• Selling Homes During A Divorce

    During all my years working as a home stager, I have often come across difficult circumstances such as divorce. Divorce is very stressful and preparing and selling a home can intensify the hardship of the situation. Usually children are involved and they suffer because they have to say goodbye to their family units, their homes, and sometimes their neighborhoods, friends, and schools. Parents have to deal with their own emotional issues as well as their children’s. Overwhelmed parents usually want to sell the home and get on with their new lives and this is where they can lose money on their investment. 

    Selling home during a divorce

    It can be extremely difficult to keep both of the home sellers at one table in order to discuss all that needs to be done to get the house ready and staged for the market. Homeowners often don’t have the time, energy or motivation to prepare their home for sale. Having been through this many years ago myself, I understand these emotions and difficulties.

    At a time when it seems that there are so many decisions to be made, it’s comforting to know that a trained professional home stager can help guide one through the process with empathy, sensitivity, compassion. That is what is needed to quickly bring the home up-to-date and ready to go on the market with an inviting appeal for the prospective buyers.

    We have all seen homes go on the market that are from separating couples. These homes often appear sad. Usually some furniture pieces are missing and there is a look of drabness. These homes are quickly marked as “for quick sale”, meaning “get it cheap and as is”.

    With the help of a professional and understanding home stager, the SOLD sign can go up much easier during difficult circumstances.


     As a Home Stager, I always put people’s needs before the home’s needs and this approach has enabled me to work with both of the home sellers in these difficult circumstances and they have been able to present themselves as a united front to the potential buyers. This process has made all the difference for my past clients and the SOLD sign has gone up.

    At Seattle Staged To Sell, we don’t just stage homes. We strive to put people first and help them through the entire process. For us, relationships matter.



  • When The Home Staging Price Tag Sounds Too Good To Be True, Then Probably It Is

    Last year, I was asked by a home seller to provide a quote for staging a home in West Seattle that had an asking price of $599,000. It was a lovely mid-century house with a charming well manicured garden on a quaint street.

    It was easy to love the house, the views, and the original stone fireplace. The large windows (which was one of the beautiful features in most mid-century homes) were stunning and let in so much natural light. The original state of the house was even delightful to see. The house was small, but it was obvious that a young family could live here in a big way.

    I presented my staging proposal and also included a notation that all of our designers were booked for the next ten days and the earliest we could stage the house would be after that timeframe.

    Within two days, the home seller notified me that another home stager was available to start the following day and could stage her entire house for $1000, including tax. As a professional home stager, who has been in business for years, I knew that another company could NOT  provide the same quality of home staging the seller desired for the that price. The quoted amount would not even cover the basic staging costs. I wished her good luck as we ended the call. I told her that she has a lovely home on wonderful street and buyers will love seeing it.

    A few days later, I checked the listing online because I was curious to know what a $1000 home staging for a 2000 sq/ft house looks like. Unfortunately, the staging was less than optimal. For example, a huge tufted black leather sofa with two matching arm chairs had been placed in a living room that was on the side of being too small. The only place this oversized sofa could fit, was against the beautiful window with the views. This placement of course cut the view off. 

    not all home stagers are created equally


    The black oversized furniture pieces, in addition, dominated the room and became the focal point of the home rather than the beautiful views, the stone fireplace, and all that mid-centruy charm. Fake plastic plants sat in every corner of the house and there was no wall art. It was obvious that all the potential and beauty of the house was lost with this presentation. Ninety-five percent of home buyers look online for their homes. The house was on the market for almost five months and was sold at a much reduced price.  

    Home staging is an investment
    Home staging is an investment with high returns.

     The home buyers who saw the photos of this particular house on the internet were distracted by the large misplaced furniture, which dominated the room and blocked the views and diminished the fireplace. You should aslo remember, where quality and first impressions count, allowing yourself to be won over by a lower price tag may end up costing you more in the long run. As Warren Buffet said very wisely, “money is what you put it and value is what you get out.” We get what we paid for.

     When you are putting your house on the market and want to have it staged, you should ask yourself what is it that staging is supposed to accomplish. Why is home staging important? Do you want to sell your house or do you prefer to have your house sell the competition? If you want to do it right from the very beginning, start by teaming with a professional home stager who UNDERSTANDS your market and your house’s staging needs. Remember home staging is not about bringing some furniture in a home, it is about creating a life style. 

    Here is a previous blog about tips on hiring a professional home stager. Home staging has to be viewed as an investment and not a cost. You don’t have to learn this lesson in a hard way, just team up with a qualified professional home stager. 

