Real Estate Consulting & Sales | Residential + Commercial

to market, to market – home staging

Yesterday’s Mpls Star Tribune has a nice overview on home staging.. see article below:

Our seller’s to-do list can help get your home ready for market and set the stage for it to be best in show.


Replace chipped kitchen tile. Check.

Paint the basement floor. Check.

Pack up the baby toys. Check.

Brian and Marie Idelkope are ticking off the chores on their to-do list before they can put their Minneapolis bungalow on the market. According to their real estate agent, Laura Tiffany, who works for Coldwell Banker Burnet, their house has to be in move-in condition.

“There’s nothing short of perfection in this market,” she said. Buyers “look at every detail and are hyper-critical.”

That’s why Tiffany examined every room and helped the couple compile a list of needed repairs as well as tips on how to cut clutter, clean and stage their home. The Idelkopes were lucky. Their 1920s home was in good shape, so they could tackle everything on their list. But for some sellers, getting ready to put a home on the market can be a tall order, especially now, when there’s a surplus of homes to choose from.

Our seller’s checklist is longer than the one Tiffany gave the Idelkopes, but it’ll help you get your home ready for open house season.


• Learn about the local market by searching real estate websites such as Coldwell Banker Burnet (, Edina Realty (www.edina, Remax ( and Keller Williams (

• Search recent home sales in the Star Tribune’s residential real estate transactions in Sunday Homes or search your county’s tax records.

• Look up local market data at, which has community market profiles called “The 100.” (It’s under Market Info).

• Print out the “Home Sellers’ Handbook” from the Minnesota Attorney General’s office at

• Check out the competition by going to neighborhood open houses.


• Box up knickknacks, pictures, family mementos and books. “You want to create a neutral environment,” said Tiffany. “But leave a few personal touches to give the home warmth and personality.”

Remove unneeded furniture to make rooms feel more spacious.

• Deep-clean carpets, windows, closets, even the oven.

• List and make needed household repairs. Identify problems such as moisture issues that may have to be disclosed.

• Clear sidewalks, decks and driveway of leaves and debris.

• Schedule an inspection if you live in a city such as Minneapolis that requires one.

• If your home has an older furnace, have it certified that it’s in good working order by a qualified heating specialist.


• Replace dated kitchen and bathroom hardware and fixtures.

• Remove heavy curtains and window screens that block light.

• Refresh dull rooms with a new coat of paint in deeper neutrals such as tans, browns and greens. Restore chipped or scratched woodwork. Refinish worn hardwood floors.

• Make sure home is well-lit.

• Clean or paint the front door and buy a new welcome mat.


Before you leave the house:

• Place fresh flowers in the entryway.

• Make beds, wash dirty dishes, pick up toys and clothes. Place fresh towels in bathrooms. Wipe sinks and mirrors. Empty the garbage.

• Open blinds, turn on lights.

• Kennel pets and remove their dishes and toys.

• Display real estate marketing materials

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