All your home's a stage

Decluttering, cleanliness and presentation are just some of the guidelines that Nonnie Ranstrom follows when staging a house that’s up for sale.

Ranstrom, an accredited staging professional and owner of As You Like It-Design in Tracyton, enhances the look of a house before it is seen by potential buyers. She works with both individual home sellers and Realtors who are looking to spruce up a house, both inside and out, before it is shown on the market. Of the guidelines that she follows in staging a house, she places a lot of focus on the level of clutter inside.

“People are used to having stuff around for comfort but they need to know that when putting their home on the market it becomes a product,” Ranstrom said. “It needs to be beautifully packaged so that the consumer will be attracted to the product. The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things.”

Before staging a house, Ranstrom (who also is an interior designer) begins with a consultation for the seller or Realtor. Realtors will often team with stagers because they know the advantages of a staged home, she said. Ranstrom provides a detailed list of suggestions for the seller or Realtor of what will help make the house more presentable. She first looks at the property and the exterior of the house including shrubbery, the condition of the paint and anything else that might bring down the asking price of the house. If she finds that there is an extensive amount of work that should be done to better the look of the house she can arrange a contractor to meet with the seller or Realtor. If the need is there, it is another option for the seller or Realtor, she does not profit from referring contractors.

Inside the home Ranstrom focuses on what the buyer will see when it is shown and says it is important that buyers see the house and not the furniture. To help ensure the buyer will stay focused on the house, Ranstrom may rearrange furniture or provide furniture from her inventory that would be better suited for the house. A consultation will typically cost about $150. The average price she charges is $75 an hour and depending on the size of the house and the amount of clutter inside, she usually spends anywhere from eight hours to a day-and-a-half staging a house.

“You can make $20,000 or more on a house just by having it staged, depending on the house,” she said. “The cost of staging is less than the first price reduction.”

For more information about As You Like It-Design, call Ranstrom at (360) 307-0078 or e-mail her at or visit her Web site at More information also can be found at

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