Staging Your Home: It Doesn’t Cost to Stage; It Pays to Stage

Sure, it’s a seller’s market out there, but every seller’s goal is to get the best price possible for the home that they have cared for, loved, and need to sell for the right price in order to proceed to the chapter in their life. One of the best things a home seller, along with hiring the right brokerage and agent, to attract buyers and get an ideal price is to stage their home. We asked staging professional and founder/owner of 2B Staged Cheri Russell of Grand Rapids what the essential keys are to staging your home to attract the perfect buyer and the perfect offer on your home.


Give it a good cleaning

The first thing you can do to stage your home is give it a great spring cleaning.

“When people have a clean home, home buyers think subconsciously, ‘Wow, they have kept up on the things we do see, so they probably have kept up with the things we don’t see, like the furnace and the plumbing.’”


Remove the personal items

According to Cheri, one reason staging helps sellers accomplish their goals is because it helps home buyers see themselves in the home. With too many personal items, searchers can find it difficult to imagine a life in that home.


While she certainly advises home sellers remove most of their personal items like knick knacks and photos on the walls and on every shelf, Cheri advises, “don’t remove the whole identity of the home. Don’t leave it bare. Leave a picture or two of your family here and there. Many home buyers are intrigued by the history of a home and the people who lived in it.” She also suggests that removing all identity can “give a desperation vibe.”


Give it a quick makeover

No matter how cute your home is, a makeover will certainly help when you are about to sell your home and open the door to potential buyers. Cheri advises spending a couple hundred dollars to buy some new throw pillows, bedding, and towels in order to spruce up the home. Adding some trendy items as well can really entice buyers. “When a home is staged and trendy, sellers will get multiple offers. It makes buyers think, ‘If I don’t hurry and put down an offer, someone else will. I don’t want to miss out!’”


Don’t leave a room empty

“If you have a vacant bedroom it will look tiny! Once you put a bed in there, it actually makes a space look bigger. When a potential buyer comes in they may think that their furniture won’t fit.” She adds, “80% of people cannot visualize how a room should or could look.” By staging your home, you give the buyers a vision of what the home could look like.


Consider hiring a professional

The most important tip of all is to consider hiring a professional. This is likely the biggest sale of your life, so getting it right is pretty important. One way to get it right is hire a professional. Cheri points out that, “Houses that are staged sell 76% faster and usually above asking price. Potential buyers often fall in love with how a home is decorated. According to NAR, 90% of home buyers search the internet first. I feel it’s important to have photos of beautifully staged rooms with updated accessories versus empty rooms and older, less attractive furnishings. Staging differentiates your home from the competition.”


Professionals and highly regarded stagers like Cheri make it easy.  “First of all, I will let homeowners know that I am not there to offend them but to get the best price for their home. I will take pictures of how I arrange things so the homeowner can set it up before each showing. I advise them to make their bed before each showing. I provide the bedding, they pull it right over. I fold fresh towels and have them save the towels and put them up in the bathroom before showing. I make it look like a hotel. Think about when you go to a hotel. It is such an easy and relaxing type of living. They (homebuyers will) fall in love with how the home is decorated. You take a shell, and take all the items that aren’t current and bring in fresh, trendy items and it changes the vibe of the room, even though it is the same room.”


Professional stagers like Cheri will have fees that start at $1000 and on up depending on the size of the home and the amount of rooms. Most stagers, like Cheri, will also charge a consultation fee of approximately $200.00 that is later applied to the cost of staging if you select them for the project. Here’s the process you can expect from quality stagers like Cheri at 2B Staged:


  1. She will visit your home and provide an assessment.
  2. You sign a contract with her, and you get the staging for 60 days or until closing, whichever is first.
  3. She will take pictures, review them, go to her warehouse and choose items that are tailored to the house. For example, whether it is a mid-century home or a Victorian home, she will determine decor based on the era of the home and its architecture and style.
  4. The homeowner will go ahead and get a jumpstart on some packing and moving old furniture out to make room for the staged products.
  5. She will load up her trailer with beautiful furnishings and accessories; then she will unload it and begin staging your house. You won’t lift a finger.
  6. After it sells, I will load everything back up in the trailer. While you, on the other hand, sit back and enjoy the results.
  7. Great stagers, like Cheri will be very passionate about what they do. They will be very detail-oriented like 2B Staged, and most importantly, they will guarantee their work and offer references upon request.


Disclaimer: We feel it is our responsibility to warn you that hiring Cheri to stage your home can make it harder to leave because you will love the transformation. Likewise, you are going to want to purchase all the furnishings and accessories that she brings into your home. Unfortunately, she does not sell them, but she will tell you where she purchased them!


Whether you decide to stage your home yourself or leave it up to the experts, staging is a must. Contact Cheri Russell of 2B Staged at or (616) 299-0342 to get the best staging service in the area. And, for any and all your real estate questions and needs, please contact 616 Realty. We can help you stage your home and get it ready to sell for the best price possible.


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