How to Time Your Home Sale

kim habermehl (2)Realtor® and Home Staging Expert®, Kimberly Habermehl, owner and broker at Premier Town & Country Realty in San Antonio, Texas, offers some solid advice when  deciding on the right time to list your home for market.

According to Kim, choosing the right moment to sell is a personal decision for homeowners, but she advises you to consider these questions to time your sale for maximum results:

Who rules in the current market?

In a buyer’s market, lower market demand and an abundance of properties is likely to decrease pricing, and a shortage of listed homes drives the prices up.  Each market has its own challenges and opportunities – but waiting for a sellers market makes it easier to find a buyer at the highest price.

How long have you occupied your house?

If you have occupied the home you own for at least two of the past five years when you sell, sale profits up to $250K per owner are exempt from taxes.  Time it right, and pocket those tax savings.

What time of the year is it?

Home buyers are more plentiful during the spring and summer months.  The market slows down around the holidays.  However, persistent buyers are still present during the winter and there is less competition from other sellers.  Your willingness to list your property during the off-season often produces a great sale opportunity, with proper marketing.

What is the condition of your home?

If your property is in need of some TLC, first complete those needed repairs before listing your home for sale.  Homebuyers want a home that is clean and move-in ready.  Holding out to sell until deferred maintenance is cured will pay off in the end.  If you don’t want to make repairs before selling, that works too – but a special buyer is needed and the price will adjust accordingly.

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“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – Are two front doors confusing potential buyers?

free red door-3264790_640 (1)

Hi, Lori!

I’m a Realtor® in North Carolina and have a ranch-style listing with a very odd issue.  The house almost looks like it has two front doors and I think it’s been confusing potential buyers.  Technically, the door next to the attached garage goes into the mudroom, but it’s nearly identical to the REAL front door in very close proximity!  We’ve already gotten some negative feedback about it as they don’t seem to know which door to choose.  Short of closing up the mudroom door and re-siding, any suggestions?

Charlotte Realtor® in Need of a Fix


Dear Charlotte Realtor® –

While definitely odd, it’s a lot more common than you think.  I’ve dealt with this exact same dilemma many, many times over the years.  Most of these ‘duplicate front door’ offenders have likewise been on ranch-style homes or ranch-splits.

That said and looking at the photos you’ve provided (sorry we can’t post the actual pictures of the listing for our readers) I think in this case, the problem is the way they’re dressed.  Both doors are painted glossy red!  Teamed with the glossy red garage doors, I can definitely see where the confusion comes in.

By leaving only the front door red and painting the mudroom entry and garage doors the same charcoal gray as the siding in a matte or satin finish to match, they will blend into the background and the front entry will definitely stand out!

You can take that a step further by adding a couple of large, lush floral planters next to the steps on either side of the door, perhaps a shiny new kick-plate, house numbers, and even a new welcome mat and there will be absolutely no doubt!

Hope this helps and fingers crossed this solves it for you.

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact



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Living in Your Home vs. Staging it to Sell

Still confused, or perhaps even a little skeptical, about the power of staging your home to sell?  Home Staging Expert® Marla Alt, owner of 123Organize in Westchester County, New York, shows us here that the way you live in your home vs. the way you show your home to sell are two different things!

Marla and her team run a full service home organization company specializing in moving, staging, and organizing spaces.  They have worked with clients throughout Westchester County, Lower Fairfield County, Bergen County, and the New York City area.  They’ve assisted their clients in selling their home and moving as far as California to the West, and Israel to the East, and they obviously know their stuff!

While the original listing looks comfortable and cozy, buyers are really looking for space and want to see the details of the actual structure which will help them picture themselves living there.  But all too often, buyers get hung up on all the owner’s stuff, which typically means they overlook what the home truly has to offer.

Marla Alt BEFORE (2)

By thoughtfully editing and rearranging what the homeowners already had, Marla was able to create visual square footage and help place positive attention back on the actual features while downplaying the décor, which felt overwhelming.  The end result is a room that feels spacious, calm, and beautifully appointed!

Marla Alt After

The visual impact staging had on this room is indisputable.  And when it comes to selling a house, that visual impact is exactly what draws the buyers in and prompts them to make an offer!

Marla took our online course to earn her Home Staging Expert® certification.  If you are interested in adding Home Staging to an existing organizing, interior design, or real estate business, or would like to start a Home Staging business from scratch, we are currently offering our course for half-price.

No Final Exam Fee – No Annual Renewal Fee

CLICK HERE to check out info on our Home Staging Expert® Certification Course and receive your instant download right now!




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“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – How do I start actually getting PAID for my staging services?

free leaf living room


Good Morning, Lori!

I took your online course last year which I LOVED and learned so much, but now I have a problem!

I’m a real estate agent and had planned on just offering staging services to my own clients.  It has been a great tool for me to get more listings signed as I use my complimentary staging services as a bargaining tool.

