Vanneste Group Staging Services

We have long recognized that in order to gain an edge for our sellers, our listings had to be priced right and out shine the competition. Therefore, as an added value to our customers, David Vanneste added a complimentary staging consultation as part of The Vanneste Group’s listing services.

Chances are if you have ever been in a model home, it was professionally staged. Staging is the process by which we help you prepare your home for sale and also helps to create a vision for buyers to “mentally move in.” Staging your home helps us showcase its strengths and downplay any perceived short comings The tips and suggestions we give you will assist in making your home appeal to the largest pool of potential buyers possible.

The Vanneste Group has an Accredited Staging Professional on staff. Our consultant will come to your home and do an initial staging consultation. These recommendations can include anything from editing down furniture and collectible to add color, paint and rearranging furniture pieces and artwork in order to highlight the homes architectural features.

Studies have shown that staged home can reduce the listing’s time on the market by 1/3 to 1/2, and can result in as much as 6% to 20% more than a home not properly staged!

"It was very helpful to have help with staging & getting the house ready
to sell. I felt that really helped us sell fast (1 week)!" - Mary & Eric Snustad

Video #1: Why is Staging Important?

Staged homes have a history of selling quicker and for closer to asking price than non-staged homes!

Staging: Proven Results



Vacant home with new carpet, pain & vignette staging

Vacant home with vignette staging

New paint and Decluttering

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

In order to present your home in its best possible light, we believe it is important to make sure that every part of your home looks its absolute best. Because in today’s market there are a lot of homes from which to choose, the one that shows the best is the one that will stand out from the rest. Therefore, it is important that every showing count the most! Please check the following items in your home against this checklist.

  • Trees and shrubs trimmed
  • Gardens edged
  • Planting beds edged and weeded
  • Lawn mowed, fertilized, and treated for weeds, if necessary
  • Gravel driveway edged and weeded with no bare spots or ruts
  • Dead limbs removed from trees
  • Flower beds planted/cleaned as appropriate for season
  • Lights operable and as bright as possible
  • Remove any unused excess items
  • Re-arrange and neatly store items
  • Vacuum and/or dust water heater/furnace/boiler & surrounding pipes
  • Sweep or clean bulkhead/stairway area
  • Paint floor if appropriate
  • Dehumidifier working (if being used); no visible standing water
  • Check for peeling paint on house
  • Functional light bulbs in all exterior lights
  • Remove items no longer used (i.e. dog house, swing set, bikes, etc.)
  • Windows washed
  • Trim washed and/or painted as necessary
  • Floors polished, carpets cleaned
  • Kitchen cabinets cleaned
  • Closets organized and as empty as possible
  • Excess/unused furniture removed
  • Smoke and/or pet odors removed
  • Make sure lights are operable
  • Floors swept
  • Window sills & windows vacuumed and/or dusted
  • De-grease floor if necessary
  • Vacuum and/or dust inside garage door
  • Remove any excess/unused items


"Barb Larsen made our selling and buying experience
pleasant and stress free." - David Reschetz

"Barb had very good communication and knowledge skills and
was available to meet my schedules." - Douglas Ingraham

"Barb Larsen came highly recommended by a long time friend and she offered
us extra services that were very helpful to us." - Linda and Steve Wall

"Barb Larsen as very good at explaining in detail all of the information up until
the closing. We would recommend her to family and friends." - Lindsay Cooper

"Barb is an excellent communicator and good communicators also listen well. She as available beyond belief working through her Thanks - giving weekend to assist us. The staging advise Barb provided was probably the key to selling our house so quickly." - Jeremy and Sara Stimpson



When you get ready to put your home on the market, it becomes a product, with it's own features and benefits, pluses and minuses, and there are other "products" to compete with. To gain an edge in your marketplace you must be priced right and look better than the competition. Sometimes it is difficult to think of a home as a product, but it helps to think that way so you can get top dollar for your property and sell it in a reasonable amount of time.
Home staging is a key process to getting your home ready to compete on the marketplace. It is NOT decorating or design—but is de-personalizing and preparing your home for sale. Staging showcases your homes' space and architectural pluses, and helps to minimize its' minuses. We never get a second chance to create that first impression, so it is imperative that the house be "dressed to impress".
Below is a list of the top mistakes often made by home sellers unfamiliar with staging. Are you guilty of any of these??

