Understand the Value of a Professional Stager/written by: Katherine Grayson

Professional stagers are valuable because they come to each project with no agenda or bias. They have no emotional attachment to your home – they see it objectively, the way the public will see it, and that’s what you want to take advantage of.

A professional stager is an expert at solving the problems and addressing the quirks that your home presents, whatever they may be: no true dining area, no hall closet, dark rooms, strangely placed windows, too-small bathrooms, and any number of other challenges. A staging pro uses logic to assess any issues and objectivity to decide what can be done to best improve the picture while adhering to a budget.

Stagers have an uncanny ability to shift the emphasis in a home so that those touring the property see it with a wholly fresh perspective. For example, a house or condo that’s naturally small and dark can be made to look light and open. For a home that has too many traditional spaces, a stager can make a fresh-looking family living space out of a formal dining room, or create a modern office and functional entry from a previously pretentious foyer.

The Turning Point Spaces team is here to help get your house sold! “Your house is never worth more than the day it hits the market.” Invest in preparing it BEFORE you list. Contact us today!

Words from a Customer–House Sold!

Hi Elaine and Cheryl,

Well, it’s been a few months since my mom’s house sold, and I’ve finally had some time to take a breath!  Sorry this took so long, but we can’t thank you enough for your beautiful staging of the house.  It was amazing how you were able to envision the space, and fill it with pieces that brought out the beauty and functionality of every space.

I’ll have to admit, I was skeptical when you predicted a family would end up buying the house.  After all, the ranch style house was perfect for an older or retired couple.  But, guess what?  You proved me wrong, and I couldn’t have been more pleased!

Thank you for your quick response to all of our needs.  From the first meeting to the last, you were always there with a supportive and upbeat attitude.  Your positive enthusiasm and kindness helped more than you know!

Best of luck in all your future endeavors, and I’ll know who to call if I ever need staging!

Warmest Regards,

The science and art of selling a house: staging vs. price reduction


Did you know homebuyers are searching online in huge numbers these days?

IMG_6239Over 90% percent of home buyers search online an average of at least 10 times before deciding which house to visit in person.  Online searching optimizes their ability to compare homes on the market by making it quick and easy. According to the National Association of Realtors, 94% of Millennials, 84% of Baby Boomers and 65% of the Silent Generation (pre baby boomers) search real estate online before going out to visit houses for sale.  They identify exterior and interior photos and detailed information about houses as the most important benefits of going online first.

Most buyers have a list of features they want in a home. But when they really love a particular house because it just feels right to them, they often set that logical list aside and buy the property they have fallen for. This is because buying a house is so often an emotional decision. They are looking for a house to make their home.

In fact, imagination and visualizing how a home may work for the buyer plays a huge role in the home buying process. However, according to a National Association of Realtors report, over 80% of buyers are unable to visualize their own furniture and other household items in an empty space. Empty spaces are cold and uninviting. Rooms seem too small. Spaces may look awkward. Buyers spend less time on empty houses whether they’re viewing them online or visiting them in person.

So, how do you attract the online buyer and in-person visitor to get a step closer to selling your house? The answer is: using professional staging, pricing it correctly based on market demographics, and having a detailed marketing plan that includes professional photographs of your staged house.

Staging shows a buyer how furniture can be arranged, gives a space a clear purpose and makes use of awkward spaces. It is the finishing touches that inspire buyers to imagine themselves living and relaxing in their new home.

Staging is one of the best marketing tools to get your house on the “visit list” of online searchers. In a study of over 1,000 houses conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association, empty houses spent an average of 184 days on market before they were staged. After staging, however, these houses sold, on average, in 41 days.

How does staging stack up against a price reduction? Well, the first answer is that price reductions alone don’t ignite a buyer’s imagination of how they would live in and use the space. A price reduction may garner a second look online or in person, but it doesn’t help present your house in the emotionally powerful way that staging can.

Price reductions alone don’t showcase houses to WOW the online and in-person buyer. Price reductions alone don’t erase space concerns. Price reductions alone don’t ignite imagination, emotion and excitement in prospective buyers.

The initial investment in staging is usually if not always much lower than a suggested price reduction.

The certified and accredited team at Turning Point Spaces is here to help make your house stand out and attract potential buyers online and, especially, when they visit your house. Our skills and knowledge, our continuing investment in staging education, and our keen sense of space and design equip us well to showcase your house. We have a warehouse of new furnishings to draw on so we can create the right feeling for your space to appeal to the potential buyer.

Our team knows where and how to place accessories to WOW the online buyer.  By investing in professional staging, your house will stand out from other similarly priced but un-staged houses.

Let Turning Point Spaces work with you and your realtor to help get your largest investment sold!

Call us at:  309-202-8766 or 309-202-7588.



The Voice of Our Customer……

Dear Elaine and Cheryl,

I want to take moment to thank you for your help in getting our house sold.  When we recently relocated, we thought we had done everything necessary to prepare our house to sell quickly.  As soon as we vacated the house, we replaced carpets, painted, and cleaned so the house was fresh and appealing. Of course, since we moved, the house was also empty.

Imagine my surprise when the initial feedback from potential buyers included comments like “The Master Bedroom seems small”, and “I’m not sure how we’d use the sunroom”.   Our master bedroom is 18′ by 14′!  Small?!  My wife and I were disappointed that buyers could not see what we knew about the house.  Our realtor suggested we use staging to help buyers see the full potential of the house.  Turning Point Spaces was one of the companies we engaged for quotes.

