Yesterday, I destaged a home in our area that we had staged for sale just a month previously. Destaging is removing the rental items used in preparing a home for sale. Most of what we used belonged to the homeowner, but we also brought in art, accessories, and even simple draperies to update and complete the look. The homeowner was excited that the sale had gone so well and so quickly. She mentioned that in her opinion, staging played a big part in the successful sale. People had commented to her many times how much they loved the paint colors, the accent pieces and how beautiful the house was. She even loved the new look. But, it was a beautiful home even before it was staged, so did we trick the buyers with flash and sparkle? You may wonder if staging is just razzle dazzle and what difference it really makes. Should you really spend money to do this?
Staging is just the opposite of trickery. Done right it reveals the magic in a home. Our first priority is decluttering, removing everything that could distract potential buyers from seeing what they are there to see. We want visitors to concentrate on windows, layout, upgrades, and landscaping, not collections, family photos, and too much furniture. So we give suggestions on what to keep, what to store, and how to arrange the room to keep the focus on the space.
Next, we concentrate on what buyers are looking for; a well maintained and welcoming home. Lots of people who think they are interested in getting a good deal on a fixer upper become tired of that idea in the shopping process and are won over by the home that is ready to move in. That’s where the real magic is – the magical feeling of walking into a home and feeling “this is it!” So we make lists and encourage repairs to remove any to do lists that would stand in the way of an offer. We suggest refreshing the interior and even exterior with current trends in paint colors, hardware, and lighting. All of this under the watchful eye of the real estate professional who counsels on competing properties and current home values.
Finally, we add the sparkle. Why?
It’s just simple marketing. The box of cereal you find in the grocery store is still the same whether it is packaged in a brown paper box with just the name on it or in the decorative box that caught your eye. The design, the colors, the logo, even the lettering convey to you a message. Is it healthy? Sugary sweet? Cholesterol lowering? Will it make you skinny? Lots of money goes into conveying just the right message for that five dollar box of grain. The same marketing principles go into marketing homes. New home builders know this and spend thousands decorating their model homes; homes which your property is competing against. They want to send just the right message. And that message is, “This is where you want to live.” Stagers want to send that message to potential buyers for your home also. So, we bring in updated accessories, artwork that photographs well, we may bring rugs and even window treatments to complete the look. More than once, I have heard, “This looks like a model home!” It’s not a disguise, it isn’t trickery; it’s showing your home in its best light. It is just a fresh look meant to maximize the features and inspire buyers to consider this place for their next home.
Statistics show staged homes sell faster and for more money. The magic is that the beautiful home was there all the time. We just made it easier to see.
Call me for your staging needs, I’d love to help.