When you’ve spent several years or even decades decorating and updating a house, it can feel frustrating to hear that you’ll have to stage your home — or neutralize its decor and design style — in order to appeal to the broadest set of buyers.
But the reality is that home staging works, because it helps offer buyers a real opportunity to imagine their lives set within the walls of your house. So while it stings to remove some of your most precious objects from your mantle or walls, it can be the difference between getting buyers in the door — or those same buyers nixing your house when they see it online.
But, what happens when you have non-traditional taste in color, artwork or interior design? Let’s explore how my team works on a fast timeline and small budget to help you make impactful tweaks to your house before we put it up for sale.
Step one: Honest, open discussions
With any potential seller client, I always do an initial walk-through to see the condition of the home. I start a “honey do” list of things that I would recommend be repaired, replaced or removed and then I bring in a professional stager to do a consultation.
The stager will add to the list, making recommendations that may include:
- Removing personal photographs or artwork
- Painting walls to a more neutral color
- Packing up knick-knacks and other clutter
- Removing large or extra pieces of furniture (example: Removing a leaf and two chairs from a six-person table in a small dining room)
After the stager makes their final recommendations, I review the “honey do” list with you. I am very happy if a seller performs 10-20% of the list.
Step two: Prepare for home staging
In most cases, our goal is to stage your home using furniture and decor you already own. So, the next step is for you to tackle the “honey do” list, recognizing that the stager will come back to help you rearrange the furniture, decor and other items that still remain in your house.
This is where things can start to feel personal. Maybe you don’t want to remove a few pieces of art that may not be in everyone’s taste, or to pack away a large collection of keepsakes that have deep meaning to you. We can work together to find solutions that help maintain the character of your house, and also make it appealing to buyers. We’ll be in close contact during this pre-stage process.
Step three: Staging the home
When the home stager comes in, they will try to restyle your existing belongings.
One key aspect of a stager’s job is to ensure that each room has a clear focal point. When we live in a house for a long time, we tend to over-design and over-furnish. Maybe we have a gallery wall across from a beautiful, majestic fireplace. Or maybe your living room is a vibrant coral, with chic white furniture.
When staging, we may remove that gallery wall but include some of those pieces on the mantle display. Or we may keep one wall of your living room that bright coral as an accent, allowing the rest of the room to really shine. (After all, Living Coral is the trendiest color of 2019!)
Who pays for staging?
Every agent is different. In my business, I pay for the stager as a courtesy to you. This includes the initial consultation and the restyling of your existing belongings.
If your house is vacant or we determine that your home will need new furniture for the listing process, I will ask you to pay for the rental of furniture for key rooms; I will still pay the initial consultation and staging fees.
The long and short of it: We’re on your team
The single most important thing to me is that you know I’m an advocate for you as we list and sell your home. My goal is to give you the time and space you need to prepare for listing. I know that selling can be an emotional experience, so I’ll never rush you or pressure you to alter your home in a way that makes you uncomfortable.
P.S. Want to know more about staging or selling? It’s one of my favorite topics, so reach out any time to discuss!