Home Stager Jenny Kropp Knows an Inviting Design Can Be a Game Changer
Staged to sell.
- Written byKara Mickelson
- Photographed byShane O’Donnell
Staging is an art. Those who have a knack for it can bring a blank canvas to life with just the right touches. Stager Jenny Kropp’s keen sense of space and style helped her make a business out of a natural gift. A former professional volleyball player, she uses that same work ethic and competitive winning spirit when staging homes. “I love the instant gratification,” she says.
After flipping homes for many years with her husband, Jenny and her unique style caught the eye of local real estate agents. She launched Simple Coast Staging and quickly became the go-to source for new agents, homeowners, builders and developers looking to sell a home.
While many sellers might fix up some aspect of a property prior to sale, they don’t always consider hiring a stager. While it’s an added expense, the return on investment can easily make the difference between selling over list price and securing multiple offers.
“My husband tried to tell me we didn’t need to spend the money to stage when we sold a year ago,” Jenny says. “The statistics are real, and I see it work every week. People fall in love with a home that is turnkey.”
For Jenny, staging is all about strategy. To position a home to sell, she offers tips on painting, organizing and decluttering; a clear plan for laying out furniture; and recommendations for repairs and qualified handymen. She may also purchase art and furniture and choose flooring, tile, backsplashes and lighting to create a win.
Designing an environment to capture great photos is an integral part of a listing. But creating the right vibe when people walk in is equally important. Jenny makes a point that staging isn’t decorating. It doesn’t have to fit your taste as a seller; it just has to be the right mix so the new owners can visualize the space as their own home. A buyer isn’t looking to buy your house; they want to buy a house that fits their lifestyle—a place they can call home.
Jenny prefers a subtle yet sophisticated coastal theme for her projects. She typically works with a neutral palette, such as white, beige and blue. “They allow your eye to take in the whole space at once,” she says. She likes white for walls and dated or worn cabinets that need a refresh. Paint is a relatively inexpensive fix that opens a space and sets the backdrop for great staging and better photos.
Her custom-designed couches, coffee tables and accent pillows create her signature look. Keeping everything in pristine condition can be a challenge as products are moved from the warehouse to homes more than once. Fortunately, the new owners often purchase her pieces, allowing her to easily refresh inventory.
For Jenny, staging a home is not one-size-fits-all, and that’s where the magic happens. It’s really about intuitively deciding what piece— whether part of her own inventory, something new or something already in the home—will allow the place to shine. She’s aiming to get the highest sale price for her clients by setting the scene for success. Perhaps that winning, competitive volleyball spirit on the court or sand is never far behind.