Home staging is a hot topic for many of our sellers who want to make their home more marketable. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression, and so does your home. 

That’s where a professional stager can help.

Here at JJNRE, we work with a select few St. Louis home stagers to help our clients prep for picture-perfect showings --- including our friends Anna Neal and Melinda Christman of Olive & Opal. Since many of our sellers ask us about this topic, we reached out to O&O to answer your burning questions about home staging and even got some fun holiday decor tips, too! . Here’s a look at what they had to say:

What is home staging...and will it really help sell my home?

In short, home staging prepares your home for the market. This can include decluttering, removing or adding furnishings, establishing a clear function for each space and sometimes small home maintenance tasks and minor updates, like painting.

It can be hard for most people to walk into an empty space and gauge the room’s dimensions, how or where furniture might be placed, or how to best use the space. Staging gives potential buyers an outline of what could work in the home and helps them picture themselves living there. It also highlights a home’s best features and helps the buyer visualize the home’s full potential.

Best of all? In some cases staging can help sell your home faster. In fact, according to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors, 25% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered compared to similar unstaged homes in the market.

What’s the difference between staging and decorating?

Home staging ensures a home has mass appeal and reaches an audience that represents the most likely buyer – whereas interior design represents the homeowner’s personal style and interests. When we’re staging, we want to style the property in a neutral manner that appeals to current house-hunters.

How do I know if my home needs to be staged?

Every house can benefit from some degree of staging. We recommend a quick consultation with us and your JJNRE agent. During our consultation we’ll discuss recommendations for depersonalizing, decluttering, removing items, rearranging or paint selections to help initiate the moving process and prepare the house for market.

What does the staging process look like? What are my options? Do I need to put all my belongings in storage?

We offer a variety of staging packages based on your budget and timeline. They include:

+ In-home Consultations: Together with your JJNRE agent, we’ll walk through your home and identify areas that need attention (like painting, exchanging light fixtures or rearranging furniture). We help you prioritize these tasks, then you take it from there!

+ Partial Staging: Typically, this starts with a consultation and may involve adding in or swapping out furnishings or repositioning your existing items. We also provide rental furniture and home goods from our warehouse, or we can assist you with purchasing and positioning new items. Sometimes, we recommend removing items from the home to be put into storage or donated, which is a great first step in the packing process!

+ Vacant Staging: For vacant home staging, the seller has already moved out and the home is empty and clean. In vacant projects, we’ll bring in all items, including furniture, beds and bedding, kitchen accessories, living and dining furniture and accessories, art, and lighting.

When we work with JJNRE agents, they’re involved at every stage of the process -- from the first consultation to the project execution and everything in between. If any repairs or updates need to be done, JJNRE is great with coordinating the details, providing contractor recommendations and following up on bids should your home need things like painting, new carpet, etc.

What tips and recommendations do you have to prepare for photo day? What about for showings?

It’s ideal for staging to be the final step before pictures. We recommend that all projects and upgrades are complete and that the house is clean before staging so that nothing else needs to be done before listing photos are taken.

To prepare for an open houses or showings, we suggest you:

-Clean, clean, clean: Dispose of trash, put away dishes, make beds, put away laundry, etc.

-Tidy up: Keep a basket handy to quickly store kid or pet toys

-Hang clean, white towels in bathrooms

-Set out fresh flowers and create a pleasant smell using neutral air fresheners or candles (think laundry-inspired scents)

-Turn on all lights and open blinds and drapes, and (weather-permitting) open windows to let in fresh air

-Pay the same level of attention to your home’s exterior spaces: Power wash, prune brown plants, pull stray weeds, and put away toys/garbage bins to create an overall pleasing appearance

We love your style and aesthetic! Do you offer other services outside of staging?

We do! Several of our home staging clients have transitioned to become styling clients. We often hear feedback from clients that they didn’t realize their home’s potential until they had professional help. We offer a variety of decorating services -– from online moodboards to full-service decorating – and would love to help make your house feel more like home!

What are some tips to freshen up our holiday decor this season?

We love to share seasonal decorating ideas and inspiration through our Instagram and Blog. (Here’s a great post about how to make quick swaps in your home to get ready for the fall.)

This season we’re loving jewel-toned accessories and thicker, cozier textures, like velvet pillows and chunky wool throw blankets. We try not to overdo the traditional holiday color schemes and decor, but rather, we prefer more understated seasonal decor that still gives you alllll the feels.

Want to see what a difference home staging can make? Take a look at some of our clients’ before and afters with Olive and Opal!


Before photo of a dining room/living room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


After photo of a dining room/living room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


Before photo of a dining room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


After photo of a dining room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


Before photo of an feature wall staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


After photo of an feature wall staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


Before photo of a dining room/living room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


After photo of a dining room/living room staged by O&O.

Photo courtesy of Olive and Opal.


Still curious about home staging? JJNRE is here to help, and we always offer complimentary staging consultations for our clients. Give us a call or visit our downtown Kirkwood location to get the conversation started.