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The NH Mirror

Speed up sales with home staging

By Pamme Boutselis
NH Mirror Contributor

You’re ready to sell your home and have worked hard to create a space that is appealing to you and – hopefully – to potential buyers. Your home languishes on the market, though, and you’re not sure why.

Make and Take(Photo by Bruce Alexander)

Aileen Sideris of Signature Design Consultants stages homes to present to potential sellers. These photos show a living space before, right, and after her staging.

(Courtesy Photo)

It may be all in the staging.

Home staging, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, refers to preparing your home to be attractive and appealing to potential buyers.

If “staging” is an unfamiliar term, you may need the help of someone such as Aileen Sideris of Signature Design Consultants, who stages homes and businesses for a living.

Back in 1999, Sideris was working with investors to remodel homes for resale. Upon completion of one project, a Realtor mentioned that while the home was beautiful, empty homes just did not sell as well as homes that had furnishings.

“So I went shopping, and we received two full-priced offers,” Sideris said. “The rest is history.”

She went on to train in Seattle and received accreditation with Barb Schwarz, the creator of Home Staging. Sideris then studied kitchen and bath design at the N.H. Art Institute and has been a member of International Association of Home Staging Professionals since 2003. She received a master’s degree in staging in 2004.

“It’s very satisfying to help homeowners accomplish their goal, either to sell their home for the most money in the shortest amount of time or to enhance their existing home,” Sideris said.

She encourages home sellers to clear away all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout their house. Her suggestions include keeping decorative objects on furniture restricted to a group of one or three items.

“Clear away unnecessary items from your kitchen counter tops and, most especially, clear messages, pictures and other personal items off of your refrigerator front,” Sideris said. “By editing personal items, you create space and allow buyers to visualize living in the home.”

The results are often so pleasing to the current owners that they almost don’t want to leave their home.
“Some tease that they are not going to sell now that the house has been staged,” she said. “Others wished they would have made the changes sooner.”

Businesses also love the impact a fresh new look has both on its employees and its clients, she said.
Born and raised in Manchester, Sideris still makes her home there with her teenage daughter, Lydia.
She was married to husband, Steve, for 20 years and was recently widowed.

Sideris is also involved in a volunteer ministry, teaching continuing education to those who want to learn more about the Bible. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring the Maine coast and playing tennis.

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