ST. CLAIRSVILLE - A fresh set of eyes can bring fresh ideas to sell a house, and home staging does work, says designer Kelly Cappelletti, owner of Kelly's Suite II in St. Clairsville.
Cappelletti said she first began working with local realtors to stage and sell homes about four years ago.
"It's very important," she noted. "Realtors have had houses sit unsold for a year - and after we staged it, it sold in two days.
Sharon Heinlein, left, and Kelly Cappelletti, owner of Kelly’s Suite II in St. Clairsville, can help homes sell more quickly through home staging.
Photo by Joselyn King
"What we do is set up a home so people can visualize it as their own. A lot of times people can't visualize a home as their own."
The role of the stager is to create the look of a lifestyle within the home a buyer will want to assume, she acknowledged.
"You have to keep it simple - but creative," Cappelletti continued.
The first priority is that rooms must be neat and tidy, she noted.
"Take the clutter out," Cappelletti said. "Personal items make it harder for people to visualize themselves living there.
"People don't want to see another family's pictures on the wall. They want to be able to see their own things in the home."
It's best to decorate the rooms of an unsold house with neutral colors, then give them life with pops of color in accessories.
Red, gold or green accessories are often used, Cappelletti said.
"The blue-grey color also is popular in homes right now," she added.
The cleanliness of the home is important when it is on the market, but Cappelletti said homeowners often don't see the untidiness in their house that others will.
And they often don't consider such acts as moving their animals out of the home when it is being shown, or removing their dog and cat dishes.
"People often don't think of things like that because we live in our homes," Cappelletti said.
"But if they truly want to sell their homes, they take your advice."
She added she wants to place furniture for sale that the future homeowner may want to purchase.
"Usually, their furniture never fits in a new home," Cappelletti said.
She has worked with new homeowners to add additional elements to their previously staged home.