What is home staging and how does it differ from interior decorating?
Home staging is the art and the skill of making a house or apartment attractive to the target buyer or renter so that it sells or rents quickly and for top dollar. With interior decorating, you are designing to the tastes, preferences and lifestyle of the specific people living in the home. Unlike interior decorating, home staging is about decor that appeals to the typical buyer’s or renter’s taste and preferences. It is the art of creating emotional connection points throughout the house so that when a buyer or renter steps into the house they feel as if they were home. Home staging emphasizes the best features of a property while improving or downplaying the less marketable features.
Do I have to spend money if I wish to stage my home?
There are three phases of home staging:
Using what the owner has: often the only thing needed is to de-clutter, organize, edit furniture and accessories, and re-position existing furniture and accessories for better balance and flow.
Adding furniture and accessories: the homeowner can rent or purchase strategic furniture and accessories, such as bedding, lamps, artwork, etc. that are carefully chosen by the homestager to enhance the decor.
Doing simple but dramatic updates and changes: the homestager can recommend things such as quick repairs, repainting, updating lighting and plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware, and has access to reliable resources, such as painters, landscapers, etc., to help the homeowner accomplish these tasks.
Home staging is an investment, not an expense! Statistics show that an investment in staging increases profit in two ways: it increases the value of the property, and by decreasing the amount of time on the market, the owner saves on mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, etc.
The real estate market is strong - why should a home be staged?
Yes, in a hot market just about every house or apartment will sell or rent, but the question is when and at what price. Even if it did sell or rent quickly and at a good price, it doesn't mean it was sold or rented at its fullest potential. Imagine having multiple bids on a home instead of the couple you might get without staging.
The real estate market is soft - who would want to spend money in a down market?
The softer the market, the more you must differentiate the property from others crowding the market. Wouldn't it be great to get a bidding war going because your property looks so much better than everyone else's? Remember, staging is an investment not an expense. It can increase profit in two ways - by increasing value and by reducing expenses (mortgage, taxes, utilities) by decreasing the time the home is on the market.
How much does staging cost?
An investment in staging can cost as little as a few hundred dollars for a consultation to a few thousand dollars for full staging services, furniture and accessory rentals, and minor repairs and updates. The fees also depend upon the size and condition of the home, how much work the owner is willing to do themselves, and the price point of the home. Remember, staging is an investment that can yield a potentially significant return. Contact us at Terri’s Interior Solutions for a complete description of services and fees.
Why can't the realtor or owner stage a home?
Realtors should spend their time doing what they do best, marketing and showing their listings to potential buyers and renters. Homeowners would rather know their realtors are doing this instead of spending hours rearranging furniture, shopping for accessories, and managing repairmen.
Owners can't stage their own homes because they've stopped seeing all of its flaws. Most homeowners don't have the buyer's eyes that a professional homestager will when walking through the home. The owners have gotten used to walking past the overgrown bushes in the front yard blocking all of the light from coming into the windows. The dated wallpaper and lighting fixtures have been in the bathroom so long that they seem to be part of the family.
And owners will be overwhelmed enough with the stress of finding a new home and moving that they won't have the time or energy to focus on making their home look appealing.
Why can't buyers or renters just look past the decor and envision themselves living there?
Only 10% of buyers or renters can visualize the potential of a home. Most buyers and renters cannot look past a cluttered or unappealing room. And while most of them start out looking for a home based upon logical criteria, for example, 4 bedrooms, family room with a fireplace, they end up purchasing or renting based upon an emotional connection they feel when they're in the home. When a house feels like home, they will re-prioritize their list. They may be willing to give up the fireplace because staging has transformed the property into a dream and they can envision themselves living there.
What should a homeowner do to prepare for a consultation or staging?
There really is nothing a homeowner should do to prepare for a consultation. Unlike most people, professional homestagers can see past a person's clutter and furnishings. Trying to get organized or cleanup will waste the homeowner's time and only cause stress. If a half-day or full day of staging services is going to follow a consultation, we may request that recommendations we made in the consultation such as de-cluttering, painting and repairs be done before we come in to rearrange furniture or add accessories.