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Expert Spotlight: 9 Key Staging Secrets to Selling Your Home for Top Dollar in Today’s Market

I am absolutely delighted to announce my expert guest blogger for today, Belinda Mendoza, Director of Operations for Design for Energy, a holistic design firm specializing in the ancient art of Feng Shui.  From her Feng Shui savvy to her expert eye in staging and design, Belinda creates incredible value with her work.  Today, she’s going to share 9 of her staging secrets to help your home sell for top dollar in today’s market.  But first, here’s a little bit about Belinda…

An Austin-based Feng Shui master consultant, geomancer,  teacher, speaker and author, Belinda is also an accomplished business developer and sales leader with over 20 years of successful sales and marketing experience. She is known for “turning lagging businesses around.” She was a highly successful Regional Sales Manager for a Fortune 500 medical device corporation when she resigned to do feng shui full-time in 2000.  Belinda is also the author of “Feng Shui For The Loss of a Pet, Restoring Balance During Grief and Loss, A Personal Journey.” 

Belinda is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin’s School of Social Work. Belinda is trained in Black Hat Sect Feng Shui and Classical Feng Shui (East and West Methods). She began her Feng Shui training in Black Hat Sect at the Omega Institute in New York in 1996. She continued her studies with Professor Lin Yun (Founder of Black Hat Sect Feng Shui), based in Berkeley, CA.

Her strong committment to the study of Feng Shui, led her to travel to China in 1996. She went on a  Feng Shui study tour and trained with Feng Shui Master,Professor Wang Yu-De, and became certified in Classical Feng Shui. The studies began in Wuhan China where the largest and oldest number of Feng Shui texts exist.

Now, that’s what I call an impressive resume!  I know my clients have loved her results, and I have seen her work in action!  Without further ado, check out these… 

9 Key Staging Secrets to Selling Your Home for Top Dollar in Today’s Market

By Belinda Mendoza
Staging and Design Consultant
Austin, Texas

Besides the good advice your REALTOR® will give you about fixing anything broken, updating counter tops or kitchen cabinets, removing any debris from property, power washing outside of house or patio, washing windows, or trimming trees if necessary, etc.  you need to stage it.

Used to be that you could get more money for your home if you had it staged, but…today, it may be difficult to even get an offer without it.  Whether you do it yourself or you get a professional to help, it is necessary.  An outside opinion is helpful.  After you have done some staging yourself, ask a neighbor to come by and look at it.  This will give you an idea if you are on the right track.

When my clients follow my advice they sell every time. Here are some tips:

  1. Let your home go.  Being emotionally tied to the home will prevent it from selling.  It will also be visible in the home.  See your home selling soon, so start packing.
  2. Enhance curb appeal.  This is our first impression when we drive up to your house.  Keep yard clean, free of debris, house numbers easily seen, good outside lighting, trees trimmed and away from blocking any windows or hanging over house.
  3. Jazz up your front door.  This makes us want to see more when we go inside.  Paint it a pretty bright color or add some colorful fresh flowers in tall pots next to the door.  Add a colorful wreath, a flag, or welcome mat.
  4. Engage the senses.  The first few seconds of being in a home registers the feel of it.  Make sure there is no cooking, pet, or other strong odors.  Use diffusers, aromatherapy, scented candles, or potpourri in cinnamon or pine which have been proven to be more effective than vanilla or floral scents.  Make sure they are not too strong.  A light scent through the home will do fine.
  5. Decorate the foyer.  This is often the first thing buyers see that registers the feel of the home.  Add fresh flowers or lush green plant, candles, colorful artwork or large mirror.   Go outside, walk back in…how does it feel to you?
  6. Get rid of clutter.  Start packing as soon as you know you want to sell.  Donate, sell, or trash items you no longer need or are broken.  Less is more in staging.  We want people to fall in love with your home not your things. This tip applies to your garage and patio.
  7. Remove anything personal.  We want  your home to look like a model home but with some warmth.  Pack away any hobby knick knacks, religious items, family photos on walls or in books on tables. People viewing the home do not need to know about your personal life.
  8. Remove anything dead.  This is flowers, dried arrangements, taxidermies  from a hunting expedition including rugs.   If someone has cash to buy your house and they are with PETA, you would lose that sale fast.
  9. Add things that give life.  Add fresh paint to outdated walls.  If the interior needs painting use warm neutrals like cream or light tans with a satin finish.  Add fresh plants to the foyer and kitchen.  Bright kitchen and bath towels. Fresh lemons, limes, oranges, or apples on the breakfast table or kitchen counter.

When you are done you should fall in love with your home all over again. But… remember, it is no longer yours.  Happy Selling!

Design For Energy. 512/740-1251.  LIKE us on Facebook at Design For Energy.  Email us at:

Leadership Round Rock Teams with Habitat for Humanity and Outback Steakhouse on World Habitat Day

Adequate shelter is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty.  Joining forces with Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Round Rock (2012-2013) is working to raise community awareness about the importance of decent housing.