  • Forgotten Spaces in a House for Sale

    After staging, this basement became a cool family room

    The only things finished in this basement were the walls. The floors were cement and this space was used as a catchall space. We recommended that all the items be stored or donated and to add carpet and side boards. Then we brought in a few accent pieces and used the home owners table, chairs, and TV to define an inviting family area. For an investment of $1,400, this home owner added 300 square feet of finished floor space to their home. A family bought this house 10 days after being on the market. 




    Forgotten places
    With couple of chairs and a game table, the space is defined as family hangout.

    This particular house did not have a separate family room, only a formal living room. Since this was a family home, we wanted to show the possibility of creating a family room where kids and parents could hang out. We created a sitting area in front of the TV and created an art section (not visible in this picture) to show the potential of the space.  

    Home buyers will like and remember organized and staged pantries.



    I like to feature pantries, especially for condos and townhouse, where storage is gold. This particular pantry belonged to an occupied townhouse in Greenwood. I always recommend to the home sellers that while they are living in their homes, the closets and the pantries should be super neat and organized. This will impress the home buyers. I added baskets and showcased the pantry. This townhouse went on market in November in an area where there were a lot of units for sale. This one was sold in less than two weeks in one of the slowest real estate months.



    a well defined staged working space
    A well defined staged working space adds value to homes. 


    This was a closet that was turned into a library with shelves. I removed one of the cabinets and added a chair and identified this space as a cozy, small, but efficient office. Creating these kind of suggestions for home buyers is what home staging is supposed to achieve. My approach is always to define every corner of the house and give it a function if possible. A library would have been fine for this space, but a working space is even more valuable.



    Remember, you are selling ALL of the square footage of your home and you will add VALUE to your home by creating and identifying all of these “forgotten spaces”.


  • Queen Anne House, Staged &SOLD!

    Recently, we staged a home in the Queen Anne area, which is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Seattle.  This particular house was mid-centry and had beautiful windows with lovely territorial views. 

    The home owners loved the views so much, that they had put two chairs in front of the window to sit on for when they wanted to relax with their cup of coffee. One of the homeowners told me, “Who needs a TV, when you have this view?” I had to agree.

    Before, this Queen Anne house living room was painted in a very dark blue with numerous massive wall arts.

    The walls were painted in a very dark blue color and was decorated with very large pieces of art. This, coupled with big brown leather sectional, made the room look smaller and darker. In order to showcase the big windows and the amazing amount of natural light, we had to bring the light in the house.

    The homeowners for this house, understood that design to sell is different than design to live in. They were motivated home sellers and agreed to change the wall colors and  allowed us to redesign their home and bring in some of the missing pieces.

    We choose Balboa Mist OC-27 paint color by Benjamin Moore. This is a very beautiful light grey color and we knew it will work beautifully with the dark brown leather sectional. We also choose two of their own paintings for above the sofa to replace the existing ones.

    After staging, the fireplace and the beautiful built-ins became the focal points of this room.

    Obviously, we took the same approach to the dining room, which was adjacent to the living room. We edited the wall art and furniture pieces.  This opened up the room and created a clear and spacious pathway to the kitchen. 

    The dining room of this Queen Anne home had too much furniture and the patterned wall painting was a distraction.
    After staging, the dining room appears larger and more inviting for the home buyers.

     Of course we wanted to showcase the big living room window and the views without blocking them. By bringing a long and narrow ottoman we were able to showcase both aspects and suggest a sitting area, like the homeowners had created for themselves.

    Beautiful windows and views of Queen Anne

    This house was sold in two weeks and I know that the new buyers will enjoy living in this house as much as the current homeowners did. We very much enjoyed working with these motivated home sellers.


  • A Seattle Home Stager Teams Up With HD Estates

    I got to know Joshua Phenix, the owner of  HD Estates through one of my dear clients, Michael Akerman. Right away I became a fan of Joshua and his amazing high definition videos and photography. 

    When it comes to putting your house on the market is all about presentation, presentation, and presentation. Therefore, the combination of home staging and high quality photos and videos is essential.

    As a home stager, when I plan my staging strategies, I am always mindful of the angle of the camera, since this is the same angle of the pictures that the home buyers see online. The news stastics indicates that 95% of people view homes online before deciding to a take look in person. So, more than ever, first impressions are everything.

    Joshua takes this concept one step further with his Hollywood quality high definition videos. Once the home buyers see these videos not only do they get to see the amazing photos of the home, but furthermore, they get to exprience the home. His special touches such as lighting the candles and running the tabs create emotional connections on a different level. USA Today were impressed enough to feature Joshua and his company. 

    I highly recommend Joshua and his company to all home sellers and realtors in the Greater Seattle Area. His videos enhance the staged homes and makes every home inviting. Here are some samples of his videos of our staged homes. All of these homes were sold in less than two weeks. 


