An Expert Weighs in on How to Stage a Home so it Sells for More Money in Less Time

Traudel Lange has lived on four continents and speaks three languages. Her resume includes bank economist, investment consultant, translator, many roles at various nonprofits and more.

A real estate agent for nearly three decades, Traudel is now vice president of the residential real estate firm Compass, where she consistently earns awards and special recognition from various real estate groups. Although every sale is different, staging, Traudel says, is always a good idea. It can start with prep work such as renovations, repairs or upgrades or can be as simple as decluttering and adding the right accessories.

“You want to show buyers that they can imagine how they can live in your house,” Traudel says. “The goal is to make it appealing to the largest pool of buyers.”

Staging can pay for itself by bringing a higher sale price in less time. Compass will front the cost of home improvement and staging, and the seller repays these costs at closing, with no interest or fees.

 “Carpet and paint are very important,” Traudel says.

Sellers may need to replace carpet, refinish hardwood floors and remove everything from their walls and countertops.

Traudel also brings in an organizer who helps sellers donate items or put some in storage. For vacant homes, a stager can add furniture, art and accessories for the perfect look. 

As for showing a home with a dated kitchen, Traudel says, “I would not ask anyone to do a major renovation.”

Instead, Traudel sometimes recommends painting dark cabinets and replacing knobs, or maybe adding new countertops or floors.

“It’s really important that people see a home in its best light.”