I recently worked with an investor couple on staging their vacant income property.  They knew they could get more money for the property if it was staged rather than left vacant.  However, we were surprised just how much over-list price an Offer came in at.  Yes, it is still a Seller’s market, which means there are more buyers than inventory right now.  In Wisconsin, the spring market is dependent upon the weather.  If March is cold, icy, snowy, or lots of rain with flooding, people will wait to list their homes until April.  However, this year, it seemed we went from winter to early summer in just a few weeks.

This 3-bedroom, 2-bath single-story home had been rented for the last year.  After the renters moved out, the investors decided to sell it.  I gave them a proposal for vacant staging, but also indicated my staging services were included with any of my listings, which was agreeable to them.

I staged it, procured a professional photographer, posted a “coming soon” ad, uploaded the listing to the MLS, and then posted a few Facebook ads and hosted an Open House.  It was under contract within the week.

These investors do more than declutter, clean, and paint.  They repair, replace, refinish, or remodel in order to give the next owner a quality product.

Choose Wisely

The most important thing about choosing an investment property is what your Return on Investment (ROI) will be when you are ready to either rent or sell the property.  After you find a property in a good location, you need to do what is necessary and then go a little beyond.  For example, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, so you should put a little more money toward these rooms rather than update the basement.

Keep Original Charm

The front door and the foyer slats are homage to the mid-century modern time period when this house was built.   Some updates in the pink and black bathroom make it more efficient but still adhere to the mid-century vibe.

The 2nd bathroom got a new floating vanity and comfort-level toilet. It is rare that this house-style has two full bathrooms.  That was definitely a selling point.

Something Unexpected

One of my favorite places is the sunroom.  It is tucked behind the garage and has jalousie windows.  Normally jalousie windows are found in warmer climates since they are not very energy-efficient.   This 3-season sunroom can be heated with an electric heater during colder weather.

The investors put a closet organizer inside the master bedroom closet, which may negate the use of a dresser.


I had never seen such a clean and tidy basement in a house built in the 1950s until this one.  One potential buyer thought a 1st floor closet could be reconfigured to hold a stacked washer and dryer combination and turn the basement into extra living space if an egress window was added.

With such a large backyard, there are many ways to make it fit your lifestyle:  a patio, a screen porch, a fire pit, a soccer field, or gardens.

While this property is under contract, perhaps I can help in finding your next abode.

Gina Newell, Premiere Stagers & Realty;  Direct:  608-345-9396  (ginanewell.exprealty.com)