    A dirty house is an immediate buyer turn-off. The two most important areas to focus on are the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers will notice if the counter and tile surfaces are not in spotless condition. Another critical area is the floors—all carpets, hardwoods and rugs. Dirty carpets should be steam-cleaned, and hardwood floors should be dust-free!


    Decorating is putting style and your personality into a home. Staging is a process to de personalize the home and make it appeal to as many buyers' as possible. While a homeowners' favorite wall color or wallpaper may be a nice compliment to their specific décor, the buyer may see just the "work" involved of changing it if it is not their preference. Neutral wall colors (not white as it can be too stark), is the best way to showcase your home.


    You can't showcase your views and setting to buyers, if they are looking at them thru a dirty window. By hiring a professional window cleaner, you can get a sparkling clean and spectacular view for your buyers. It also sends a message to your buyers that this home is well cared-for.


    We understand that pets are a loving part of your family, however for buyers the presence of food, pet litter boxes and pet toys are generally a turn-off. We recommend that you remove all trace of pets for showings, so that buyers can concentrate on the selling features of your home.


    The first impression when a buyer drives up to your home is critical, and a well trimmed and manicured yard with accents of colorful flowers are keys to getting your buyers in the front door. We also suggest that sellers review the exterior maintenance of their home and make any paint touch-ups or repairs as needed. This will plan the seeds of a well-maintained home in the buyers' mind.

    As part of the Vanneste Group services to our sellers, we will offer a complete staging consultation by our on-staff accredited agent/stager—Barb Larsen and Heather Kregness. The consultation will result in a detailed list of suggestions that will help us enhance and promote your homes' many selling features.


    Clutter makes it very difficult for your buyers' to focus on the space in your home and its' key selling features. The clutter has the further effect of making your rooms feel smaller and more closed-in. We suggest to our clients that they take this opportunity to "early pack". You'll appreciate it when it comes time to move!


    The way we live in our home is different than the way we market our home for sale. When you live in your home, it is filled with memorabilia and collections that have meaning. However, these are huge distractions for your buyers. People are curious and when an agent is trying to focus buyers' attention on a beautiful backsplash in a kitchen, we don't want them distracted by family photos or mementos on the refrigerator. Similarly, if there are family photos and collectibles on the fireplace mantel, sellers may be miss the beautiful woodwork. We want to change your buyers' view of your home to one that is "ready to move into"!

As part of the Vanneste Group services to our sellers, we will offer a complete staging consultation by our on-staff accredited agent/stager—Barb Larsen and Heather Kregness. The consultation will result in a detailed list of suggestions that will help us enhance and promote your homes’ many selling features.

Vanneste Staging In The News

Featured in the Pioneer Press

The Vanneste Group strives to be ahead of the curve with new services that benefit our sellers.

In Lino Lakes, a home priced between $300,000 and $400,000 currently sits on the real-estate market an average of 87 days before a sale is made. Armed with that knowledge, Sue and Kurt Gifford have done what they can to beat the odds.

Before listing their 1987 split-level home on Mallard Lane about a week ago for $349,900, they hired a real-estate agent who offers home staging services. Under a staging professional's guidance, they decluttered, shampooed the carpets and filled in nail holes. "It looks so good, we almost don't want to move now," says Sue Gifford.

The family's Realtor says this prep work is a must in the current market. "The staging service is something we just added within the last six months or so," says David Vanneste of the Vanneste Group/Edina Realty. "People see staging on reality shows, and they ask about it. And I think in this market, which is not the super-brisk market of two or three years ago, it's important to have a home staged and conditioned and prepped to show the best it can in the marketplace. There's a lot more inventory out there; your house has to stand out among the competition."

Several years ago, professional staging was a novelty in the Twin Cities; now, it's commonplace. A home stager helps ready the home for sale by making it more universally appealing to prospective buyers. Beyond cleaning, painting and decluttering, that can mean re-arranging or removing some furniture and taking down knickknacks and family photos. "We try to neutralize the decor somewhat, so people can envision themselves in the home," says Barb Larsen, the home stager on Vanneste's staff who is certified through Home Staging Concepts.

In the metro, says Vanneste, about "99 percent of homes sold do have a home inspection." Home staging isn't trying to cover anything up, he says; it's just one more step in getting a home ready to sell. "We're already looking at and addressing maintenance issues anyway, andwe would rather have the seller fix them on the front end, rather than rush the home onto the market," he said.

But will all this prep work make any difference in selling the home? It's too soon to tell.

Molly Millett can be reached at mollymillett @pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5505.

Copyright 2006 Saint Paul Pioneer Press