Sellers, staging is not the same as decorating
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.
Staging IS very different from decorating! I am both. I am a member of RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) and an Associate member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) I stage homes in the Collin County areas of North Dallas. Check out http://www.spacesandplaces.com for more info!
I would encourage sellers and Realtors looking for a stager, to check their local chapter of RESA - the Real Estate Staging Association, which is a trade organization for professional stagers and interior redesigners. The members of RESA are committed to raising the professionalism and excellence of stagers.
In my opinion, staging also includes design/decorating. You have to know what to take out (declutter) and sometimes what to also put in (design/decorate). For example, an empty house is so much more appealing if there are a few pieces of furniture, some greenery, a decorator towel hung in bathroom, etc. and this requires design/decorating. Sometimes it is necessary to neutralize aesthetically specific choices and this requires knowing design/decorating, not always total removal.