Staging the “Estate Sale” Listing – Home Staging Tips from Melinda Potcher

Estate Sale listing

Staging Estate Sale Listings are one of my personal favorites. I have firsthand knowledge of how hard it can be when you lose a loved one and have to liquidate their possessions and ready the property for sale. For family members, it can be too difficult, too emotional, and that is when a staging pro like me can be of assistance and can respectfully pack up personal items, de-clutter and rearrange and reorganize existing furniture and décor items to get the home photo ready for MLS (Multiple Listing Service). I’ve had several opportunities over the past year to staging homes with the former occupants existing furnishings and it has made a significant difference in generating faster offers for more money.

Here is an example of one such staging; one of my favorite Realtors called me to let me know she was in competition with 2 other local Realtors for a listing that was also an estate.

  • Realtor 1 went in and explained to the family that based on the condition and presentation of the home in its current state would result in lower offers from potential buyers and offered to list the property for $50,000 below market value of recent comparables in the neighborhood.
  • Realtor 2 went in and explained to the family that in order to list at market value the family would need to first invest $25-30,000.00 upfront in updates and upgrades to the property.
  • Realtor 3 (my friend) went in and said she would list the property at current market value they did not need to do any updates however they had to hire me to come in and help pack things up and stage the house for photos and MLS. She explained to them that I would charge $1,500.00 for 3 days of work, and if they did this immediately, she would have the house on the market by the following week and get it sold in record time.

Realtor 3 got the listing, and I got the job of staging the home. The former homeowner had lived in the property for more than 30 years and had accumulated many treasures she displayed generously throughout the property. I was fortunate that the family was also willing to help me by working on the front and back yard, trimming back dead tree branches, staging the garage and side yards and hiring a professional cleaning crew to give the interior a good scrub down and the exterior windows a thorough cleaning.

The result was the home sold in 20 days. The family was thrilled and beyond belief in what the Realtor and I were able to accomplish in so little time. Here are their testimonials;


Relationship: Client

Project Date: July 2014

Melinda was great to work with as we staged our recently deceased mother’s home for sale. She came on the 4th of July when all were gathered to assess the situation, and said she could give us the next 3 days. We all pitched in and worked hard to box most of the house and squirrel things away in closets and garage, leaving only what Melinda felt should be out. She worked just as hard each of those days. In the end, the house was lovely! We had an offer within a month and it has closed. We are all relieved, and happy. Her professional decorator’s eye really worked for us!

Bruce Higgins

Relationship: Client

Project Date: July 2014

What can I say? MAP (Melinda) did a great job of staging our Mom’s house on a budget. We got at least 5% more for the house than what we would have ASKED for using two other companies we consulted with – and that would have been after spending several thousand more prepping the house.

The house had a firm offer in about 3 weeks; closed 5 weeks later. MAP was great to work with and helped us get things ready, working with various family quirks\ and ideas.

MAP had just finished another project in this upscale neighborhood where they did all the work for the owner, raising the offering & ultimate selling prices substantially. So, MAP is able to work effectively with both hands-on types like my family and those that want someone else to do it all for them in style.

Melinda PotcherContributor; Melinda Potcher, Design Consultant & Staging Specialist

Check out more before & after staging photos on my pinterest site;

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