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Home Staging Before and After Photos, Stories and News

Home Staging Companies Are “Rocking It”!

Every time I get an email with staging success stories, I file them in my “to blog” folder…needless to say, I have too many success stories to tell for Spring 2015! Home staging companies around the globe are literally performing miracles in homes and getting huge returns for their sellers. Since I have too many stories to tell, I’m going to feature some of my favorite photos and recent quotes from HSR members and home staging companies...

Jennifer of Jennifer Neal Homes joined HSR after her real estate agent convinced her that that what she was meant to do in life. She joined HSR and crash coursed all night going 12 hours straight with no sleep. After her first staging job, she attended the broker’s open house and received four more jobs that day! When you see her photos below, you’ll understand why…

Kitchen BEFORE Home Staging

Kitchen BEFORE Home Staging

Kitchen AFTER Home Staging Companies

Kitchen AFTER Home Staging

Susan Stucki signed up for the HSR training just 3 months ago and she sent me this email last week...

Hi Audra! I'm sitting in my office now trying to plan for 3 houses I have to stage in the next 10 days!  I have already staged 6 homes and 3 still have my props.  So you can imagine how fast my inventory has had to grow...and haven't even had time to make a portfolio.  Your training was fantastic!  I couldn't possibly be doing this without all the information I learned from your course.

Susan Stucki

Cori Smith

Hi Audra, I just wanted to say "Thank You" again!  It has only been 3 months and I am learning so much.  Business is good...well great, considering the short amount of time that it has been.  I just completed a vacant staging and two redesigns...

I have to tell you how much I love the training that HSR provides!  I am learning so much and the marketing training and resources are so incredibly helpful.  I can honestly say the HSR training is THE BEST INVESTMENT I have made to start my business!

I loved getting this email from a member who took our course and is now mentoring for our Staging Mentors program...

Hi Audra, - BTW - I have been going gang-busters since I took your class. I actually partnered up with one of your former students, Tiffany Bryant! We've got excellent reviews all over the internet, and have become a Redfin Preferred Staging Company. We have a warehouse full of decor and stage full time! We staged over 50 homes last year! Thank you for the comprehensive training program and giving us the credentials to follow our passion!Linda Shepherd of Buyers Desire Staging

I have to really brag about Linda and Tiffany (above) because their home staging companies, home staging statistics out of Marlborough, MA were incredible!  On average, their homes sold for 12% more than the unstaged homes in their area which is ABOVE industry average.

Yep, home staging companies are rocking it so much that some are even turning away business...

Hi Audra, Business is great! In fact, I’ve made the choice to slow down a little right now. I'm determined I am not ready to hire assistants just yet so I am learning to pace myself a bit and become more selective in the projects I take on. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be making these choices. Starting a home staging business has truly changed my life!

Lori Livers - A Houston, TX Home Staging Company

The "success" emails keep pouring in from lots of home staging companies...

Lisa DeFrancesco

Hi Audra, things are going great - Spring is finally here in New England and the real estate market is quite healthy. I've been very busy the last few weeks with photography appointments and staging consultations. The consultations have been going great - sellers are very receptive and I'm really enjoying working with them to get the offers pouring in! I have progressed quite a bit since joining HSR - with each new client I feel like I'm learning something new and expanding my skills and offerings. I can't begin to tell you how valuable HSR has been to my business - I am always referring back to the member library every time I need to come up with a new form or some current stats or if I need ideas for a marketing piece - so thank you, thank you, thank you!

5 Reasons Stagers Should Become a Redesigner

Become a Redesigner

I always say that the relationship between “home staging” and “redesign” is like two sides of the same coin.  They are very similar services but the “WHO” of the design element for the redesigner is very different.

What separates staging from redesign is whether we are designing the space for the buyer demographic or the home owner?

What’s the difference between interior design and redesign (or home styling)?  Redesign always starts first with using what the home owner already has and loves to enhance the space.  In fact, a great redesigner can literally work miracles in just a day in the home!

So why should a home stager also be trained in the art of redesign?  Here are 5 great reasons along with some fantastic redesign photos done by Debbie Simril of Debbie Simril Interiors

Family room before redesigner

Family Room BEFORE Redesigner


1.  It’s an Easy Up-Sell for Redesigners

Statistically, sellers are much more inclined to spend money on the home they are moving into rather than the home they are moving out of, so it’s a much easier “sell”.  You’ve just staged the seller’s home to sell, so they already know you, trust you and like you.  This should be a no-brainer for home stagers but I find that they just are not “positioning” their redesign business correctly, so they are missing out on huge income returns!


