What is staging? Staging for home selling is a psychological process to create a space the buyer can’t refuse. Buying a home is an inverse process compared to most shopping – you’re looking for reasons why you should buy it, rather than looking for reasons why you shouldn’t.
The ultimate goal is to help prospective buyers see the home’s potential and its charms. Cleaning, a bit of paint, and getting rid of the clutter are the most basic tasks. Cleaning out things that tell potential buyers “you don’t belong here, this space is taken” may be difficult at first, but will set the stage for someone else to imagine themselves at home. Personal family photos, toys and pets must go. You want people to see themselves and their lives in the house, not to feel like they’d be displacing people who are already there. While a homeowner who is trying to sell a house may absolutely love the way it has looked to himself while the family was living in it for the past few years, it takes an objective eye to discern what changes should be made to “depersonalize” and “declutter” a home to make it more attractive to someone else who is trying to picture themselves living in that house. The American culture tends to lean toward the “Pottery Barn” look as the preferred universal style. While that may not appeal to you as the owner of your own home, you must keep in mind that if you really want to sell your house, the goal must be to make it appeal to the prospective buyer. The overwhelming majority of sellers have too much “stuff” that has been collected over the years. And, quite often, the house has become dated and worn without anyone really being aware of what has been happening right before their eyes. So, with lots of discussion with the seller, I will draft a plan for the preparation needed before a home is listed and put on the market for sale.
How much does it cost? My services in offering advice and design ideas are FREE! I will arrange for any painting or handyman services that may be needed, and if you’d like, the cost of those services can be deducted once the sale is closed in escrow.
What about the furniture? It is fairly typical that a seller has more furniture than necessary. This proves to make a house appear smaller and it is harder for a prospective buyer to imagine their own things in the home. I’ll recommend what should stay and extra pieces should be stored during the time that the home is being shown. For homes that are vacant, I provide temporary placement of furniture and accessories to maintain the house as a welcoming home. It is much easier for a buyer to imagine themselves living in a house that has some furniture. An empty structure is deceiving and usually appears smaller than it really is. A few pieces of furniture strategically placed give the eye a better perception of reality.
How long does it take to stage a house before it goes on the market? Well, that can certainly vary depending on the condition of the home that is to be sold. To be on the safe side, I like to reserve at least 4 weeks of time to paint and complete necessary repairs before the first open house is held. A specific plan is created for each individual listing on an as needed basis.
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