Archive for the ‘Photos of Showhomes’ Category

Showhomes Home Staging: Top Home Staging Tips in the Tough Real Estate Market

October 20th, 2011

Home staging becomes standard part of selling a home in today’s market

In recent years, especially since the housing market tumble, home staging has become the secret to selling a home. Only it’s not really a secret anymore.

According to Matt Kelton, COO of Showhomes Home Staging, the entire mindset of home selling has shifted, and investing in home staging to help sell a home has become mainstream.

“I don’t know why a homeowner would choose not to stage a home,” says Kelton. “It is a sure way to shorten the sales time and often increases the sales price. It’s the best investment you can make.”

Showhomes was in the home staging arena before it was a household word. On the cutting edge of the industry with its unique twist on traditional home staging,  Showhomes uses live-in Home Managers to occupy, stage and care for vacant houses while they are on the market for sale.

In a recent Showhomes Realtor survey, 96 percent of real estate professionals said fully staged homes sell for higher prices than vacant houses. Another survey by the Real Estate Staging Association recently found that staged homes spent 78 percent less time on the market than the time they spent before staging.

Here are Showhomes Home Staging top 10 tips that work for any home:

  • Start with curb appeal. Potential buyers will drive right by your house if they don’t like what they see. Remove yard toys, bikes or other clutter. Keep the yard mowed and trimmed, re-mulch beds and add flowers for some color.
  • All buyers pass through the front door – clean and repaint the door if needed, place a healthy plant and new doormat to give it some life.
  • Pack up everything but the basics. Small decorative items distract from a room and can make a room appear cluttered. Use larger decorative items and fewer pictures.
  • Cold and shiny floors can be quickly warmed up with tasteful rugs.
  • Soften the light in a room. Overhead light can make a room appear harsh and unwelcoming. Soft light from table and floor lamps will warm up an otherwise cold-feeling room.
  • Re-think your wallpaper. Unless the wallpaper is new and neutral, it will likely detract from the way a room feels. Neutral colors are best to repaint with.
  • Clean out garages and closets. Most buyers search for larger homes and need more space. Crowded garages and closets send a ‘this house is too small’ message.
  • Less is more in the kitchen. Use a newer coffee pot, a few cookbooks and some colored accent towels to make it appear spacious.
  • Depersonalize rooms. Pack away family photos, ethnic and religious art. For most buyers, it is easier to visualize a room without distracting personal items.
  • Invest in staging and a live-in Home Manager to occupy the home. Occupied and staged homes require less of an up front investment from a homeowner and often outsell vacant houses.

Showhomes Home Staging Franchise in Toledo makes quick sell after staging

December 17th, 2010

December is one of the slowest months for house real estate, but many people strive to sell their house before the New Year. Showhomes Toledo owner, Matt Pokorny, has another staging success story from a real estate market that has seen some of the toughest market conditions in the country:

This $400k  house had been on the market for several months when the home owner hired  Showhomes to stage the home with a Home Manager.  Within a week, Showhomes staged the entire home and moved in its live-in home stager to prep it for showings and keep it in perfect show condition.

Within 30 days on the staging, a buyer fell in love with the home and put in an accepted offer! Homes in this price range are taking a long time to sell in this market; 2 to 3 times as long as it took to move this one.

The unique layout of the house gave the Showhomes home staging team a chance to get creative. The house had a large great room that was open for two stories. The team created a “southern style” gathering area in the kitchen staged with a love seat and two chairs in front of the windows. They also positioned a gathering area around the fireplace on the other side of the kitchen. These cozy gatherings made the home memorable to buyers and really increased the amount of time spent on showings – a critical point to selling a home for top dollar.

The house had neutral colors, lots of beige. “Vacant, it was all builder beige – it all looked the same. The furniture added life to the house,” said Matt. “It was colorful. It had a much warmer and cozier feeling.”

After the Showhomes Home Manager moved in, there was a noticeable rise in the amount of showings. “Showings increased after the Realtor put the new pictures up,” said Matt. “We had three to five showings a week for a home that was beginning to get stagnant.”

The Realtor was very happy with the staging and the sales results Showhomes provided.

