By Craig Michaels

These days, there is so much more to effectively selling your property then putting out a sign and including your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service.) Once you have chosen a professional realtor and decided on the price, getting your home ready for market is the next big step in securing the highest value for your home.  To stage your home is no longer a nice idea, it’s one of the most important things you can do to maximize your value.

According to industry sources, in a decreasing housing market, staged homes will sell quicker and for more money than a home that has not been staged. In an increasing housing market, which we are currently experiencing, staged homes will sell for even more money. A staged home can visually entice buyers with a move in ready look. According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging your home, the potential return is up to $400. When selling something as expensive as a home, this is well worth your time and investment.

Judy Sutherland, an expert at Home Staging, Interior Redesign & Curb Appeal, gave birth to her company: The Art of Staging, three years ago. Earning her graduate degrees in both Landscape Architecture and Related Arts, she has a passion for Environmental Design, as it relates to the landscape and home interiors. Judy is a Certified Staging Professional and a Certified Senior Move Manager. She is also a member of the Southern California Chapter of RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) and CSP (Certified Staging Professionals).


Most staged homes include art, paintings, lights, plants, and rugs to transform it into a welcoming, appealing, and marketable home for sale. Judy describes how The Art of Staging reflects her passion for showcasing local artists in the Desert: “I’ve always included art pieces as part of my staging projects and when I discovered some local artists who had studios full of unseen art, I wanted to do more to feature their art in my staged properties. These range from Mid-century homes in Palm Springs to Condos at a Country Club in La Quinta. The artwork is primarily abstract in its subject matter, and I highlight the bold colors with other accessories.” Judy has a few artists she has recently enjoyed working closely with. Barry Orleans is one of her talented artists who also works as her assistant. Marty De Vries from La Quinta is another one of her featured artists whose work you will find in her homes.

Most people first view properties on the internet so, that first impression really counts. “We can’t change price or location, but staging can influence the buyers’ decision by focusing on curb appeal, the entry and the WOW factor when people enter a home. We create a living space the buyer can “see” themselves in,” Judy explains.

The Art of Staging offers comprehensive services to help prepare a home for sale including staging consultations, making repairs, organize and dispose of unwanted goods, plan new space, and coordinate with movers. For more information about The Art of Staging call (760) 469-9172 or email: You can also visit her website at:

Written By

Craig Michaels / Realtor

Better Homes and Gardens / Leaskou Partners

(760) 880-3848