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Sellers, staging is not the same as decorating

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An outdoor patio set in a yard

02/07/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

OK, I'll admit it: I had a hard time looking past clutter and weird decorations when I was searching for my first house—despite advice that encouraged me to ignore the superficial aspects of a property. 

"The sellers are taking their collection with them when they move," I heard. 

"Paint can be changed," people said. 

"Just think about the important things you can't change about the house, like the location and the layout," I was told.

That's definitely advice worth taking, but I, like you, am human, and sometimes it's hard to ignore a neon-pink wall or an extensive garden gnome collection. That's why, sellers, you should really consider staging your home so you can make a better first impression with fallible buyers like me.

So, what is staging? 
First, let me tell you what it isn't: decorating. Decorating a home is personal, and staging is the opposite of that. Staging removes that clutter and those decorations that buyers find distracting so that they can focus on the location or the layout of your home. Sometimes staging is as simple as putting excess belongings in storage, or moving furniture to improve site lines and traffic flow through a home.

While staging may seem like something you can do all by yourself, many people have a hard time seeing their place with the detachment necessary to make good staging decisions. Staging works best when an objective professional evaluates your home with buyers' varied tastes in mind.

How do I find a stager?
Your Texas REALTOR® has seen plenty of good and bad examples of staging and may be able to provide some pointers. Some Texas REALTORS® may offer staging as a service, or your Texas REALTOR® may recommend a list of qualified stagers. You can also ask friends for references. Make sure to find out what a stager's service will include, his or her fees, and if you can get a free estimate.

Maybe neon-pink is the hottest trend in home design this year, or those garden gnomes are worth thousands of dollars. But staging isn't about that. It's about helping potential buyers see the property's best features, not your personal design skills.

Categories: Sellers
Tags: selling, staging