Who wouldn’t be?

Great work, Showhomes Home Staging in Toledo!

Showhomes Home Staging Heats up Chicago’s Fox Valley Home Sales

December 10th, 2010

December is one of the slowest months in home sales, but if you ask Michael Callahan, franchise owner of Showhomes Home Staging in the Fox Valley suburb of Chicago you may get a different answer. Why? Showhomes had four homes sell this month.

Fox Valley living room before staging

What made the difference? Home staging.

The four homes that sold were all very different, ranging in style, size, location and price. All had been tough to sell and all four had been sitting on the market for lengthy amounts of time.

One of the properties, a townhouse, was a small and featured small rooms. The challenge was highlight that the two-bedroom home had good, usable space. Callahan’s team staged the house to accommodate enough furniture without the townhouse feeling cramped or crowded. The staging was so successful the buyers, who had complained that other homes in the complex were too small, fell in love with this one and placed an offer, even though it was smaller than the others.

Living room after staging

The next home was a unique, historic property that had been on the market for several years. Even staged, the house stayed on the market for about a year with a live-in Home Manager. The house had small rooms and an awkward layout. Michael and the Home Manager focused on creating functional rooms that could accommodate furnishings and a comfortable lifestyle. With careful staging, the living room, dining room and kitchen eating area made sense to prospective buyers. Without it, visualizing the spaces working was much more difficult.

Master before staging

A 10-year-old, three-bedroom house in Fox Valley was the next one to sell. The neighborhood featured mostly houses with four or five bedrooms, and though Showhomes does not typically stage basements, in this case, the team created a fourth bedroom from the basement. This detail showed that the home could accommodate a larger family and put the property in a more competitive position in that neighborhood.

The fourth home was the most expensive, though it had one of the lower values in a high-end neighborhood. Again, in this house, the basement was staged with all the furniture facing the window because it looked out over a beautiful wooded area. In the end, this house, valued at just $1 million, was competing with houses in the $2 million range.

“All three Chicagoland area Showhomes  franchises are standing out in the industry because we are producing such good sales results,” says Michael. “Homes that have been really difficult to sell are moving when staged.”

Master after staging - SOLD!

Home staging with live in Home Managers works at all price points. The four houses ranged from $200,000 to $1 million.

“But it doesn’t have to be a million-dollar home to receive the value of good quality staging,” says Michael.

For more information on Showhomes, visit and for franchise information, visit

Home Staging is the Reason for the Sold Sign in the Front Yard

September 27th, 2010

Denise Gartner, who owns the Showhomes Home Staging franchise in St Paul, MN sent me these photos and a testimonial from a very happy  home owner today who just sold a historic home in a neighborhood where homes are taking long periods of time to sell:

“Over the past week, I’ve had to spend some time at the house and have been able to take a better measure of how you and Denise laid things out – it looked very good back in July but this time around I was able to notice how well everything blended in with the features of the house – particularly on the first floor.

I do think that the staging is a big part of why there’s a sold sign in the front yard but not on most of the other houses in the neighborhood which have been on the market as long or longer than mine.

– Will Weisert, Homeowner, St Paul, MN”

Take a look at her work – historic homes are tough to sell in a down market and even tougher to sell vacant. Denise and her Home Manager did an amazing job softening the edges and creating a showing environment that made this $695k home a joy to show and easy to sell:

What do you think? – check us out – we’re recruiting!

5 Reasons to Start a Home Staging Biz in any Economy

September 21st, 2010

No Place Like Home: 5 Reasons to Open a Showhomes Home Staging Franchise
Think home staging is a career choice only for creative people who love to decorate?

Think again.

Before Staging by Showhomes listed Home Stager as the top emerging career in the down economy and the remarkable sales results home staging produces is creating potential for enormous growth throughout the coming decade. Ironically, to grow, the industry needs fewer hands-on designers and more traditional business operators, who can operate, manage and market scalable businesses.

After Staging by Showhomes

Here are five reasons to start a home-staging business in today’s market:

1. There are large numbers of houses for sale today and higher percentages of houses are vacant and need staging. Furthermore, research shows that staged homes sell 78% faster, while vacant houses often sell for 15-20% lower prices than fully staged homes.

