“What is home staging?” is a common question for Sellers.
In simple terms, home staging is “dressing up” your home to make it look like the model home that a builder would use to sell new construction. Realistically, though, there are several factors and variables that go into the home-staging process.
People will often say that they don’t need staging because their home is perfect, but according to Julie Pelly, owner of Creative Staging, Inc., “potential Buyers are trying to imagine your house as their home. It’s an emotional decision and your specific décor, your personal belongings, your placement of furniture may be getting in the way. Not because it’s wrong – simply because it’s wrong for them.” Although revamping a home that’s been lived in for decades seems like a daunting task, staged homes usually sell in shorter times, and often for more money than similar un-staged homes. Often, buyers want to see a space that has been neutralized – family photos taken out of formal living spaces like dining rooms or hunting trophies over the fireplace – so that they can visualize the lifestyle that they want to have. Staging also helps Buyers to focus on the overall home and to not be distracted by shocking colors, kids toys and strange knick-knacks from your vacations. It can be difficult for a staging consultant to convince a Seller that it’s in her best interest to put an entire household of beloved furniture and family heirlooms into storage because of the emotional attachment, but ultimately, it is in the Seller’s best interest because the home is now a marketable commodity and no longer a personal possession.
Selling an empty home without staging poses a different set of challenges. In addition to visualizing their own belongings in the same space, Buyers also need to get a sense of the scale of the room, which typically feels smaller when empty. There is also the potential for Buyers to notice small flaws or to assume that the Seller is desperate, which could lead to lower offers. A potential Buyer will only stay in a vacant property an average of 5 minutes, but will linger in a furnished property an average of 40 minutes.
While Pelly is providing her free consultation, she’s evaluating the wall colors, flooring, window treatments, space designation, room flow and of course, clutter. The amount of staging needed and the correlating price depends on the extent of work necessary to transform the home. Creative Staging offers a full inventory of high-end furniture and accessories, including bedding, lighting and artwork that add visual impact and create the “model home” feel. After the consultation, clients receive a detailed report and action plan. Once the plan is approved, the Home Staging Team and professional movers arrive to execute the addition of the staging items. They will even carefully pack away for storage or coordinate the donation or disposal of any of the homeowner’s unused items and continue to monitor and “fine tune” the furnishings as needed based on Buyer feedback. Depending on the homeowner’s budget, a plan can be crafted to refurnish an entire home or only the main areas of the home.
Many buyers watch TV shows like HGTV and are more educated on the current designs and colors so your home must show as good or better than your competition. Therefore, just painting a home neutral or white is almost a waste of time as it will not stand out and many Buyers will just move on to the next property on the list. Today’s Buyers know what they want and you have to do your best to prepare your home with professional advice to appeal to an many Buyers as possible.
The key point is that staging showcases a home’s best features and through simple and inexpensive upgrades, it will produce a larger number of higher bids in a shorter amount of time on the market. For your free home-staging consultation, call Julie Pelly of Creative Staging, Inc. http://creative-staging.com/ today at 267.241.4104 or visit her website to see examples of the dramatic transformations for her clients.
If you would like a FREE, no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis to find out what your home is worth or for a walk-through, please call me today. Through my experience and expertise, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to show you how I go “Above and Beyond the Sale.”
Frank Dolski, Associate Broker and Relocation Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors