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Home Staging With The Well-Dressed House

February 23, 2021 —

Gone are the days when selling a home meant placing a for-sale sign in the front yard, advertising in local newspapers / circulars, and hoping for an offer.

Today’s home buyers have high expectations
for real estate.

These days, selling a home involves data on school ranking, comparable home sales, property taxes, and mortgage rates. Other factors such as local amenities, healthcare options, business and financial trends, employment rates, access to metropolitan areas and airports, public transportation alternatives, and even politics can influence buyers’ decisions about when to buy, where to buy, and how much to spend on a home.

“Professional staging can entice buyers,
favorably position your home among competitive listings,
and maximize its sale price.”

— Pat Byrnes, Owner / Founder of The Well-Dressed House

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

With abundant information at their fingertips, today’s home buyers have particularly high standards for their real estate goals. Data show they quickly peruse online images and descriptions to decide which listings are worth visiting in person. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your home is thoughtfully staged for outstanding digital photographs and winning in-person showings.

Today’s home buyers use the Internet
to make quick decisions about the homes
they are willing to consider.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging involves decorating, repairs, and other improvements to ensure a property appeals to a wide range of buyers. The goal of staging is to enhance a property so that it sells quickly and at a competitive price.

An experienced stager creates emotional connections
that spark buyers’ imaginations and allow them
to see themselves living in the home.

Home Staging ROI

According to the National Association of Realtors, average staging costs are 1 percent to 3 percent of a home’s asking price, with an average 8 percent to 10 percent return on investment in a home’s sale price.

A home listed at $300,000 with a $3,000 staging investment
can yield a $24,000 return on investment.

What Matters When Staging a Home

Home staging begins with understanding buyers’ desires. It includes a property assessment with consideration for location as well as buyers’ demographics, needs, and desires. Stagers then typically use, rearrange, and make changes to artwork, lighting, hardware, furniture, paint colors, rugs, pillows, bedding, window dressings, and other accessories to enhance the look and feel of a property. They also will recommend necessary repairs and upgrades that can increase a home’s market value.

When it’s done well, staging attracts buyers to a home’s attributes,
distracts them from its flaws, and increases its sale price.

Dining room before and after Pat Byrnes’s home-staging magic.


Kitchen before and after Pat Byrnes’s enhancements.

Partnering With Stager Pat Byrnes

A decade ago, I began working with Owner and Founder of The Well-Dressed House, Pat Byrnes. From the start, I knew Pat’s keen eye for staging and my real estate expertise would be a winning combination for marketing my listings.

“When Mary lists a house and I stage it,
it sells!”
— Home Stager Pat Byrnes

A Natural Instinct for Design

A native of Ringwood, New Jersey, Pat’s interest in and ability for design began at an early age. “As a very little girl,” says Pat, “I rearranged furniture in my bedroom. By the time I was in my teens, I had wallpapered our bathrooms and kitchen. I loved painting our rooms and giving them a fresh look and feel.”

“While other kids enjoyed watching TV,
I loved being in constructive creative motion,” says Pat.

“Fortunately, my mom encouraged me. We never did anything extravagant; but I worked with what we had and soon became known as the family decorator.”

A Practical Path Toward Staging and Design

Pat’s hands-on approach quickly taught her what did and didn’t work. Over time, she began helping friends and neighbors who recognized her knack for design. It wasn’t long before many people sought Pat’s guidance for buying and arranging furniture, choosing paint colors, selecting fabrics, and refreshing their homes.

After working at American Express and then on Wall Street as Head of Client Services for a large brokerage firm, Pat married and moved to Washington, DC. “For a year,” says Pat, “I commuted three times a week between Washington, DC, and New York. Travel was simple then. I could leave home at 7 AM, fly to New York, and return home by 7 PM.”

Talent Turned Into a Successful Business

“After the birth of my son, I could no longer commute between cities. As my family grew, I quickly gravitated back to my flair for design and staging. Before long, I found myself helping more friends, friends of friends, realtors, and even business owners with their decorating projects. I soon realized I could make a business out of the hobby I had loved since I was a young child.”

After starting her staging business fourteen years ago,
Pat’s design expertise has evolved
to include additions, floor plans, kitchen and bath renovations,
and new residential and commercial construction projects.

A vase full of fresh, bright flowers adds life
to any interior or exterior room.

“I am adept at choosing accessories, cabinets, countertops, fixtures, hardware, tile, flooring, fabrics, and furniture for any project, however small or large. As liaison between my clients and kitchen design firms, I can identify the colors, patterns, textures, and materials that create the look and feel my clients want.”

An exceptional home stager can create an atmosphere
that evokes balance, warmth, and harmony in a home.

In addition to staging my real estate listings, Pat has helped fine-tune floor plans and layouts of artwork, decor, and furniture for several medical arts buildings, executives’ offices, and new residential construction projects. She has terrific contacts with companies and suppliers for artwork, cabinetry, granite, tile, fabrics, flooring, furniture, and garden supplies. As a result, Pat can swiftly create an extraordinary outcome when staging any home or commercial property.

When it comes to staging,
Pat leaves no interior or exterior stone unturned.
In the warm seasons, for example, she offers landscape recommendations
that simplify and beautify decks, patios, porches, and pool areas.

When a listing doesn’t move quickly, Pat can transform a home so it sells. She’s keenly aware of what’s current and, most importantly, she knows how to effectively translate her thoughts and ideas to clients.

“We are all very attached to our homes,
which can make it difficult to see what others see;
but kind, careful explanations can help sellers accept style changes
that result in a quicker sale and favorable sale price.”

Pat maximizes home staging with a combination of your belongings and her inventory of accessories. She will begin with a review of your home and consultation that includes recommendations you and she will undertake separately or together.

When painting, repairs, and other updates
require the services of a handyman,
I can help arrange them.

Throughout the staging and listing process,
I am continually available to attend to your needs.

Pat’s staging wisdoms:

  • Examine your home with a critical eye that keeps the buyer at top of mind
    • Remember that your goal as a seller is to get the most from your real estate investment
    • Think of your home as a financial asset rather than your personal living quarters and let go of your personal attachment to it
  • Watch home fixer-upper and renovation shows to get a sense of how updates, repairs, and staging
    can improve your home and increase its value
  • Hire professional cleaners so that your home is pristine from top to bottom
    • Wash windows inside and out until they gleam
    • Dust everything, including all flat surfaces, window sills, chandeliers, sconces, and other lighting
    • Remove all unpleasant odors, including those from pets, athletic equipment / shoes,
      and garbage even if it is in bins
    • Remove fingerprints from walls, light switches, and cabinets
    • Make beds daily
    • Put all clothing and toys away each morning
    • Replace soiled area rugs and doormats and professionally clean 
or remove worn wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Enlist the services of an experienced, professional stager
 to ensure outstanding online and in-person first impressions
    • Be willing to take the stager’s recommendations for your home
    • Remember that the stager is focused on helping sell your home 
and getting you the best sale price
  • Declutter and organize every entryway, room, closet, your basement, garage, shed, porches, patios,
    and decks
  • Store excess belongings and oversized, outdated, and mismatched furniture off site
  • Remove outdated window treatments
  • Be willing to depersonalize your home by removing family pictures and sentimental objects
    • Remember buyers have an impersonal eye for your personal belongings
  • Ensure that every room in your home is clean and appealing
  • Remember that data show today’s home buyers want clean, neutral palettes 
and lightly furnished rooms that emphasize a feeling of space
  • Ensure that all repairs, updates, and improvements are completed in time for your first open house and showing

Decluttering is the first place to start
when preparing your home for sale.

A Design Approach With Passion, Talent, and Practical Application

“My husband’s sage advice to our kids is to find a passion and earn a living doing it. Staging and design is that passion for me. In addition to the pleasure of working with people, staging allows me to use my interests and innate skills to accomplish my clients’ goals. I am confident in my design ability, I know what works, and I’m reliable about getting it done.”

“Your home has only one chance for a first impression.
As a professional stager, I can make that first impression great!”

Mom to Gerard, Patrick, Katharine, and Caroline, Pat lives in Mendham, New Jersey, with Gerry, her husband of 35 years. In addition to her work as a designer and stager, Pat is an avid gardener and member of the Garden Club of Morristown.

Professional Home Stager Pat Byrnes.

“In addition to being creatively fulfilling,
staging and design give me quality time for my family,” says Pat.

Staging: A Valuable Concierge Service

Professional home staging is among the exceptional concierge services I offer my clients, including:

  • Comparable sales data
  • Information on schools and local amenities / necessities
  • Professional online, social media, and print marketing
  • Professional still and drone photography
  • Virtual house tours
  • In-person open houses
  • Personalized showings
  • Enhanced Zillow advertising
  • Handyman recommendations
  • Assistance for securing certificates of occupancy

Thinking of selling your home? Let’s chat!
I am happy to explain my consistently successful process
for marketing and selling homes.

Call or email me today at 201-532-0788