Home Staging is Becoming Big Business

Home Staging is Becoming Big Business

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioYou've seen the shows on TV where homeowners make small changes, and seemingly overnight their homes are worth a lot more than before.

The trend of home staging is becoming big business all over the country.

Let's see, what's on the tube?

One show is called "Sell This House," but you've also got "Designed To Sell," "Flip This House," and who knows how many other shows to help people figure out how to sell a home that isn't really moving. For example, there's one right here in Utah.

Tanya Memme, host of "Sell This House," said, "[The seller's] charming 1920's cottage is situated in the heart of the Sugarhouse district, a vibrant neighborhood not far from downtown Salt Lake City."

Many people may think home staging is just clearing out clutter and cleaning the joint up a bit. However, it goes deeper than that.

Bella Staging and Design owner Bethany Prince said, "When people go to buy a house it's really emotional, right? So, if they come into your home and don't feel any emotional connection to it, they're going to be, like, ‘O.K. Next.'"

People like Prince are paid to make that emotional connection with a home. She says she learned one trick from a colleague involving a margarita glass, and a customer loved it.

"There was a little setup with a margarita glass and a pitcher. Noting was in it, it was just set up really cute. She was like, ‘Oh, that makes me want to go to the beach and drink margaritas," Prince said.

She says she might place an empty coffee mug and a newspaper on a nightstand because potential buyers may like to have their morning coffee and read the paper in bed. There are other tricks, like cutting lemons or baking cookies to make the house smell better. Plus, if a potential buyer comes over, don't be afraid to crank up the tunes.

"If they're looking at a real contemporary or modern style house, you may want to pick some music that would go along with that," Prince said.

"I'm guessing no gangster rap and heavy metal," I told her.

"Probably not," Prince agreed.

But can freshly cut flowers, strategically placed citrus fruit and blue water in the bathtub really make a difference?

Signature Group real estate broker Dale Sylvester said, "Oh, it can make a tremendous difference. In today's market, it can make the difference between the home selling and not selling."

Sylvester says supply for homes has risen dramatically, but the demand is about the same.

"The homes that are priced correctly and staged correctly are the ones that are selling. In this market, you can plan on about one third that are put on the market will sell," he said.

Part of home staging is clearing away clutter. This means getting rid of the pictures of your fishing trip to Green River, and taking down your child's kindergarten drawing, even if it did get a gold star.

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