St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


It's about perception. Morphing dated spaces to contemporary homes.

I love this blog by Margaret Gehr. It really showcases how small changes can have a tremendous impact on the way a property is shown. Sellers may love their home exactly what it is, but changing it up and updating the decor can often mean more money. 

We see it all the time on MLS. Homes that have good bones but scream for help. As professional stagers it makes us cringe because we know that these dated spaces could be, but aren't. While the seller may love the space exactly as it is, it is after all their home, there are two bigger questions to ask when selling. Will buyers love the home like this? Would buyers pay more for this home if it were different? 

Often times the answer is a resounding - You just have no idea. YES! 

Is the home really dated, or is it just the stuff? 

Believe it or not, perception often begins with stuff. I realize that buyers are purchasing the home and not the stuff, but that's where it starts. Sometimes what's in a home can keep it from selling. 

chicagoland home staging

Could we have more geometric patterns going on? Sure, clearly the seller is a quilter and has a fascination for squares and triangles. They also have a predisposition for piles. Looking at their stuff, they are probably into "country". That's OK. What if the buyer isn't though? Will they see through the vinyl checker board table cloth? Will they be able to imagine their belongings with the mismatched chairs and clutter strewn across the space?

chicagoland home staging

How about now? There is certainly a larger buyer pool for this home, and one that will probably pay more for it as well. Upgrades in this space include granite counters and a new light fixture. Everything else is just cleaning up, then swapping out some furniture and art.  

Don't underestimate the power of black and white

In staging there are often great themes that are repeated. Black and white is one of them. They are solid neutrals that always add great contrast in a room. Almost any accent color will pop when combined with these two favorites.

Bold colors, on the flip side, sometimes have a hard time  feeling cohesive even in the smallest of spaces. 

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To tame this larger than life color, we soothed it with a pale periwinkle blue, then resorted back to our neutrals. Notice other than adding hardware to the cabinets, not other major changes happened to the room itself. Staging was the catalyst in the creation of this elegant room. 

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Will buyers love the home like this? Would buyers pay more for this home if it were different?

These are the two big questions I said we needed to answer in order to justify staging. Were the questions answered and do you think that buyer perception would have been altered from one photo to the next? 


Margaret Gehr is the principle owner of Chicagoland Home Staging, servicing the greater Chicago area for home staging, redesign, and design projects. We work in both occupied and vacant homes. 



 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 1 commentMelissa Marro • August 21 2013 05:10PM


Yes, this is a great choice for a reblog.  A few simple things can make a huge difference.  - Debbie

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 5 years ago

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