Real Estate has changed in the last 10 years and Staging is becoming a MUST DO when getting your house ready for sale. But what is staging really? And how have the public and real estate agents been confused about it?
Most Agents today will tell their clients to “stage” their property by cleaning it, removing magnets off the fridge and taking down family photos. They offer advice on packing up the clutter and taking it off the property. This is good advice, as a preparation point, but it’s NOT STAGING.
Let me say that again. De-cluttering is NOT STAGING. De-cluttering is part of a 3-step process to Staging.
Part one is the consultation process to determine what needs to be done at the property, this is a paid-for consultation because intellectual property is being shared from the Stager to the home sellers. The Stager is giving advice, making a property specific checklist and offering solutions for the sellers to help them create a more marketable property.
Part two is the actual work to get the first step completed. This part involves renting a pod or storage space, packing up all the stuff listed on the checklist, doing all repairs that have been neglected, cleaning the home really really well and also doing updates that are going to give your home an advantage over other listed competitors. This part can take a few days or a few weeks, depending on how much needs to be done.
After doing all this, your home is still not staged. It is only PREPARED for STAGING. This is where many agents and home owners miss out. They think that doing these first 2 steps is Staging. It is not.
Part three is the Staging. The Staging involves hiring a professional Stager (at least 5 years’ experience, talent and skills and a proven track record would be KEY). The Stager will come in and take photos, measurements and make notes about the plan for the Staging and then proceed to implement that plan, possibly using Rental Props and Rented Furniture as part of the Staging. The Stager should be well versed in the following concepts to successfully create a Staged home for you.
Staging is about:
- Creating correct traffic flow patterns for the buyers tour
- Highlighting the property’s features such as large windows, fireplaces, new cabinetry, new flooring
- Directing the buyers’ eyes to see these features through use of proven Staging techniques
- Designing visually and technically correct furniture placement in each room
- Building layers of interest in each room, without being distracting to the eye
- Tying room colour and styles together in a cohesive way
- Using proper scale and proportion in furniture and accessories, including how to hang artwork properly
- Creating wow factor first impressions in every room that draw the buyer deeper into your home
- Showing the buyers how they can “live” in the home using “lifestyle selling techniques”
- Generating interest in the property through speaking to the “emotion” of the buyer
This is Staging. This is the icing on the cake, the most important grand finale to the first 2 parts. This is also the part that sometimes gets missed by owners who think that when they have de-cluttered, they have staged. They have spent all that effort and time for what?
Just to end up looking like every other de-cluttered house on the block. And that is not a winning formula.
Complete all 3 parts to a Staging Project and hire a professional Stager… be the stand out house in a crowd of many.