Long Beach Home Staging - What is Home Staging? The Interview.

Long Beach Home Staging - What is Home Staging? Interview With Award Winning Long Beach Home Stager Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design.


Interview With Award Winning Long Beach Home Stager

Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design



We are so excited to announce a new member to our Long Beach Real Estate Home blogging team: Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design. Michelle is an award winning professional home stager and interior designer in Long Beach and Los Angeles. She'll be sharing her extensive knowledge about home staging for Long Beach homes, preparing Long Beach homes for sale, upgrading your home before selling, as well as interior design and redesign. Michelle is happy to answer any questions you might have about home staging, design & redesign, especially as it pertains to Long Beach real estate.

I interviewed Michelle earlier this week regarding home staging and how and why it works to help sell Long Beach homes faster and at a better price.

Home staging is all over the news and on television. What exactly is home staging?

The simplest definition of home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale. The end goal of home staging being that the home has a greater perceived value and is appealing to the largest number of potential buyers.

How does staging work? Do home stagers use the sellers' furniture, bring in their own or rent furniture and accessories? 

Yes, all of the above! A full service home staging company (such as Moving Mountains Design) can use the sellers' furniture & accessories solely, supplement the sellers' furniture with additional rented furniture and accessories, or fully furnish a home, or the key rooms, with appropriate rented furniture, rugs, artwork & accessories. When working with a homeowners' furniture some factors we consider are budget, condition of the furniture, whether there is enough furniture & appropriateness of the furniture in regard to the architectural style of the home. The goal is to make your Long Beach home look like a model home in the most cost effective manner possible. We have a 1,500 sq.ft. warehouse stocked floor to ceiling with artwork, silk plants, all manner of accessories, books, throw pillows, bedding, towels and Persian rugs. We have furniture and accessories for every style and price home. We have a large selection of artwork and accessories which is particularly suited to the Long Beach real estate market.

Luxury Home Staging for Long Beach Homes

What other services does a typical home stager provide?  

There is no one size fits all description of services stagers offer. Much depends upon the stager's training and experience. Since Moving Mountains Design is also an interior design firm, besides home staging, we offer services such as paint color selection, staging to live, bathroom and kitchen upgrades or cost effective redesign for sale, curb appeal and landscape design, Feng Shui, window treatments, and carpet replacement. We are also one of the few staging companies in Long Beach and elsewhere that offer professional quality photographs of the homes we stage for use on the MLS, in internet marketing and in printed advertisements as part of our staging package.


How does staging help to sell a home or a condo?

When you put your home on the market, you're entering it in a beauty contest. The best looking homes sell faster and often for a higher price. Home stage prepares your Long Beach home to have the greatest appeal to home buyers when compared to other similar homes on the market. Staged homes photograph better and therefore are more attractive in MLS listings and on sites like Zillow and Trulia. If your home doesn't look good on the internet, it will be dismissed with a click of the mouse.

What percentage of staged homes actually sell?  

Statistics vary from city to city and from stager to stager. In 2008, almost 80% of the homes Moving Mountains Designs staged sold in less than 60 days; half in less than 30 days, and several were in escrow within 7 days. Many factors come into play in a home sale - condition (in part addressed by home staging) appropriate pricing, effective marketing by the real estate agent, location, availability of financing, and market conditions. Home staging is one very important piece of the puzzle.

Do staged homes command higher prices than vacant homes in Long Beach?

If a home is staged properly, it has a higher perceived value whether it is occupied or vacant. Staged homes appear to be in better condition and exude a sense of comfort and well being. Homes that are staged appear to be well cared for. As part of our home staging consultation, we address any visible condition issues, such as leaky faucets, peeling paint, missing or mildewed grout, etc. In doing so, we identify issues that might make a home feel like less of a good value. We encourage the home owner to make all repairs before putting the home on the market so that there are fewer impediments to a sale. Regardless of whether your home is in Long Beach, Manhattan Beach or Miami Beach, buyers want a home that is move in ready. Home staging helps put your home's best face forward.

Luxury Home Staging for Long Beach Homes

Is it advisable to stage an entire home?

In order to be as cost effective as possible, I normally suggest the following key rooms be staged: Entry, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, & Master Bedroom and bath.  If the home has an open floor plan, we also suggest staging any additional "public" rooms, such as the great room or den, and home office. When we are staging in a market where the typical buyer might value a downstairs Master Bedroom (for extended family) we often suggest staging that room as well. Occasionally, we will stage every room, but those are either model homes or have other special circumstances. Every home is different and requires either an on site visit or extensive photographs in order to determine the best course for effective staging. Of course, we always take the budget into consideration. I would rather see fewer rooms staged well, than many rooms staged poorly.


I communicate with the listing agent to discuss any areas they feel would benefit from staging and to discuss our findings so we are all on the same page.

What is the cost of staging an average Southern California home or condo?

  • A comprehensive home staging consultation starts at $350. I will visit your Long Beach home and explain everything I feel needs to be done in order to maximize your chances for a faster sale. I then email you a customized, detailed report of everything we have discussed. You can do the work yourself, or hire Moving Mountains Design to do part or all of the work outlined in the report.
  • Occupied home staging using the homeowners' own furniture and accessories start at $750 and depends upon how much work needs to be done.
  • The minimum cost of staging a vacant home is $3,000 and can run to $15,000 or more for very large or multi-million dollar homes. The cost of staging is dependent upon the amount of time we estimate the job will take, the amount of furniture we will be bringing in and the number of rooms to be staged. Regardless of the cost of staging, I will give you a firm price so you will know before we start how much your staging will cost. We stage Southern California homes as small as 1,000 sq.ft. up to 10,000 sq.ft. and that range in list price from $350,000 to $15 million.

Under what conditions would a stager turn a job down?

I can only speak for myself.

  • I have turned down jobs in situations where I feel home staging will not be helpful, or if I know there is a very limited budget and I feel the money would be better spent addressing condition issues that may prevent a sale, such as the need to paint, replace carpet or put on a new roof.
  • I will turn down a job if I feel the home seller or real estate agent is attempting to, or asking me to, cover up or hide a defect that would adversely affect the value of the home or put anyone in danger.  
  • I will also turn down a home staging project if I feel the home is not properly secured, is in a dangerous neighborhood or if I think any rental furniture or accessories will not be properly cared for.

Does home staging guarantee my home will sell?

Home staging is not a guarantee that your Long Beach home will sell. Too many factors influence the sale of a home. If you are working with a knowledgeable real estate agent, if your home is properly priced for the current market, is professionally staged and is properly marketed you stand a much greater chance of selling your home quickly and for the best price.


Long Beach Home Staging and Interior Design - Moving Mountains Design

For more information about staging your Long Beach home or condo, contact Michelle Minch at (626)441-8975 or via email Michelle@MovingMountainsDesign.com . You can also visit her Los Angeles home staging web site or view a portfolio of before and after home staging photos.


When you are ready to sell your Long Beach home contact:


Main Street Realtors Long Beach - Laurie Manny - Long Beach Realtor

Laurie Manny Professional Group

244 Redondo Avenue
Belmont Heights
Long Beach, California 90803

(562) 212-5420

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Posted on April 25, 2009 22:11:06 by Laurie Manny Professional Group
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To begin your search for the perfect home or to sell your home in the Long Beach area, begin your journey by calling Laurie Manny at (562) 212-5420.