2. There are far fewer home-staging companies than people who need staging. Part-time and hobbyist home stagers, who currently dominate the industry, barely put a dent in the need for the service. Full service home-staging businesses and franchises are few and far between, which leaves a large niche of potential customers, most of whom prefer to work with a reputable, full-time company.

3. It’s only going to get better. Shell Brodnax, President of the Real Estate Staging Association had this to say about the future of staging: “Since home staging has had so much exposure over the last few years, more and more people are aware of it and home stagers have an easier time starting their businesses.”

4. Think the home-staging business is just for decorators? Wrong. Home staging is just like any other service business: It requires sales, systems, customer service and product quality. The industry needs more business-oriented operators who can run and manage a scalable business.

5. Using a home-staging company to prepare a home for sale and even manage it while it is on the market for sale is becoming more and more common. Trade associations like the Real Estate Staging Association focus on educating both realtors and homeowners about the benefits of using a staging company so it becomes as normal as using a realtor or title company to sell a home. This effort has significant momentum and will continue to grow.

Nashville-based Showhomes, a nationally franchised home-staging company in business since 1986, has experienced positive growth for the past six years and is rapidly expanding in today’s real estate market.

Bert Lyles, Showhomes CEO

“What we are looking for is someone with the drive and skills to manage a business,” said Showhomes CEO Bert Lyles. “To take advantage of the growth opportunity, staging businesses need much larger scale than most part-time stagers have in today’s market. We’re expanding and recruiting business owners who might never have staged a home themselves but have the skills to hire and manage stagers. It’s an amazing opportunity for positive growth in a niche business.”

Staging the Manor in Princeton

April 19th, 2010

Carla Cheifetz, owner of Showhomes-Priceton, NJ, emailed me these photos of an amazing $3.9 Million mansion she recently staged. Showhomes is mostly known for using live-in home stagers but we occasionally do traditional staging with just furniture as we did  in this case.

Take a look at her excellent work:

This home, like many vacant houses on the market, had been sitting for some time. Despite being a gorgeous home, its large rooms make it difficult for buyers to visualize their furniture in.

What a difference staging makes!

Instead of low-ball offers for $2 an2.5 million, this home is far more likely to sell near the list price with staging. For the homeowner, this is a really large potenial return on the staging investment.

Great job!

Thanks to Princeton NJ photographer Paul Bartholomew for taking these excellent pics.

Here is some Realtor and Home Stager feedback on this home:

  • The ceiling in the master in incredible. She did a beautiful job! Thanks for sharing.  Cathy Lee ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging)
  • Wow! Impressive Thomas!   Karen Otto, Home Stager, Plano, TX
  • This is incredible! How many square feet is this? I’ve never staged a mansion. I don’t even think I’d know where to start! Love the tasteful furnishings.  Sally Weatherley – Exit Stage Right-Vancouver
  • What a FANTASTIC job. There is no doubt that this professional job will be a huge help in bringing the seller top dollar. Well done!  Tom Priester (Keller Williams Realty)
  • WOW! Gorgeous results! Janice Ankrett ASP
  • Awesome job, the furnishings really make this home stand out.  MARY LOU TEAGUE HOME STYLE AND STAGING KNOXVILLE, TN

Showhomes Success in Orange County

February 23rd, 2010

Beth George, franchise owner of Showhomes Orange County and LA and who traveled with me to the Real Estate Staging Association national meeting in Las Vegas, emailed me these photos of a $3.9 million home she staged and helped sell recently in Orange County, CA:

She did an excellent job and  kudos to the live in Home Manager who brought this furniture with them when they relocated from Phoenix for a new executive job in LA. Beth was more than happy to find an empty vacant home that matched their furniture and we’re pleased it helped the home sell. Everyone wins!

We keep seeing homes like this one sell when nothing else does. Whole house staging with live in caretakers like this one are moving because they are the homes that buyers remember. Although they are expertly staged, they don’t look like it and buyers get really hooked emotionally.

Thomas Scott


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