The problem is, I now have a number of co-workers in my office who have asked me to stage their listings for them, too.  While I definitely take it as a compliment that they have so much respect for my abilities, they offer absolutely zero compensation for my time and effort.

Agents I’ve helped out once are now starting to ask me to assist with every listing they sign and even ask me to join them on appointments to consult with their clients about staging!  One listing took several trips and a financial investment in accessories on my part.  All I got from the other agent was, “Thanks!  This turned out great!”  Well, the listing sold in a few days, and I never heard another word about it, nor was I compensated!

How do I actually start getting PAID for my staging services?  I don’t want to do this for nothing anymore and feel like I’m being taken advantage of!

Patty the Doormat in Tucson


Hello, Patty!

First of all, thank you for purchasing our course!  I certainly appreciate your kind compliments and am glad you have been able to utilize the information.  However, you are definitely not utilizing ALL of the information.

The reason you feel like you are being taken advantage of, is because you ARE being taken advantage of!  It’s one thing to help out a fellow agent in need, it’s another thing to allow someone to take advantage of your generosity, which is exactly what’s happening and very disrespectful on their part.  But they are taking advantage of you because you are allowing it.

In the course that you purchased, we provide information for Realtors staging their own listings, as well as those looking to turn a profit for their services.  That is something you might need to go back and re-read.  And then it’s time for that frank talk you’ve been avoiding.  “As much as I loved helping you out, this is what I do for a living.  I am more than happy to help you again, but here are my rates for doing so going forward.”  And then give them your pricing.

While your intentions when purchasing our program might have been to use the information for your own clients only, you are now officially in the business of staging homes.  You’re just doing it for free, at this point!  As we teach in our course, you have to place a value on your own abilities before anyone else will do the same.

By simply letting your fellow agents know that you expect to be comped for your time and effort, many of them will simply stop asking.  But I have no doubt some will be more than happy to pay you for your talents, so it’s definitely time for that discussion!

Thank you for getting in touch and please do keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact


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Would you like to become a Certified Trainer for the Home Staging Expert® brand?

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Do you love staging homes?  Are you a ‘people person’?  Would you like to have the opportunity to earn additional, unlimited income on your own terms?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, we cordially invite you to attend our exclusive 2-Day training session in Minneapolis, MN, September 17th & 18th.

Home Staging Expert® and Center Stage Home are actively seeking qualified individuals to teach our Home Staging Workshops nationwide!  Cost to attend and receive your Home Staging Expert® Training Certification is $595.00 if paid by July 31st, $695.00 thereafter. 

While we do not require prior teaching experience, your love of staging homes for market is a MUST!  Compensation for teaching our workshops is very generous and we have many territories available.  If you are interested and would like further details about teaching our course, please call 952-412-0566 or email

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“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – Should we spend the money on a bathroom and laundry room remodel?

Bathtub decoration in bathroom interior


Hi, Lori –

We live in a smaller community an hour away from a large metropolitan area where my husband and I both work.  We are planning to put our house on the market later this summer to find something closer to our jobs.  Houses are selling out here like hot cakes for full price!   Most of them are newer homes, but a house flipping company has been remodeling many of the older properties in our neighborhood and turning them over very quickly.  They’ve all got new kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring, and are absolutely stunning!  We’ve got an older property too and have already done many updates, but the one thing that has always bothered me is the main floor bathroom and a laundry room that is way too small.  I can barely even get in there to do the laundry without standing sideways!  My husband and I agree that the rooms would work much better if they were switched, as both of these rooms are oddly out of place as they are positioned right now.  We will need to put new flooring into both of these rooms anyway, but switching the rooms around would cost an additional $6000.00 to move the plumbing, add venting, a new tub, additional tiling, cabinets, etc.  I think we should do it as I see the current layout as a deterrent for buyers.  My husband doesn’t think it’s necessary and doesn’t want to spend the money.  What do you think?

Metro Bound in North Carolina

Dear Metro Bound –

You already know who your competition is, so $6000.00 seems like a steal for a new bathroom, functioning laundry room, and a layout that works!  If the rest of your home is ready to roll, I would consider that a small investment to make and take the plunge.  Your other option would be to price your house lower, but the risk of this strategy is that it seems buyers in your area are more apt to buy something ‘move-in-ready’ as opposed to ‘fixer-upper’ based on what you’re telling me.  I think you would be money ahead to make the changes and ensure you’re not going to lose out on a fair price for your home and less time spent on the market.  If your husband still has his doubts, start interviewing Realtors® now for a professional opinion.  Finding an agent who specializes in your neighborhood is key.  They know what the market there is like and they know what buyers are looking for.

Hope this helps and thank you so much for the question.  Wishing you much success on the sale of your home!

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact


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