Family Room AFTER Redesigner

Family Room AFTER Redesigner

2.  Being a Redesigner is a Great Way to Keep a Favorite Client

We all have had those client’s we just LOVE, so why not keep the relationship going and work with them on their next big project?  Focus on quality relationships rather than quantity while building your design network of great referrals!

Remember to have a special business card you can hand to your favorite client’s as a thank you for being so wonderful to work with.  In the example I created below, you can put your business information on the back and hand write the discount/message you wish to give your clients.

3.  Design is More Lucrative

Yes, I said it…you will make more money if you position your business for BOTH staging and redesign.  Redesign projects tend to last longer and have higher dollar amounts then the average staging project.  I’ve been training stagers for more than 10 years now and I can comfortably say that my long-time veterans are now doing more redesign/design than staging (unless they focused on a niche).  Why is that?  Because they positioned their business to market first staging then second, redesign.  They followed my business model of doing both staging and redesign!

Dining Room BEFORE Redesigner

Dining Room BEFORE Redesigner

4.  Design is HOTTER Than Ever!

Yes, the career outlook according to a recent Houzz survey shows that the design industry is feeling more confident than ever!  This isn’t a huge surprise because it mirrors what is going on in the staging industry…when home values rise, so does home improvement spending.


Redesigned Dining Room After

Redesigned Dining Room After

5.  The Perfect Business Model

A lot of stagers who join my training program tell me that they were always slow in the fall/winter season since their business reflected the real estate industry lulls.  Ironically, redesign and design picks up in the fall and winter as people decorate for the holidays, so having a business model that incorporates redesign and holiday design makes for a well-hedged business model.

Finally, this is what Debbie Simril who after 15 years in the design industry decided to take the plunge and sign up for our HSR Certification in Home Staging and Redesign:






3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging

3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging

2014 was a good year for the real estate and home staging industry!  On average, homes that were professionally staged by an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager made over 10% more than homes that were not staged*.  As we get ready to gear up for an even hotter Spring 2015 home selling market, I wrote down 3 ways to get a bidding war on a home for sale.  Within my tips for getting a bidding war, I feature an amazing home transformation that you will not believe!  This article is featured in the National Association of Realtors, Styled, Staged and Sold Blog which you can view by clicking on the link below:

Read my 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging Article!


The Business of Home Staging

Knowing the Business of Home Staging


I love to share stories of personal growth and business success because I know it touches on our basic, core needs: to learn, be needed and to do something important and of value.

Before - www.NancyTheStager.com

Before – www.NancyTheStager.com


Nancy’s story touched me because she was not only surprised by her growth, she was able to truly help a house flipper turn a property that was sitting on the market for 5 weeks into something that sold immediately after she staged it.  According to the recent 2014 home staging statistics, this is no surprise!  Here’s her before-and-after photos and her story:


After - www.NancyTheStager.com

After – www.NancyTheStager.com

Hi Audra,
I wanted to take some time and really digest this journey. When I finally decided to bite the bullet and take the plunge and sign up with Home Staging Resource I had no idea of the personal growth that I would experience. I was always confident in my ability to stage a property. However it was the business side of home staging that really held me back...


Before - www.NancyTheStager.com

Before – www.NancyTheStager.com


Thank you for all you taught me. The major surprise for me was how much my confidence grows every day!

After - www.NancyTheStager.com

After – www.NancyTheStager.com

As you know I did my first job and got hired by the same client to do another house before I finished the first job. When I did finish and the house was listed in sold in 6 days.  They have already hired me to stage the next property they are flipping before it goes on the market.


Before - www.NancyTheStager.com

Before – www.NancyTheStager.com

This industry has changed me in many ways, but the one that is most obvious is that I finally believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to.  I really love the whole process, I love looking at a space and seeing in my mind what needs to be done. I love the shopping and putting everything together, but most of all I love getting the call telling me a property has been sold. That is very satisfying to my soul.


After - www.NancyTheStager.com

After – www.NancyTheStager.com


Thank you again for all you do for the staging industry and more importantly all of us who had a dream and you helped us achieve it!

Thank you Nancy, for your story!  To see more photos by Nancy, go to her website at:  http://www.nancythestager.com.

Our Premise

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What will your story be?

