Category Archives: Readying Your Home to Sell

Adding “WOW” to Your Home

Sometimes we need just that little extra something that just says “Wow”.  That’s why we are always looking through magazines and Pinterest to get ideas. This past weekend I decided to paint a mural based on our family tree. Even though it has each of my children, and grandchildren represented on the mural, it does not show as being too personalized. If I was to have to sell the house, I can keep the mural as a “Wow” feature.  On the flip side, all of our kids were excited to figure out which bird represented them and their family.

The mural was painted with acrylic paint along with the leaves painted with liquid gold and silver leaf. These items can be easily purchased at your local craft store.  Follow the instructions carefully and be sure to plan and draw out your mural first before going ahead with painting it on the wall.

Please email me photos of a “Wow” feature you have creatively done in your home. Be sure to add materials used and an explanation of how you accomplished it. Upon approval the photos and your comments will be featured on the One Source Staging blog.

Good Luck,

Kelli Soetaert-Pratt

Family Tree Mural
Family Tree Mural

What Are The Most Beneficial Upgrades For Your Home? is an excellent resource for understanding the cost of doing different projects around your home. This resource gathers information on the cost of materials and labor from the big box stores and small mom and pop shops. You can even view what the average costs are in your area. So, if you are wanting to build a new deck or remodel a bathroom and need to come up with a budget, this is the website to go to. This also figures your ROI so that you can get the confidence you need for your home improvement as an investment. Many real estate agents use this resource to guide their listing clients with choosing what would be the most beneficial upgrades for their home. Upgrades that help a home to sell for more money and in less time.

Some markets are going gang busters and homes are not on the market all that long. Even though, a home seller does not want to leave money on the table by leaving areas of the house that need upgraded to the job of the new homeowner.  In markets that are slower, upgrades help a home to sell faster. Remember, time is money! Also, some upgrades can place a home in a new price category because of the demand in the area. Such as, a kitchen with shaker style doors, new hardware, quartz countertops, and full height glass and stone tile backsplash has been the look many are asking for.

Now that Spring has sprung, do not forget about your curb appeal.  Upgrading a front door is among the highest for getting your money back and then some.  Homes are usually the largest investment we make in our lifetime. Be sure to be investing in it as your money grows. A farmer would not just plant the seeds of his crops without investing more time and money to water, feed, eliminate weeds and pests. Caring for his crops will always yield a much higher percentage of produce than if he left it alone. Taking care of your home as you live there and adding up to date fixtures, flooring, appliances, etc. can over the years yield you so much more than what you might expect.

Best of luck on your projects. Please share with me your experiences of doing these projects. You are welcome to email me your stories with photos to


Feature Article in the KC Star


June 13, 2015

Successful selling experience leads to ‘Stage to Sell’

You could say that for interior decorator, business owner and author Kelli Soetaert-Pratt, necessity was truly the mother of invention.

She had a successful business creating faux finishes and murals in residential homes around the Kansas City metropolitan area, a husband and two beautiful children, and was living in her family’s custom-built dream home in 2005.

Then the housing market crashed, and the company that her husband was working for was bought out by two other companies. But, he was able to find a great new career position — in Colorado.

Because of the falling home prices, selling “in the black” seemed completely impossible.

“The idea of selling our home at the price we had built it was hard to swallow,” Soetaert-Pratt said. “That meant there would be no equity. It was as if we had just been renting for the past five years and throwing our money into a bottomless well.”

Determined to defy the market, she set up a strategic plan to make their house the house everyone wanted, by decluttering, cleaning and organizing, and putting a fresh coat of paint on interior and exterior walls where needed.

She next estimated what the family’s expenses would be and determined what investment was necessary to set their home above the others, without cutting into the equity they had planned on by going over budget on repairs and upgrades.

When all was said and done, she invited some family members and good friends over to come take a look and was told, “Your house looks like something out of a magazine!”

Three weeks later, the house was sold.

That experience inspired Soetaert-Pratt to write “Stage to Sell: Make your home the house EVERY buyer will want.” Her goal was to create a resource that would have a positive and practical impact on homeowners and promote the successful sale of their homes.

