mortgage

Staging 'twist' helps vacant homes sell

The basketball gods were smiling on Trenton Hassell when the Dallas Mavericks acquired the 6-foot-5-inch swingman from the Minnesota Timberwolves last September.

After all, Dallas still had Dirk Nowitzki and much of the nucleus that took them to the 2006 NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the eternally struggling T-wolves had just dealt their lone superstar, Kevin Garnett, to the Boston Celtics.

But for Hassell and his wife, Tiffany, selling their Minneapolis home was no slam-dunk.

"We had been out of the house since November," Tiffany recalls. "It was staged but it didn't do so well. When our contract with our Realtor ended, our new Realtor recommended Showhomes."

In early July, Showhomes, a home staging and residence management franchise with 35 locations nationwide, restaged the Hassell home with furniture and artwork from one of their resident manager couples, who promptly moved in.

The resident managers would not have time to get comfortable: the home sold the first day for $835,000, just shy of the $849,000 listing price.

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"If I had known about Showhomes before, I would have done it a long time ago," Tiffany Hassell admits.

How it works

The Hassells are typical of homeowners who have discovered they can save time and money by opening their home to a home manager for a lived-in look that really sells.

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