside has white walls, tan furniture and beige carpet, it is blah and boring. Using artwork, fabrics, throws, pillows and accent decor can help create an inviting look for buyers.

• Finally, if you are thinking of putting your house on the market in the winter, make sure to share photos of your house and yard that you have taken during the spring, summer and fall so buyers can see what the yard looks like when it is in bloom.


For information on getting your house show ready, contact Jennie at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE. With over 3,000 houses Staged successfully, Jennie has the expertise and ideas to help you achieve your goals of a successful sale.

It's All About the Buyer, the Buyer, NOT the Seller - Some fun with the tune "It's All About That Bass"

When getting a house SOLD it really is all about the BUYER for that house.  That is why Staging is so important.  In homage to Meghan Trainor I have revised the wording of her smash hit, "It's All About that Bass" for your enjoyment for those in the Staging and Real Estate worlds.
(sung to “It’s All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor)
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the buyer, buyer buyer
Yeah it’s pretty clear
This house just won’t do
And many sellers out there
Just don’t have a clue
But I got that Staging wow
That all the Buyers want
Put the right stuff in all the right places
We see the online sites
With photos that are slop
That’s not helping sell
Come on now make it stop
A house has beauty beauty
Let’s show it off
By Staging for the buyer
From the bottom to the top
Yeah my Staging Mama taught me all the whats, whys, whos and hows
To bring out the best features of a house to sell right now
Yeah we won’t be no designer decorator copy cats
Because to get a house sold Home Staging is where it’s at!
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the Buyer, yes the buyer not the seller
It’s all about the buyer, yes the buyer.
We’re bringing beauty back
Go ahead and tell the disbelievers that
No we’re not playin’ cuz a facts a fact
Staging  helps a house sell better from the bottom to the top
Yeah my Staging Mama she taught me all the whats, whys, whos and hows
To bring out the best features of a house to sell right now
Yeah we won’t be no designer decorator copy cats
Because to get a house sold Home Staging is where it’s at!
Yeah It’s all about the Staging yes the Staging for the buyer
Yeah It’s all about the Staging yes the Staging for the buyer
Yeah It’s all about the Staging yes the Staging for the buyer
It’s all about the Staging, yes the Staging!
(C)Copyright Jennie Norris, 2015