To Stage or Not To Stage, That is the Question…

Regardless of what’s happening in the real estate market, when you want to sell your home, there are two simple rules to follow: price it well and make it look fabulous!

Yes, the secret is out! In order to gain an edge in the market, a property must be priced right and look better than the competition. Whatever the asking price, a home on the market should look as “picture perfect” as possible.

Many sellers are now understanding the importance of capturing a buyer’s attention even before they walk through the door. Before they assess a home by its curb appeal, today’s buyers are first checking out homes online, and if they like what they see, they’ll take the next step (which is why a well-photographed home is so important). Potential buyers become interested in a property when they are able to envision the home as their own, so how the property is presented should be given as much importance as  any product on the market. If a home is cluttered, buyers will notice the stuff and not the space. If a home has not been well-maintained or is outdated, buyers may pass it up for one that appears more pristine and updated.

Homeowners tend to be very attached to their “stuff,” thus it’s harder to be objective about what should and shouldn’t stay. We assist sellers with that task by going through the home room by room with an objective eye to see how best to present each room. Potential buyers need to connect emotionally to the spaces they encounter, so a home should be depersonalized to look neutral but still inviting. Every room needs to be “dressed for success” because every inch of space is being marketed; Think “price per square foot”.

We help our sellers determine what needs to go or what they can use to make each room more appealing. It’s very satisfying when a seller’s own furnishings can be used in a new light with a bit of tweaking, color change and accessorizing. If the task is too daunting, (for example, if the current furnishings simply cannot be revamped, or if the home is very large), a professional home stager can offer a myriad of other solutions.

The idea of home staging is not new nor news to me. I have been incorporating it into our listings for over 20 years. Staging is effective because it maximizes a home’s potential, which is important to capture the interest of buyers. A well-presented home attracts more attention online, will keep a prospective buyer more engaged during showings, and will help those buyers envision more easily how they can turn your home into theirs!

By ADELE PICK, Realtor