By Gary Kelley
The internet tells us staging is the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.
As realtors, there’s a wide swing on staging activities. We stage houses, clean and then take photos. In some cases, there is very little to be accomplished, in other cases it can be a long road.
We don’t clear the house, preferring instead to rearrange the furniture and bring in décor items. Our stagers likes exploring TJX stores like HomeGoods, Homesense, TJ Maxx and Marshalls looking for that ideal fashion forward item arriving on the latest shipping container. We are not talking heirloom quality stuff…. just good-looking inexpensive stuff.
In our case we do not bring truckloads of furniture in. There are companies specializing in that approach, and it costs thousands of dollars.
Our approach is to work with the items in the house, hopefully after the owner has decluttered. We can move excess furniture to a holding area like a garage or spare bedroom, and we are not movers. Our team then arranges the furniture in the house in the most beneficial manner for buyers….not for living. We make sure furniture is aligned to key points in the room, while establishing or maintaining walking pathways.
We depersonalize the space removing family pictures, awards, and other items thought of as non-generic. We strive for neutrality.
Once completed, we bring in our staging. Not truckloads, but a couple carloads to fill any gaps. Think small décor items (we have 2 storage containers we cycle through (and we shed old styles and back fill on a regular basis)), rugs, mirrors, throws…and always white towels. White towels leave a buyer with a sense of clean. (We also replace smoke detectors as needed before photos so they are clean and shiny not faded and yucky.)
Yes, sometimes a stain or nick in a wall needs repair…we try to do those minor repairs prior to staging.
We like providing floorplans so a buyer and see what the house looks like. Most buyers can figure out a bedroom, and in some cases we’ll use a blow up camping mattress to help clarify what will fit in a room.
There’s a completely different way to stage homes requiring no sweat. We can take photos and virtually stage the house. It’s excellent to fill in a big blank for pictures. I won’t use it to delete a problem (like the power cables are in front of the house and won’t be going anywhere.) The issue is some people may find it confusing to go into an empty house. So when we can we’ll do physical staging.
We strive to present a home as best as it can for short dollars. Staging is a must for home sales.
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Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 and/or seen on WMCT-TV discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508-733-6005.