Staging Your Home to Sell

The Parade of Homes showcases the area’s premier new homes, home builders and communities.
The Parade of Homes showcases the area’s premier new homes, home builders and communities.

Before you move into your new Parade home, you’ll likely need to sell your current house. We spoke with HBA member Helen Bartlett of Refined Interiors Staging Solutions about the importance of staging your home to sell and how to do it well.

What is the biggest mistake people often make when presenting their home to potential buyers? Bartlett often sees homeowners having a difficult time detaching themselves from their home. “You see people get very attached to certain things in their home that are meaningful to them. [It] has value to them, but it may not for a potential buyer,” said Bartlett. “[The house] no longer needs to work for their own personal needs, but the needs of their demographic buyer.”

What is the most important thing to pay attention to when staging your home? “The most important thing to pay attention to when staging your home is to understand who your buyer is and make sure your home appeals to them,” stated Bartlett. Acknowledging how your area has changed over the years is critical. “Your home has to reflect what that buyer would want to see in their home and lifestyle.” Whether the neighborhood has transitioned to an older demographic or turned over to young families is a key factor.

What seemingly smaller details are often overlooked when showcasing a home? Bartlett is a believer in the importance of decluttering and having a clean home. Immaculate bathrooms and kitchens can make a buyer be more open minded. Even if it’s not their style, Bartlett often sees buyers say they are willing to buy “as is” knowing they can “make it their own” down the road. Alternatively, “if kitchens and bathrooms are dirty, a buyer will look at that thinking the entire room needs to be replaced,” said Bartlett.

Clean windows are another often overlooked detail. “When a home has clean windows, it appears lighter and brighter,” stated Bartlett. “When windows are dirty, a potential buyer will look at that as a neglect issue and perhaps wonder what other things in the home are neglected, such as mechanical systems.”

Do you have a favorite “trick” you use when working on a home? “One of my favorite tricks when working in a home is to add real items in the staging,” said Bartlett. “This could be a bowl of apples or a beautiful orchid. Adding a real, natural and organic element in the home makes it feel like a place you’d want to live. The color and texture of apples and orchids also adds another element to the overall design. It’s a simple and very cost-effective trick that looks and feels great in any home.”

Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City and sponsored by Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling, this year’s Fall Parade of Homes features nearly 300 homes by 97 home builders across the metro area, which are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free admission.

More information is available at

2019 Fall Parade of Homes

Hours: Homes are open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free