Vail Daily column: Staging a home to sell |

Vail Daily column: Staging a home to sell

Karen Petersen
Living Energy
Vail, CO Colorado

Many homes stay on the market for sale for a much longer time in today’s economy, due to the recent downturn of the real estate market over the past couple of years. This is the reason why a home for sale MUST be shown in its best light to all prospective purchasers the first time they visit it. Sometimes, when people live in their homes over a period of time, they have accumulated a lot of personal things and clutter takes over. Most people don’t even notice it because they live in their homes from day to day and they become oblivious to their own environment, however, prospective buyers will notice it as soon as they enter your home and may become overwhelmed by it.

A buyer needs to be able to visualize themselves living in this home and if they cannot see past your stuff, they won’t be able to do that. A professional stager offers their expertise to come into your home and rearrange the furniture you currently have, or bring new furniture in, and make recommendations to de-clutter and de-personalize your home. One recommendation you will always hear from a realtor who has sold any number of homes, is to remove all your personal photographs before putting your home on the market. People will always be curious about who lives there, even if they are interested in your home and may spend more time in the house looking at your friends and family members in the photographs you display than looking at the house. Remember most buyers will only spend an average of 15 to 20 minutes looking at your home the first time, so you want to make sure they can see your home in that amount of time without being distracted by your personal items.

Having a feng shui evaluation on your home is another method of clearing the space. A feng shui consultant can rearrange furniture so the energy movement in a home flows much more easily and is beneficial to its inhabitants. Most people would not recognize when a space has been properly feng shui enhanced, however they will notice that the home feels good and it beckons them to come in and relax. A home is either alive with vital energy or dead with stagnation.

Vacant houses are especially challenging to sell because the energy in them is stagnant and typically buyers will offer a lower price because they assume the seller is carrying a mortgage on a vacant property and will be more motivated to sell. This scenario can be avoided by having your home professionally furnished and staged to sell. The cost of staging a home is typically based on the size of the house and the amount of furnishings that are required. Fees can vary drastically, but you should be able hire a professional stager for about $1 per square foot to furnish the property for the initial set up, and then 25 percent of the total set up fee per month for rental of the furnishings. i.e.: a 2,500 square foot home would cost $2,500 to set up and then $625 per month for the rental of the furnishings. There is usually a minimum of three months for a staging contract, but the total investment of $4,375 in this scenario, would be well worth the investment of what a potentially $20,000 low offer would net.

Karen Petersen is a licensed feng shui consultant and owner of Black Diamond Realty. She is also a professional stager of homes and has staged and sold many homes over the past 30 years of her real estate career. She can be reached at 970-476-4414 for a free initial consultation or you can get more information from her website at

Support Local Journalism