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5 Tips for Staging a Colorado Cabin

5 Tips for Staging a Colorado Cabin

Who doesn’t dream of owning a cabin in the woods?  This little 698 square foot, 100 year old cabin  in Colorado was so sad until Kimberly Stark of KS Creative Staging in the Colorado foothills got a hold of it.  “It is still Incredible to me that I get paid for having this much FUN!!!” says Kimberly who has staged 6 properties since starting her business in July.   Here’s what the cabin looked like before Kimberly got a hold of it:

Before Staging...so dark and dreary

Before Staging…so dark and dreary


This sweet cabin went on the market on a Thursday, got into a bidding war and sold within 72 hours for OVER asking price!  I’m seeing these kinds of home staging statistics all the time in the 2014 staged housing market.

You can learn a lot from looking at Kimberly’s before-and-after photos, so here is my five tips for staging a Colorado cabin in the woods.


After photo - KS Creative Staging

After photo – KS Creative Staging

1.  Stage for Cabin Style

Staging is an art form and the first thing every professional stager does is get a read on the “home’s integrity” or style.  As you can see from the photo above, this is a classic cabin and has to be staged in that manner.  Staging for the style of the home may seem like common sense but so many times I see the opposite done ie. cottage home staged as a contemporary.  The home will give the stager clues as to how we should merchandise the space and a cabin needs to be staged as such.


KS Creative Staging

KS Creative Staging

2. Use Organic Materials Like Leather, Cowhides, Cottons, Plants and Wood

I can’t think of very many situations where I would recommend staging with a leather sofa BUT in a cabin…it absolutely works!  Here is another view of the leather sofa with cowhide pillow and textured throw which really works in the space.  You can also see how tiny the cabin is, so using a couple pieces and not crowding the space is essential.


After - KS Creative Staging

After – KS Creative Staging

3. Use Lot of Soft Furnishings to Break Up the Wood

You can see from all the photos that Kimberly placed pillows, rugs, place mats, runners and other soft furnishings wherever possible throughout the space.  This helps to break up all the wood or hardness that you see from the before photo.  She also cleverly uses wild flowers from the yard as a prominent display in the room and a reminder to the buyer about what cabin living is all about.

Before Staging

Before Staging

4.  Multipurpose Furnishings to Maximize Space

As you can see, this cabin is TINY, so it’s critical to show buyers that while it’s small, it’s still very livable.   Above is the before photo of the bedroom half of the cabin which you can see would be very hard for the buyer to imagine both a living and bedroom in this space.  Using a futon couch one can see that there is room for a fold out bed and TV watching.

2014-10-29 - cabinb

5. Bring the Outside In and Create Imagination Zones

In the photo above you can see that Kimberly put up all the blinds and really let the light in, as well as displayed the views and greenery from outside.  With a remote cabin in the woods, do you really need privacy blinds throughout?  In the photos below, you can see how she even staged the outdoor area by adding a hammock by the running creek.  What buyer wouldn’t want to take an afternoon nap in that hammock and just “get away from it all”?

2014-10-29 - cabing

Creating harmonious and beautiful spaces is the fun part of being a home stager and redesigner!  Seeing your work get multiple offers and the huge smiles on the agent and seller’s faces is worth the effort.  Here’s what Kimberly had to say about becoming a stager and going through the HSR training:


Audra – I am thrilled you think my story is worth sharing!!! But looking back just a few short months ago, when my Broker told me “I know you can do this, but the only person in the room today that doubted your talent was You!”;  I am certain there are others who also struggle with self-confidence and doubt; if I could offer even the smallest amount of encouragement to take that First step, it would bring me joy! Right before I enrolled in HSR, a close friend, with whom I had talked to about becoming a Stager, sent me an email that said “Live in Love; Delay no Joy”…..I decided I had delayed my Joy for too long and immediately enrolled…….and as over-used and perhaps corny as it may sound, it has truly been life changing!  When I got my first “paycheck”, after the Client handed it to me….do you know what I said???  “Oh!!!  This is too much!!!”  and he smiled and said, “No! it isn’t!”  Seriously, what is the matter with me?

And just to let you know, the Broker with whom I work, she is the one who encouraged me to get my Certification,  said the difference in my Staging Presentation from when we first started working together (before HSR)  to last week’s was an Amazing transformation; she said I was Awesome and the confidence I now had was evident!! She also told me she “loved” everything I did and the Sellers felt the money they spent was “well worth it”!!!!!  Additionally, her Buyers for another house I staged, have asked her to contact me so that I may assist them in decorating their new home!!!!  They are from Texas and want a “true Colorado Mountain retreat”!!!! I just cannot put into words how grateful I am to you for starting HSR and making it available to so many of us!  Talk about Living The Dream!!!!

With kindest regards – Kim Stark

Thank you Kimberly for another home with a happy ending!