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January 27, 2016 10:14 PM

Staging To Sell

Sioux Falls, SD

If you're looking to sell your house, there may be a quicker way to get people to buy it. A study shows staging your home helps it sell 73 percent faster, but the process can be an expensive one and require a lot of man power.

Karen Nielsen spent years staging homes. Now she makes furniture for people hoping to sell their homes quicker.

"It's cardboard furniture. We do sofas, love seats, oversized chairs, ottomans,” Karen Nielsen, Dandy Pack Co-Owner, said.

She got tired of all the energy and money it took to temporarily style a home, so she makes dining room and living room sets out of cardboard boxes.

"Hauling that furniture, storing that furniture, paying for that furniture, all of that on top of the cost of the furniture," Nielsen said.

The Dandy Pack line is lightweight and easy to move around.

"A living room set will fold into approximately two bags, and then you'll have some carrying cases for the slip covers," Nielsen said.

Her products cost a fraction of what you'd pay to style and stage an entire home.

"You would spend probably $1,000 to $1,500 for a sofa. You can get a starter set of ours for that price. And you would get a sofa, a chair, a bed, and a dining set," Nielsen said.

Interior designer and home stager Ajay Kittur is an avid Dandy Pack user. He's used the lightweight furniture to stage more than 12 homes in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas.

It only takes him a couple hours to set it up, and the best part is that he doesn't need any extra help.

"The good thing about that is I can do it by myself. I don't need any help; I can haul all the parts with me," Ajay Kittur, Designing Dreams by Ajay Owner, said.

It's a win-win for sellers and realtors, but it's especially helpful for the people who have to set up the furniture.

"You save a lot of man power; you save a lot of money. You don't have to go around 50-different places trying to find the right scale of furniture," Kittur said.

And the inexpensive furniture helps stagers attract more sellers.

"They can get more clients, because they have more competitive pricing. If they use traditional furniture, there are a lot of agents who don't stage because of the cost," Nielsen said.

For a couch made out of cardboard, the love seat definitely looks real, but you might be surprised that it actually feels real too.

"They would not crash to the ground; we have passed a lab crash test of over 1,000 pounds," Nielsen said.

But most buyers don't come to try out the furniture; they're more concerned about the actual size of the room.

"Unless you have that piece of furniture there, you'll never know how your furniture is going to fit in,” Kittur said.

Nielsen agreed, but she did say the style and color of the living and dining sets are important when you are staging to sell.

"Buyers don't want to come in and see your grandma's china collection, or your furniture that's so style specific. It's about making it style neutral," Nielsen said.

That means choosing colors that don't stand out, like grays and browns.

"It's depersonalizing, it's taking family photos down, it's like removing the leopard wall paper or whatever it might be that's not going to appeal to the majority of people," Nielsen said.

So if you're looking to take your house off the market, and finally get those for-sale signs out of your yard, Nielsen and Kittur both agree, home staging with Dandy Pack is the way to go.

"It's putting your home in the best light. You're competing with homes in your neighborhood, and it's about making your home appeal to the most buyers," Nielsen said.

And saving both time and labor in the process.

Nielsen says another good tip to sell your home faster is to take pictures of staged rooms and put them online. Most buyers look for options on the web, before they ever step inside a home.

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