When I visit a client for a staging consult one of the first things they say to me is “I know I have to de clutter and clean”, but that is only the start in the staging process. Staging is the last step in property prep, after rooms are de cluttered, furniture rearranged or rented, all repairs and upgrades are completed and the house has been deep cleaned, then a stager can begin. It’s the icing on the cake that will entice a buyer when surfing though thousands of online images. You only have a few seconds for your home to wow, so you have to make the most of it and use all resources available.
Staging for your buyer demographic is crucial. The average seller has lived in their home for quite a few years and if the property hasn’t been upgraded or décor is stuck in the last decade or three it raises a red flag to a younger buyer. One thing most buyers object to is wallpaper. It’s one of those décor choices that is very personal. Yes, you may love the bold floral pattern, that’s why you choose it, but that’s the problem, you choose it. The time and money a buyer will have to invest in removing it is often enough to put them off buying a home, so remove their objections, do it before selling. Trust me on this I’ve seen it time after time.
Fresh paint is money in a can. Certain colours photograph better than others, I always advise to change bold colour choices. Deep colours in certain rooms don’t show off their true potential. I recently consulted with a Realtor on a home that has been lingering on the market for almost a year. The main areas of the home were clean, bright and well presented but the basement was dark with dreary wood paneling and buyers were not impressed. It was letting the rest of the home down. I advised the Realtor i consulted with to repaint the whole basement in a creamy white and it looked fabulous once it was complete. Bright, clean and much more inviting, the difference was amazing. All for a few cans of paint. The listing has since sold.
With window treatments, less is more. If in doubt remove it, especially in the Summer months. Bright rooms entice buyers so ban the nets, heavy drapes and valances. Show off those moldings, that view, a beautiful garden, those are your selling features, not the drapes from 1985. Again stage for your buyer demographic, not your tastes. Simple, plain fabrics work best on an updated rod. When I say simple, not a sheet, flag or my personal pet peeve, knotted in the middle (excuse me while I rock in a corner) Show buyers you take pride in your home and don’t distract them with bad decor choices.
The same principal applies to furniture. Less is more. Often staging requires removing items rather than adding, so if you have an abundance of seating or too many dressers in the bedroom, some has to go. You are selling square footage and buyers want to see it. Furniture layout can be tricky in some homes and this is where your stager can advise the best layout for traffic flow, picture taking and to show buyers the potential use of a room. Often a few simple adjustments to layout will make a world of difference. I’ve seen sofas blocking fireplaces, doorways and windows that have fabulous views, all selling features you want to highlight not hide. The eye needs somewhere to rest. There is no eye resting in the room below, every wall plastered with something and a strange furniture layout makes the room look strange Did you even notice the fireplace in the room ? See what I mean about furniture layout hiding the best features.
So, after many other issues are addressed a stager can work their magic. It’s a multi step process and giving yourself lots of time to prepare is key. Investing in at least a Staging Consult can save you time, money and frustration. We deal with all these issues and more every day so we can help make your property stand out and attract a buyer, when the competition is turning them away with lackluster presentation.
Staging just makes sense in this economy.