You were very quick to visit the house and develop a detailed, competitive and thoughtful proposal.  Turning Spaces clearly understands that when trying to sell your home, time is of the essence and every day matters.   When I saw the results of your staging, I was immediately impressed with how well you emphasized the key features of the house.   Your displayed attention to detail as well as an eye for design.  A buyer no longer needed to rely on their imagination to understand the house’s potential….your staging made it clear to see.

Of course, the proof is in the outcome.  We accepted an offer on the house within 2 weeks of the staging.  I am certain that Turning Point Spaces played an important role in making that happen.

Thank you again!

Bedroom Before Staging
Bedroom Before Staging

Bedroom After Staging
Bedroom After Staging


What To Expect When You Call The Stager

Well, the first thing you’ll probably hear is a hearty congratulations! Why? Because you are about to deploy a powerful marketing tool that will set your house apart from others on the market. You are about to showcase your home’s beauty and appeal, and to highlight its best features. You are about to create a memorable experience for buyers who tour your home or visit it online through photographs. Most of all, you are about to make an astute financial decision that can both save you money and bring you a better price for your home.

Home buyers make a decision whether to buy or not within the first 15 seconds of their arrival, either in person or online. You want to create a very positive first impression so buyers feel good about your house and quickly see themselves living in that space.

Staging does two things. First of all, it showcases your home’s assets and, secondly, it makes it appealing to the widest possible range of potential buyers. Buyers have a hard time visualizing how they would use an empty space. Staging allows them to see how the space works and lets them visualize themselves living there. If the house is occupied, staging makes certain that the home’s appeal is broad and neutral. Once your home goes on the market, you should no longer look at it as your home; it’s now a product that you are trying to sell.  Your home is decorated with your individual taste and personal design and decorating accents which may be too personal, or too limiting to the potential buyer. A stager transforms your home into an attractive and welcoming home that appeals to the widest possible audience.


Today’s buyer is much more sophisticated.  Whether watching shows on HGTV or surfing the internet, buyers are expecting more and if a seller isn’t willing to make the home move in ready, a buyer will quickly move on to the next property. Your stager wants to help you get your home ready for that buyer. Sometimes that means suggesting changes. The stager doesn’t try to offend you, she or he simply points out where there may be a need to paint, to make repairs, to replace something, or improve a feature. The stager may suggest removing items and rearranging furniture to enhance the space. The final result is a home that is interesting and attractive to far more buyers!

An investment in staging is virtually always much lower than a typical first reduction in price. Stagers have seen this happen over and over: after a period of time, a homeowner will lower their asking price by 3%, 5%, or even more in hopes of attracting attention. But imagine investing a much smaller amount—say not even 1% of the home’s value—in staging. Those improvements, repairs, redesign, decluttering, depersonalizing—whatever the house may need—help get you the most for your home. Real estate studies around the country show that staged homes sell faster than unstaged homes, and at much better prices.

With the help of a certified and experienced stager, you can use those first 15 seconds (and beyond!) to create the best possible impression for the greatest number of potential buyers, and get your house sold more quickly! In the process can save money by avoiding those extra months of mortgage and tax payments, and you can make more money by selling at a higher price.

Call your stager today!

A regular guy tries decluttering…

I like to think of myself as an open-minded, progressive person who respects tradition but is willing to learn and change. But when my wife asked me to join her in a serious decluttering of our home, including the basement, garage, and outdoors, I can’t say that I responded with a great deal of enthusiasm.

I guess getting rid of junk was appealing and I thought I knew exactly who was responsible for most of it (and it wasn’t me). I could see it all tucked away in closets, kitchen cabinets, and in boxes in the basement. Give me a shovel and some big lawn and leaf bags and I’ll get it done, I thought. Well, I was in for a few surprises and amazing discoveries about who the real guilty party was when we started the process, and some very pleasant surprises when it was finally all said and done.

I had seen a few articles here and there about the psychological benefits of organizing one’s belongings and ditching unneeded stuff, but it all seemed too New Age and dainty for me so I was pretty much focused on clearing out to have more space and feel less cramped, to heck with Feng Shui, “mindfulness,” and the latest from Oprah. I was therefore very surprised to discover that decluttering had a huge impact on my state of mind. It was actually liberating to let go of so much stuff. Apparently there is a lot of emotional baggage (some innocuous, some deeper) tied up with our material possessions. That’s probably why we accumulate so much stuff to begin with.

It turns out that decluttering is not primarily about organizing and storing your things more efficiently. It is about letting things go that you just don’t use or need, excess items that you have accumulated, or things that just don’t make you feel good or you keep out of guilt (like unused family heirlooms and wedding gifts, old exercise equipment, and unread books). The decluttering experts I worked with challenged me to ask a simple question of every bit of stuff, big or small: “how does this make you feel?” or “does this item bring you joy?” (questions inspired by the advice of the best-selling author and decluttering expert Marie Kondo and other authors). It felt strange at first, but quickly became a simple acid test when deciding what and what not to keep. I realized that much of the stuff was just holding me back and making me have to play endless catch-up with long-ago plans, resolutions, trends, to-do lists, ambitious ideas, other people’s aspirations, and passing interests. They even tied me to things/places/social relationships I had long since move past or hadn’t enjoyed that much in the first place.

Now that I have freed up so much space I feel like I have rid myself of a big weight. And now that I don’t have so much junk to define me or scold me or crowd out anything new, I feel like I am much more focused on who I want to be now and in the future. Without all the clutter I can actually see the sky, and that is the new limit (even though I still insist I am not a New Age convert!)

I should have known my spouse was right all along. She usually is!

Boxes in basement for years.
Boxes in basement for years.

Blog 1 Photo 2
Boxes all gone and a new outlook on life! Decluttering is about a new lifestyle.