House & Home

Home-stagers help sellers make fabulous first impression

Posted May 20, 2008

— For those wanting to sell their house or make it more livable, home stagers can be a great asset.

WRAL reporter Kim Dean met with Janine Varney, an accredited home staging professional, to look at one North Raleigh house that has been on the market for a month.

“Once you open that door, you have how much time to make an impression?” Dean asked.

“Five seconds,” Varney said.

Part of Varney’s job is to make that first impression a good one. That mean's rearranging, de-cluttering, and re-thinking what's in the house.

The homeowners at the North Raleigh house had already done a good deal of work with a new coat of paint and new carpet. However, Varney made some quick fixes to make the house more attractive to potential buyers.

In 20 minutes, she made big changes. First, she added a decorative dash of color in the entryway by taking a rug from another part of the house. She also added a chair and a trunk.

Next, she took on the living room and removed an overwhelming flower arrangement, the dog bed and a chair.

“You want to make the room as large as you can, so you remove extra furniture. So (don’t) just de-clutter the little things, but some of the big things as well,” Varney said.

HGTV has featured some of Varney's work on “Buy Me.”

“It's very competitive, so you want your home to put the best foot forward and get a buyer,” said Realtor Sam Pyrtle.

Wednesday, on WRAL’s Morning News at 6, Dean meets a group of girlfriends who have found a unique way to give back by making meals for their families and others.


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  • DontBelieveTheHype May 20, 2008

    I doubt John Q. Everyman can afford a staging expert, so cost probably isn't an issue with her clients.

  • 37 May 20, 2008



    The term "sanitation engineer" springs to mind with this overly inflated notion of achievement.

    Maybe I'll go get a sub from the "sandwich artist" for lunch.

  • Panther May 20, 2008

    Your correct, I have seen this happen on my street with two different homes. Decluttering seems to have the biggest effect according to one neighbor. Just my observations.

  • yeah May 20, 2008

    We have sold 6 homes in record time and profit by simply cleaning, touch-up painting and de-cluttering by removing some furniture, most knick knacks and all personal pictures. Once you start packing, it's easy to get stuff out of the way. These "staging" services are as big a waste of money as paying 6% for a full price broker. With today's prices, you want to keep as much of your equity for yourselves. We have talked many people into using Selling Directly - all with great results and one who went a step further and sold by owner because he already had traffic on his street due to another home on the market.

  • JustAName May 20, 2008

    "accredited home staging professional" ~ good grief. How much more does that add to the sellers fees?