First impressions are lasting impressions, and today’s Pinterest-addicted home buyer is savvier than ever. Sticking a For Sale sign in your yard just won’t cut it even in today’s hot market. To get the very best price–even a bidding war–consider getting your home staged for sale.

Nikole McGregor is a licensed Realtor with a background in interior design/decorating. Her business, Chic Home Staging and Design, specializes in the home staging field.

What are today’s home buyers looking for when they walk through a house for sale?

Today’s buyers are looking for homes they can envision themselves living in. They want to see defined spaces throughout, which will showcase the functionality of the home. Home buyers are also very curious! They will open closets and cupboard spaces to see how well (or not) everything fits. My suggestion is to always leave extra space! 

What are the top three things you would tell a potential home seller to do?

Top three things would be depersonalize, declutter, and add curb appeal.

Where do sellers get the biggest bang for their buck in staging their home for sale?

Improving their furniture layout and reducing the amount of decor throughout the home. Many times, there are large and unnecessary furniture pieces crammed with knick-knacks. A home stager comes in with a fresh perspective, and can create an inviting space, making rooms look larger and more defined.   

What are the biggest decor mistakes you see in your line of work?

Everyone has their own style identity, which is fantastic when you plan to stay in your own home. The number one thing to remember when listing your home, however, is to keep the color palette as neutral as possible, which will appeal to the majority of buyers. Loud wall colors, dim lighting, and crowded furniture arrangements are all mistakes that can be easily remedied.  

What kind of value does home staging add to the sale of a home?

There is no denying that in certain price ranges we are in a sellers’ market. What many don’t realize is a small investment in home staging can increase a sales price anywhere between eight and 15 percent. It can also create a sense of urgency for buyers writing offers. Along with occupied home staging, where we work with current furnishings, we offer staging for vacant homes. We have our own furniture inventory that we bring into vacant homes. We create living spaces for dining rooms, master bedrooms, and living rooms/dens.    

Written By Becky Kalajian

If you are getting your home ready for sale or would like to freshen your home’s look, contact Nikole for interior design, decorating, and home staging advice and services at 231-620-0201 or visit

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