How Spending $360 Can Get Your Home Sold Fast

Last week, I gave you a sneak peek at a home  I staged to sell.  Unlike decorating, staging a home requires de-personalization and neutralizing the space so that potential buyers can visualize themselves moving right in.  The homeowners were animal lovers and expressed that love through the decoration of their home.


I always encourage my design clients to express their passions in the way they decorate their home, but I encourage my staging clients to do the opposite when marketing their home to the public!  When staging a property, it’s not about you anymore – it’s about the buyer.   These homeowners were using their dining room as a den, which can confuse buyers who are searching for the purpose of each room of the house.

 Dining Room (?) Before


By moving existing furniture from the breakfast room into the dining room, we created a new dining room that buyers can visualize themselves entertaining in.

 Staged Dining Room by The Decorologist


The kitchen was quite busy in its “before” state.  This was the only room I recommended changing the paint color.

 Kitchen Before


By stealing the table and chairs from this room, we made the whole area feel much larger.  In this case, it was more important to stage the dining room than it was to stage the breakfast area.  The lighter paint color further expanded the space.  The painting was done the afternoon after we staged, and only required a couple gallons of paint.

Photo by Melissa Allen of Brentwood Area Homes, staged by The Decorologist


The living room was more of a playroom for the homeowners’ pets than it was a place to entertain humans.  It’s obviously large, but didn’t look inviting.

 Living Room Before


Isn’t this so much more welcoming?  I think the doggie likes it, too!  Or maybe he’s just trying to figure out where I hid the dog toys!

 Staging by The Decorologist


Since we’re on the subject,  not everyone loves pets – many buyers (or someone in their family) may be allergic to cats and/or dogs.  The more pet-centered a home appears, the more red flags will go up for potential buyers.   I recommend paring down pet stuff to the bare minimum and removing pets from the home prior to showings.  Here’s another view of the living room before the staging.  The clutter and animal art was boxed up for the homeowners to use in their next home.

 Before Staging


If your home is well-staged, the buyers no longer focus on the personality of the present owners or the details of their life.  They instead are drawn to the architectural features of the property and the potential of making it their own.

staging focused on architecture

 Staging by The Decorologist


Here is the “before” of the master bedroom.  I was (and buyers would be) distracted by the stuffed animals and the busy bedcovering.

 Bedroom Before


Fresh bedding and a little decluttering turned the bedroom into a sophisticated get-away for the grown-ups of the home.

 Staging by The Decorologist


Would you have every thought that this home could be transformed this much, only using the homeowner’s existing furnishings?  But I know what you may be thinking:   how much money would that cost me, and would it be worth it?

 The Decorologist


The Realtor listing this property hired me to Speed Stage (my very own Staging invention!) this home.  Speed Staging is completed in 2 hours utilizing 2 Stagers and the Realtor for a flat fee of $360.  For this staging option we use only the homeowner’s furnishings and decor, so this isn’t for those who have very little to work with or who need consultation for paint colors, flooring, lighting, or other possible updates.  But in this case it was a matter of judicious editing and proper arrangement of furnishings, art, and accessories.  And a whole lot of muscle to get that extra furniture out of the house, as you can see:

kristie barnett

See how happy we were to have this stuff out?


Was it worth it?  You tell me – this property SOLD before I could even download the photos from my camera and begin to write up this post!  Here are a few more photos of what we accomplished in that 2 hours:

Master Bathroom Before Staging 


 Master Bathroom After


  Guest Bedroom Before


 Guest Bedroom After Staging


If you are a Realtor in the Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin area of Tennessee and want to sell your listings quickly for the most money, contact me to find out more about The Decorologist’s Speed Staging option.  Staging Consultations and full-on Home Staging are also offered at reasonable rates.


  1. Lauren

    Wow! Great job Kristie!

  2. Sheila @SZInteriors

    Fab job!!! The photos speak for themselves. How did the property owners respond to the reveal?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Sheila! Actually, I did not get to witness their reaction. When I do Speed Staging, I typically am there with the Realtor and the homeowner may not even be there – like in this case. But I know they are HAPPY that their house is already under contract!!!

  3. Kelly

    Wow! Great job Kristie. I don’t know which room came out the best! The home owners and realtor must really be pleased with your results. And to think they already owned everything- love when that happens. Good job Decorologist!

  4. Kelley

    Amazing job! Congrats!

  5. Monique

    Kristie, you are amazing. Loved the changes. I’m not a stager or realtor but I wonder why some folks don’t realize that, at the very least, the home needs to be cleaned up. Some of the changes stagers make are to simply get rid of excess furniture, remove junk and reorganize. Seems simple enough. Not sure why some home owners still, in this real estate market, don’t realize their homes should be kept tidy.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you, Monique! I think it’s because we just become blind to our own stuff! We look at our rooms everyday, and sometimes we just don’t SEE them anymore. That’s why it’s so important to have an objective party with experience selling in your market to help whip things into shape 🙂

      • Julia @ Hooked on Houses

        I think you’re right. We become blind to our own homes over time and might not see our spaces the way potential home buyers will.

        It’s just amazing to me what a different you made in one day in this house. Beautiful!

  6. sell home fast

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with sell house fast, quick house sale, sell house quickly, and love to enjoy the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

  7. Judy Sutherland

    This is a great example of an occupied staging. Very elegant concepts that can be easily adapted. I love the idea of a Quick Stage and have tried to adopt your idea, but no takers yet. I will keep marketing this type of staging.
    I saw you speak at RESA last January and I really like seeing your principles of furniture arrangement put into action here. Judy

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you, Judy! Since I started offering this option, this is what most Realtors I work with want me to do. In and out, no consultation, quick and easy so they can get it on the market. But I definitely consider this an advanced staging service. I could have never pulled off Speed Staging the first couple of years of my career – not well, anyway!

  8. ~syl

    As always, simply stellar Kristie!!!!!!! I have a friend who may need a home stager, could you make any recommendations for the Valley Forge, PA area!?!? Always the BEST!!!!!!!


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