“After hearing story after story from homeowners across the nation who were having difficulties selling their homes, and of those who had given up hope of selling,” she recalls, “I decided to combine my interior decorating skills with my personal experience to write ‘Stage to Sell.’ I tell people that you don’t want to show the typical house. Your aim is to show a house everyone wants, so give them a reason to want it.”

“Stage to Sell” is designed as a workbook with step-by-step instructions, stages and schedules for any homeowner, whether in a thriving or challenging real estate market environment.

“Anyone can use this workbook as a guide to creating a home that shows like something out of a magazine,” she said. “Make the buyer fall in love with your home. Once they do, they will be willing to pay a fair price for it.”

The budget estimate pages help homeowners take into account the cost of supplies, repairs, upgrades and labor, while in each stage Soetaert-Pratt deftly addresses every nook and cranny of the home, offering practical tips on how to apply all of your senses to view the entire home from a potential buyer’s perspective. She also provides cutout patterns and graph paper that homeowners can use to explore different furniture arranging options for each room, and demonstrates how to deal with pet care, planning meals and daily upkeep while still living in the home.

“In the end, I really want homeowners to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, because selling your house quickly and for a fair price is now attainable,” said Soetaert-Pratt.

The book is also a great resource for those not yet sure if they are ready to sell, as well as for homeowners who simply desire to have a fresh, clean, organized and updated home to enjoy for any upcoming occasion.

Read more here:

Decluttering Through the Memories


killarney-antiques-fair        All of those collectables that your mother passed down to you, the awards you and your children earned over the years,  and special homemade crafts gifted to you during the holidays are just a few categories of items that one needs to choose whether to keep, pass on to the next generation, sell, or give to a goodwill store.  Tossing them in the trash is usually the last measure taken because of the hope that just someone out there may find value in what you consider a priceless treasure.

How to decide? This isn’t easy for anyone to do. Please allow yourself plenty of extra time to reminisce. One way to keep the memories, but not so many of the cherished pieces, is to take a picture of each of the items that have a lot of meaning to you  and write the memory you recall about it in a journal. When you are finished, make copies of the journal and pass them on to close family members. This way you do not have to feel guilty about keeping everything that was given to you and the memory is still being kept and shared. Items that are considered treasured heirlooms need to be kept in a safe place or set aside for the one you have decided to pass the item along to.

Where to start? Over the years we can accumulate several little and large treasures that have a special place in our hearts. Start small by going to that curio or shelf where you are displaying your collectables. If you have in mind who you would like to pass them on to (that you know will continue to enjoy them), then get some stickers; write their names on them and place them on each of the items. Pack them safely in a box and label the box accordingly.  If you feel the treasures are too priceless to reveal on the label, then make up a code word.

Example: you choose the word PURPLE.  Everything marked PURPLE goes to your youngest daughter.  Purple is her favorite color.                              Be sure to write down who the code words are for so that you do not forget when it comes time to pass them on.

For larger items, such as furniture, ask family and friends if they would enjoy having them.  If  not, then plan to donate the items to your local goodwill store or organization.  Place these items together and schedule the time and place these are to be taken to or picked up so that those in your community can make use of them.

If you have items of monetary value, set aside to have them appraised.  Decide if you would rather keep the item(s) in the family, sell, or donate to your favorite charity.  This can get tricky when talking with family members because more than one may be interested in having a particular item.  If this is the case, selling or donating the piece may be the only resolution to keeping the peace. Keeping a family together is much more valuable than any material item can give.


Flip Your Own House!

Flipping homes have been a lucrative business for those who have the money to initially invest in a home in order to create a profit. You want to sell your home, but the amount of money needed to do the repairs and upgrades is not in the budget.  Well, the word is getting out that there are investors who are willing to put forth the funds for home owners that want to make a profit on their home. Check it out! Call different real estate offices in your market and ask the question. It’s a win, WIN for everyone.

Check this out! According to RealtyTrac  Q3  of 2014 has shown a record increase in profits from flipping homes.  “The best returns on homes flipped in the third quarter were on homes with a flipped sale price between $1 million and $2 million, yielding a 45 percent average gross return on investment.  Homes in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range had the second best return at 43 percent followed by homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range with an average gross return of 41 percent.” That’s what investors are hoping for. Enough profit for you and them to make some money.

Wanna flip your own house? 

Suggestion:  Start with the “Stage to Sell” workbook.

