established in 1999
Home Staging is a very new and growing trend and Yockers launched her business in January.
"This is very unique to this area," Yockers said. "There are other stagers in Appleton and Marshfield, and larger cities generally have them."
Yockers said home staging basically brings a trained, impersonal, third-party set of eyes into a home to make suggestions to homeowners who plan to sell their homes.
"Research shows a staged home sells 50 percent quicker and 17 percent higher than a nonstaged home," she said. "With all of the homes on the market you want yours to stand out. You want a potential buyer to remember your home."
Richard Purcell said when Yockers first visited his home she made several suggestions for changes.
"She said to remove all of the wallpaper and borders and pictures," he said. "She suggested we remove about half of the furniture and take down all of the curtains. She also suggested a new front door and a new lighting fixture in the dining area."
Purcell said he and his wife made many of the suggested changes and plan to install the new front door before putting the home on the market.
"It really depersonalizes the house," he said. "We did question a few things, like removing the early American borders we had lived with for so many years, but Marcia said, "You are not selling your decorating, you are selling your house."
"Now the rooms are wide open and everything looks fresh," he continued.
Yockers said when she first meets with homeowners she develops a prioritized report for them that can be used as a do-it-yourself tool or she can come back and stage one or two rooms or more.
"Whatever works for the customer, it depends on their budget and time frame," she said. "You are under no obligation."
Leaving clutter is one of the biggest mistakes people make when selling their home, Yockers said.
"The way we live in our homes is not the way they should be presented for sale," she said. "Sometimes it is hard to determine what to keep and what to pack away, and that's why it's good to bring in an impartial third party."
"It's all about playing up the features of the home, not selling the furniture and artwork."
General cleanliness is another area that sometimes get missed by those selling their homes.
"You need to make sure windows, light fixtures and all the nooks and crannies are cleaned," she said. "You need to clean up the cupboards and closets."
"This will also make the moving process easier."
Yockers said starting this business was a dream about a year ago and she took a four-day certification course last November to learn the trade. She then developed a business plan through the Small Business Development Center through University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Continuing Education.
Yockers has worked with a dozen homeowners so far and said she has seen success.
"One home sold in open house and another sold in 30 days, which is well below the average time," she said. "When a home sells it feels really good, like mission accomplished."
Marcia Yockers can be reached at (715) 252-0559 or at www.stevenspointhomestaging.com.