Even in a seller’s market, if you want to sell quickly and for top dollar certain basic things need to be done: the house needs to be rid of clutter; bad odors eliminated; walls and ceilings repaired and painted where necessary; everywhere and everything should be clean and tidy and the yard thoroughly groomed. “Home staging” takes the presentation of your property to the next level and can put your house in the next price bracket yielding you more money for your sale.

Liz Murphy, a Montclair, NJ-based designer and home stager, tells me that when she approaches a home she aims to “set a scene and create a lifestyle that people are looking for or aspiring to.” This means understanding who the likely potential buyer is: their age group; lifestyle; current and future needs. In conjunction with the seller and realtor, Murphy looks to determine the potential of the house, establishing a vision and then problem solving to make that vision come to life.

According to Murphy, “Very few houses are perfect!  Each room should have a clearly defined purpose and function. So I think about what potential buyers might like to see: an office; a guest room; a family room; another kids’ room. This might mean swapping or merging the dining room and living room, making a guest room out of a junk room or turning a closet or awkward space into a home office. Whatever it takes to create a personal connection and good fit for the next owners!”

Then comes the fun! Rather than just taking away, Murphy uses the best of what’s already there and then brings in stylish, inexpensive furniture, accessories and props to fill the gaps and create a believable home with personality. In fact, Murphy reports that many sellers like her “details” so much that they purchase them from her and take them to their next home. Her home staging techniques could easily be applied to any home that isn’t on the market to make it more livable and enjoyable for the current owner.

You can reach Liz Murphy at 973-517-0091 or [email protected].

Thinking of selling? Know a friend or colleague who is contemplating a move? Let me help you get your home prepared for success. Please contact me through www.azhomesnj.com so we can connect.

Allison Ziefert, Keller Williams MidTown Direct Reatly, Maplewood, NJ