Order one today! You will be glad that you did.

Flavor of the day! (Adding Color to Your Home)

Are you someone who is not comfortable with choosing colors for your home?  Does the thought of bright and bold colors create in you some sort of anxiety that you just want to run from?  Then, don’t think of them as colors; think of them as FLAVORS.

Tonight, I ran down to my favorite gelato hub because I wanted to get a photo for this post. At least, that was my excuse to have a taste of their strawberry champagne goodness. This particular gelato shop adorns each flavor of gelato with fruit, candy, chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, and what ever their gelato ingredients have in them.  It’s a scrumptious display of flavors.  And, of course, it makes me want to try each and every delectable flavor and combination of flavors their chefs have created.  Can you help but drool at the granny smith apple diving into the raspberry gelato? Just look at the chocolate covered bananas next to the red strawberries, and the blackberries next to the strawberries with their green stems still on.  All I can think of is how fresh this looks.

Color is Yum!
Color is Yum!

If you are struggling with which colors to choose, try thinking of a particular ethnic food palate you prefer.  Then, choose a meal which includes a side dish, salad, and/or dessert.  For example, your favorite foods tend to be Southwest flavor.  What ingredients would you use for this? Chillies, onions, tomatoes, avocados,  black beans, rice, corn, are just a few.  Well, each of these ingredients represent a color.  Imagine what your favorite meal would look like without any color? Would it still be a meal you desire to eat again? Just like food, if the interior of a home looks bland, then it’s not a desirable home to go into again. You may be accustom to it, but are others who visit your home subconsciously disenchanted?

Try this!  Create your favorite meal in your home and set it on the table.  Just before you eat, notice how the colors make the food look delicious. Take a picture of your meal. Pick out three or four ingredients (colors) and use them for your color palette.   Are you getting ideas?  Now, take one room and place accessories in the room that represent the meal you most enjoy.  How does this room make you feel?  Does choosing colors for your home seem a little more approachable? Take it slow. Just begin with using accessories for color until you get more comfortable. If you go all out and paint a whole room a color you thought you would like, you may just hate it.  Stick with neutral colors on walls for now. Think of them as your pasta or rice ingredients. By themselves they taste a bit bland. On the other hand, once you add different colorful ingredients (like accessories for the walls), the flavor starts to dress up the pasta or rice. Making it more desirable to eat.

Remember, COLOR IS YUM! It’s okay to make a home taste good!



An Attractive Home Attracts Buyers

Real estate agents have walked through hundreds of homes. And those who have been in the business a long time have probably stepped through thousands of homes. They have seen a lot and each have their favorite story to tell.

An agent gets a sense of what a home should look like to attract a buyer when they first tour your home.  However, some homeowners seem to miss the mark.  Dingy and marred walls, front porch not swept, children’s toys not picked up, and pet odors are just a few. Don’t let this be you. Start with purchasing the “Stage to Sell” workbook.  This workbook has a questionnaire that helps you to spot what needs to be cleaned, decluttered, organized, and updated.  Then, invite an honest friend or family member over to give you a critique.  What would they notice, if they were viewing the home to possibly purchase?  And finally, get feed back from your agent.  Inquire about what others who have viewed your home are saying.  Do not take it personal. Your home has been lived in by you and your family members for how long? You’ve made it your own over the years. Others are seeing it as if it were their home. Now, its time to take notes and make changes that will attract the perfect buyer.

Living It Up in Your Own Space


Making Your Home a Valuable Place to Live In

Staging your home can have a positive impact on your daily life. There are many reasons to stage your home. This practice is not just for selling a house. Home staging can be purposeful for entertaining guests, used to forge your peaceful and stress free sanctum, as well as creating a space for day to day practical living. Order a copy of my workbook ( to get started. Use this workbook to modify, transform, and revolutionize a new home and way of living.
Keep watching this blog for conversations and tips that refer to the following categories:










One Source Staging invites you to share your pics and stories of you staging your home. Show your new and creative ideas of what works for you and those living in your home. Don’t forget to tell us which STAGE you are in while going through the workbook. Feel free to show before and after pics, as well. To do this just email your pics, name, city and state, and a short writing to
I can’t wait to see  what ingenious ideas you have to share!

Kelli Soetaert-Pratt
Author of “Stage to Sell”