When selling a home, the adage “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression” is a revered mantra.

Long Islander Mandy Laderer, a broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate for 12 years, founded Laderer Luxury Home Staging and Design in 2006. As a certified ASP home stager, Laderer’s goal is to create the “best showcase condition” for a home so it sells at the best price in the shortest time. She assists homeowners in decluttering, rearranging furniture and adding accessories to get their home ready for sale. She often uses what the homeowner has or can supplement from her company’s inventory. For vacant homes, she may include rental furniture.

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“On average,” Laderer says, “a staged home sells faster than a non-staged home, and a staged home sells at a higher price than a non-staged home. The investment in staging a home can be less than a first price reduction.”

“In this market, you have to do everything to make your house shine above the others. Competition is fierce,” she adds.

Spring and summer are Laderer’s favorite seasons to home stage. Indoors, Laderer recommends welcoming the warmer weather by opening everything -- the blinds, the screened-in windows. “The house should be light and bright. Let fresh air in,” she says.

But don’t overlook the outdoors. “Many homeowners make that mistake,” she says.

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“The continuity of the flow between the indoors and outdoors is so important,” she says. “Outside staging is just as important. We’ve sold houses just because of the backyard.”

“A lot of people who sell their home in the summer don’t want to bother to open the pool because they don’t want to pay for the added expense. That’s a big no-no when trying to sell a home,” Laderer says.

Changes to even a small section of a yard, such as a deck or porch (like this one in Richmond, Va., redone by John and Sherry Petersik), can make a huge improvement. Don’t display dingy, old outdoor furniture. Laderer recommends investing in a pressure washer to clean furniture, patios, decks, etc. and purchasing a new umbrella. Adding an inexpensive bistro set also can be worthwhile.

“Place a vase of fresh flowers on the table and add new outdoor pillows on the chairs,” Laderer says. “With little effort, you can change the whole ambiance of a yard."

To evoke that good old summertime feeling, she says, “I’ve opened a book on a lounge chair and placed a glass of lemonade nearby.”

 

Mandy Laderer photo