Show your support for World Habitat Day by enjoying a meal at Outback Steakhouse in Round Rock on October 7, 2013.  A portion of the day’s restaurant sales will be generously donated to Leadership Round Rock’s new home build on Winding Way.

The home will be jointly-built and purchased by the Getahun Family, who live in Round Rock.  Mr. Getahun, a pastor, works in Manor but his family lives in Round Rock with another family. His Manor housing consumes more than 30 percent of their household income – a major cost burden.  Through Habitat for Humanity, community volunteers, and the family’s sweat equity, the Getahun’s will purchase their home via a 20-year, zero interest mortgage.

Leadership Round Rock’s official build day takes place on November 6, 2013.  If you are interested in volunteering for the build day, please contact Lora Tucker Kaasch at (512) 539-7547 or

Show your support for Habitat for Humanity and our Round Rock neighbors on World Habitat Day!


About Leadership Round Rock:

The mission of Leadership Round Rock is to develop leadership skills in individuals, and to promote awareness of issues and opportunities which impact Round Rock.  Any adult may apply and class size is limited.  Contact Shontel Mays with the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce for class opportunities: (512) 255-5805.

6511 Twin Creek Hollow in Lakewood

I am absolutely thrilled that this beauty is hitting the market tomorrow!

front use - 6511 twin creek

Vital Stats:

6511 Twin Creek Hollow in sought-after Lakewood

3 Bedrooms + Office

2 Bathrooms

2,323 Square Feet

.19 Acre Lot (built on 2 lots!)

2 Car Garage

Moments from Lake Austin

Offered at $425,000

Click here for the full virtual tour!

Classic Southern charm nestled on a private, tree-lined lot in sought-after Lakewood, just moments from Lake Austin. Fabulous for family and entertaining – tons of natural light, 10-ft ceilings, subtle architectural touches, gleaming hardwood floors in main living areas, crown molding, updated kitchen with tile flooring, soaring cabinetry and sunny breakfast nook, family room flows effortlessly to large deck with Texas Hill Country views. Peaceful master retreat with sitting area, oversized tub, separate steam shower, and dual walk-in closets. Neat-as-a-pin garage with concrete coating for easy care. Built on 2 lots. Additional dry storage under deck.

Questions?  Contact me below!

Round Rock Real Estate Update

Real estate in Round Rock is mirroring our balmy summer temps… It is hot, hot, hot here!  And that’s despite an upward kick in mortgage interest rates recently (which still remain at overall historical lows).

In fact, August’s closed sales jumped 17.3% from the same period in 2012.  New listings were up 11.2%, and the market’s strong demand continued to gobble up the increase in inventory.  Meanwhile, the median sales price for August tipped $224,000, a four percent increase from August, 2012.  Days on market slimmed to 39 (year-to-date) and sellers, on average, received a whopping 98.5% of their original list price.

As strong real estate activity continued in Round Rock, buyers are crafting their offers to be more competitive and attractive to home sellers: often limiting closing costs credit requests, offering shorter escrow periods, and including loan pre-approvals (vs. simple, and often useless, pre-qualification letters).  The moral of the story?  The pendulum has poised itself on a “seller’s market.”

Could now be the time to upgrade to your dream home?  Enroll in a limited-availability ‘Round Our Town Elite Buyer or Seller Consultation today by registering at (or emailing and mentioning this blog.  Find out how we deliver the fifth star and wow our clients at every touch point.

*This report uses the most recently-published Round Rock home sales data based on transactions that closed in August, 2013, and compares it to closings that took place during the same period last year (unless otherwise indicated).  Traditionally, closings occur four to six weeks after a contract is executed.  For that reason, the sales activity you see here trails the actual market conditions just slightly.

Bass Pro Shops to Open Round Rock Store in 2015

The outdoor retailer, Bass Pro Shops, is coming to Round Rock!  The company reached an agreement with the City of Round Rock on August 22nd to open a 104,000 square foot outdoorsman paradise in 2015 next to the Premium Outlets.

“I think this clarifies that Round Rock is the destination retail location for Central Texas,” said Ben White, vice president of economic development for the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Partnership. “There is nowhere in Austin that has an IKEA, an outlet mall and a Bass Pro Shops all in one—we are the only one.”

View the entire article from Community Impact here.

Bass Pro Shopss

Kind Words and Happy Clients

We love our clients… And we love when we exceed expectations.

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Let us exceed yours, whether you’re selling or buying in the greater Austin-Round Rock areas.

New Listing in Round Rock: 941 Heritage Springs Trail

font 941 heritage springs trail

$199,000: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,586 square feet, 2 car detached garage

Beautiful Craftsman style in Turtle Creek, nestled on one of the largest lots in the neighborhood! Wood floors, ceramic tile and plantation shutters. Open kitchen with island, granite counters, GE Profile SS appliances, cabinet pull-outs, and double oven. Sunny breakfast nook with window seat overlooks covered back patio. Oversized master retreat with soaking tub, separate shower and closet organizers. Upgrades galore: mirrors, light fixtures and interior doors. 2 car detached garage.

Take the Virtual Tour of 941 Heritage Springs Trail in Round Rock!

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