  • How To Choose A Qualified Home Stager

    You’re planning to put your home on the market and want to hire a home stager. Then you should keep few points in mind, when it comes to choosing a qualified home stager.

    Seattle homes for saleFirst of all, you should call about three different home stagers and ask them to view your property. Getting a price over the phone doesn’t give you any important information. You should NOT compare prices with prices only. Have you heard that old saying that you get what you paid for? Well it is true. Make sure to compare value with value.  Warren Buffet said it perfectly, “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.”  A cheaper price tag doesn’t mean that you are getting more value for your money and a higher price tag doesn’t mean you will get the best finished product either. Compare quality and detail of the work. Some home stagers provide a detail proposal, while others don’t. Do your homework.

    seattle home staging
    When interviewing home stagers, you should be asking the right questions and comparing the quality of work?

     Here are some helpful questions and hints that will help you to choose the a qulaified home stager:

    • Are they knowlegeable of the real estate market? Knowing the right audience and staging for this group is super essential.
    • What is their experience in working with agents?
    • Does the person looks orangized and relaxed?
    • Does this person seem knowledgeable and confident in providing information and in answering your questions?
    • Does this person listens to you, and I mean REALLY listen to you?
    • Not all home sales are for happy reasons, does this person seems sensitive in delicate situations. 
    • Does this person understands your needs and what is important to YOU?
    • Ask to see their portfolio or check out their gallery page on their website. Look at the work they have done. Does it look appealing and professional? Does their work includes a varitey of styles. The pictures should be of the work that they have personally done – not stock photos.
    • Ask questions such as why they chose the furniture and wall art that they did. Can they explain to you why they choose the items that they picked? This matters, because thoughtful design are harder to carryout and they produce the best results. 
    • Does this person have any testimonials from reliable sources? You can just type their name or company name with the word reviews into your search engine for an Internet search. You can also ask them for references but that may not be as reliable as the reviews on the Internet.
    • Perform a Google search on the stager and the company. Finding published articles, blogs, reviews by realtors , negative comments, may help you decide if this is a qualified home stager  you want to hire or should work with.
    • Ask to see a list of homes in a similar price range as yours that they have staged. If your home has a much higher value than what they have experience working with, this might not be the right company for you to work with.
    • What kind of insurance this home staging company carries and does it cover any damages that might occur during the installation, such as wood floor damages.
    There is no formal organization for rating or monitoring the performance of stagers; nor are there any credentials that let you know that they have completed a required level of training other than becoming accredited by completing a short two day course. RESA-Pro is the closest affiliation that ensures you are working with a professional home staging company. In order to have a RESA-Pro designation, a stager has to have been in the business for five years or more and he/she has to provide the proof of business insurance. In short, accreditation tells you little. Their work however, speaks VOLUMES. 
    seattle home stager
    Hiring and working with a qualified home stager is an investment.
    Congratulations on being an educated home seller and knowing the value of hiring a well qualified professional home stager. This investment will get you closer to your sales goal.
  • A Home Staging Success Story

    You can turn a “No Deal” into a “Done Deal” by simply staging your home. As an example, we were called to stage a modern townhouse on Queen Anne. The house had been on the market for 3 months and the agent said they had reduced the price, not once, but twice.  The homeowner finally decided to listen to his agent and hire a professional Home Stager. They called me.

    Calling Seattle Staged To Sell For Home Staging Assistance
    After three months, the home seller agreed and the agent called Seattle Staged To Sell to stage this modern Queen Anne Townhouse.

    Upon viewing the townhouse, I saw it had beautiful features, with high end appliances such as a Sub-Zero fridge, a Wolf stove, lovely open floor plan, and lots of large windows.  But as a home stager, I knew right away why the house was not selling.

    Homes with open floor plans  are becoming more and more popular, since we are getting away from more formal rooms. However, vacant open floor plans are hard for home buyers to visualize. This is especially true for townhouses and condos, where the empty rooms appear smaller. Only 10% of people can visualize how space can be utilized. An important point to remember is that empty rooms appear smaller and because the rooms were empty it was a turnoff to potential buyers.

    Additionally, some of the walls were painted a very dark red and being empty, the red accent walls became the focal point and not the beautiful fireplace. The outdoor planters were bare and uninviting.

    We needed to define the spaces and create a conversation area in the living room with the fireplace as the focal point for this townhouse. My next step was to bring in neutral colored furniture that would tone down the red walls as well as brighten the rooms more. Last, but not least, I asked the agent to fill up the planters with red geraniums. At the end, this townhouse looked cozy and warm, and LARGER.

    The bedroom had an open floor plan with only three walls, a hard room to visualize.

    This Queen Anne townhouse sold in FIVE days after staging after being on the market for three months! Yes, I love what I do, because it produces these kind of successes. The cost of staging this townhouse was 1/6 of the first price reduction. This is why ALL home sellers should understand that home staging is an investment and not an additional expense.

