How Green is Your Home Staging?

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by: Wendy L.K. Rogers, M.A.


When it comes to staging a home, I think we can all agree that it’s a beneficial tool in selling a home quicker for more money. In researching for this article, I found one company boasting 95% ROI and 11 days or less on the market. I even saw a whopping 378% ROI. My goal here is not to debate staging’s merits.   Rather, I’m saying let’s get green with staging to save oodles of money, enjoy being creative and be a little or a lot more eco-friendly.

No doubt, green is in. The carbon footprint is now looking for Birkenstocks rather than Manolo Blahniks. Think Tesla instead of Hummer. Repurposing, up-cycling, re-scaping, whatever the title, why not incorporate it into home staging if it saves money and helps the environment? Not to mention, if you use green staging, you can position yourself as an eco-responsible Realtor!

Here’s four categories to help you dive your eco-friendly staging hands into: the basics, paint, curb appeal and some sample tips to fuel your creative green genius.

The Usual Suspects

With any web search of home staging, you’ll find some basics that come up again and again because they work. The two primary tasks that really give the biggest bang are de-clutter and clean. Seriously, this must be the best example of less is more. Less stuff equals more cash! If your client has to put his/her stuff into storage for a month and then have a hug fest with it in the new home, then offer this option. Better yet, help them have a garage sale (with your signs)or have them donate to worthy charities. The biggest focus here is make sure the home does NOT identify anyone. Those family photos and anything giving it a specific identity block prospective buyers from seeing themselves in that space. Remove any items that prevent them from envisioning themselves in the home. And clean, clean, clean. A made bed can completely change the dynamic of a room.


Painting a room with a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in the cleanliness and classiness of the space for rather little money. However, paint is a product that is actually considered hazardous material and that is the diabolical opposite of eco friendly, but it doesn’t have to be.

Search online for your area for something called a Materials Exchange Program. In Huntington Beach, Rainbow Environmental Services offers this awesome service. You can take in cleaning items, hazmat or the like and exchange it for others such as paint (used or not) for FREE! Yes, you can get free paint without spending a dime and you just helped a hazmat product stay out of the landfills. If that isn’t green-green, I don’t know what is.

Curb Appeal

Let’s face it, the landscape is the first impression of a home. We recently shared on our page agent Facebook page the article 12 DIY House Number Displays That Will Instantly Up Your Curb Appeal. There are a few examples in the article that are super eco friendly and inexpensive. Take four flower pots and paint them all the same color. Then affix each digit of the address on the front of each pot (with plants/flowers in there please) as a little vignette on the front step. There is even a repurposed window pane turned sideways with the house numbers on the glass and little adornment. Place it eye height just to the side of the front door. Really, the ideas are limitless but keep it clean and inviting.

Creative Tips

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Home Staging with Heart

Have fun and when in doubt, check out what Re-Scape says about the Golden Rules of Re-Scaping. No. 1 being to try to recycle when you clean and de-clutter.   Perhaps suggest a charity that you support to your client for his/her unwanted belongings – less to the dump and more potential up-cycling treasures. This can also build good will when your clients see you as a charitable Realtor. Hey, with the extra money they make on the sale of their well staged home, they can buy some solar panels for the next one. Happy repurposed home staging!

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Keep Buyers from Hibernating for the Winter

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Hey it’s September. We’re about to enter the zone of pumpkin spice everything, rich burnt oranges and deep plums. However, some of you in real estate may be mourning the passing of July’s peak sales. According to Jonathan Smoke “raw data tell us that real estate follows a clear seasonal pattern. Inventory peaks in the summer. Sales peak in the summer. Real estate Web traffic peaks in the summer.” Not so fast! Summer’s gone and maybe the overall real estate market is cooling, but with a little bit of marketing strategy, you can keep your business hot. Here are a few pieces of “raw data” to put the hot in your cocoa.


School Calendars and Weather Can Shift the Peak

Sure school calendars make a difference, but are there any year round schools in your area? We have a whole district near me that adjusted start and end dates due to strategically allowing seniors to get out in early May so they could be ready for transition to college life. This can certainly affect the timeline of those looking to buy or sell a home.

Also, what’s the weather like in your area? If you’re in a warmer climate, you may not be victim of the cold weather slow down.


Who’s Buying: Christmas Gifts and Seniors

And even if these are very realistic concerns in your area, what are some tidbits to use in your favor?

If December and January are peak months for the age of inventory, this now becomes an incentive for buyers to step in to get their best deal. And hey, I’d love my spouse to buy me a house for Christmas. Start a campaign telling prospects why the Winter inventory offers them the best time to “buy low.”

Next, know who’s more likely to buy! Turns out according to Real Time Economics, of the 860,000 new households created in the last fiscal year (July 1-June 31), two-thirds of new households were created by seniors between 65-74. Find out what attracts seniors and host an event catering to their needs and tastes. What kind of programs go over well at senior centers? Incorporate one into your Winter marketing strategy.


Money Misconceptions

Lastly, here’s an interesting nugget from Keeping Current Matters (don’t you just love the title?). About 36% of Americans have the misconception that 20% is an absolute down payment requirement to buy a home. Not necessarily so, but you can educate folks about this to open up the door of possibility for them. According to this site’s August 20th blog, Millennials know this, because 36% of them are putting down only 5%. But, since Millennials only account for approximately 13% of the market, do what you can to educate the other 87%! Maybe team up with a lending company to offer classes or make use of your social media to disseminate this rather powerful and motivating peace of data.


Heat Up Your Real Estate Business for the Winter

The point is, knowledge about your community, demographics, and fear based misconceptions that might be holding buyers back, can translate into increased sales if you gather such wisdom and use it to refine your marketing strategy for the season. So get ready to cuddle up with your snuggy and a pumpkin spiced latte to fuel you for the myriad of buyers looking for a smokin’ hot December deal. HouseHunt is always routing for you.


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by: Wendy L.K. Rogers, M.A.

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