    I’ll be surprised if this agent accepts a listing when the home seller is reluctant in hiring a professional home stager. Always step into the market on the right foot and have your homes and listings staged by a professional.

  • Staging A Craftsman House Dining Room In Fremont Neighborhood

    Recently we staged a lovely Craftsman style home in the Fremont area of Seattle. The living and dining rooms were spectacular and large. The walls were painted with a glaze technique in a beautiful yellow. The contrast of the walls with the dark wood trim and floor created a stunning space. 

    We wanted to showcase this Craftsman house as a sophisticated milieu, where lots of entertaining takes place. Therefore, we chose to add a large dining table to showcase this potential. Yes, I know most stagers tell you to go with smaller furniture pieces to showcase the floor space and this is correct most of the time . Sometimes, however, this is not the right approach and the key is knowing which choice is the right one and when. For this house, we felt we needed to exhibit the possibilities for large social gatherings. My clients, the home sellers and the agents agreed with us. 

    A big square dining table was the right choice for this Fremont Craftsman Style house.
    Staged living and dining rooms

    We choose cream color furniture and yellow accents to emphasis the beautiful yellow walls and dark wood work of a true Craftsman home. This also pulled the rooms together and created a pleasant flow between these two rooms.

    This house was SOLD in two weeks to a single professional mother with grown children. She bought the house because of the large dining room, since her kids come home for the holidays with their friends and family.

    What makes this story even sweeter, is the fact that the buyer is an agent herself and she came through for the open house. She LOVED the staged large dining room with the big dining table. This is what she was looking for in a house. 

    When it comes to staging, one hat doesn’t fit all and this is why, here at Seattle Staged To Sell, we stage one home at a time and stay away from a cookie cutter look. We consider the style of the house and the targeted buyers into the equation. We believe this approach is what puts the SOLD sign up like it did for this house.

    (All the pictures on this post is by HD Estates.)



  • A Professional Home Staging Consultation Is A GOLDEN Investment

     A professional home staging consultation session is rich with important information pertaining to the staging needs of your home. Below are some of the reasons that make home staging consultations a golden investment and why you should have a professional home stager as part of  your team when you are preparing your home for sale. 

    1. During a consultation, we’ll view all the areas and spaces of your home, both inside and out, and provide a comprehensive room by room assessment and a detailed check list. This sets you, the home sellers, on the right path.

    Professional Home Staging Consultation Check list
    A detailed home staging check list will keep you focused and on track

    2. Home staging is all about marketing and this is why our approach to home staging is different from interior design. Our objective is showcasing the best features of each space in your home in order for them to appear spacious and inviting for the prospective home buyers that come through. Our work is strategic, always considering the targeted buyers’ preferences and the camera’s eye.

    Professional Home Staging Consultations are your marketing tool
    A professional home stager will help to identify the targeted buyers during the consultation.

    3. Another goal during a professional home staging is to identifying the key strengths of the property, analyzing and prioritizing recommendations in respect to market trends, buyers’ wish lists, and budget issues provides the homeowner with a clear understanding of not only what has to be done but why these actions are so important. This allows you, the home sellers, to make informed decisions based on your budget. 

    Professional Home staging consultations keep you on the budget
    A professional home staging consultation will allow you to stay on the budget.

    4. As professional home stagers, we know how to address sensitive issues. Having this skill allows us to be honest with the home sellers and point out all of the negative factors such as smell, clutter and that beloved collection.

    professional home staging consultation
    The truth comes out during a professional home staging consultation.

    5. Again, as professional home stagers, we understand the difficult circumstances like death, divorce, and the pain of difficult moves. We put people first and this allows us to create reasonable and friendly check lists and a timeline based on the needs of everybody involved. These procedures help to move the projects forward, even when the circumstances are less than ideal.

    professional home staging consultation
    Professional home stagers know how to tackle difficult circumstances.

    6. Being overwhelmed is part of selling homes. We partner with you to help you to go through the process. We are there when you have questions or when you feel stuck. We will be your biggest cheerleaders. We’ll empower you by inspiring you.

    Home stagers are your cheer leaders
    Home stagers will cheer you on to the end.

    7. We have a list of independent contractors who have worked with us and understand that quality, sticking to our budget, and timing is essential. After evaluating the needs of your home, we’ll put you in touch with the right contractor.


    home staging consultation is gold
    A professional home staging consultation is a golden investment.



    To be on the right track, to accomplish projects in the most efficient way both financially and time wise, and be totally ready for the market is EVERYTHING. This is what your professional home stager will provide you during a consultation, in order for you to meet YOUR sales goals. A professional home staging consultation is a GOLDEN investment indeed.