Times change. The trend used to be that empty spaces invited potential buyers to envision themselves in your home. Now, bare rooms may be considered unappealing. In our increasingly image-driven world, potential buyers want to see fully decorated interiors and be visually dazzled. You have to make your home shine--that’s where staging can help.
What is Home Staging?
Home Staging is the art or practice of preparing a home for resale.
Think of it as a quickie home makeover. Home Stagers look at the "flow" of a home--how comfortable your furniture arrangement is, how rooms flow into one another, and whether all this is efficient as well as aesthetic. They also can be a neutral eye when it comes to eliminating the clutter you’ve become attached and/or immune to. Stagers are really good at editing and re-arranging (some of us get stuck in a the-couch-goes-there mode and don’t see the decorating potential), and some even assist in enhancing your exterior, lending a fresh eye to those garbage cans you don’t notice, or the hose that never gets put away, and so on.
The balance of space to furnishings is important--it can make your rooms seem bigger without feeling bare, inviting without being cramped. Too many of us think more is better. The Stager’s decorating eye can create a cohesive look that is fresh and appealing. A professional Stager can help you decide what to change or to buy that will make the biggest improvement. They also know where to get the things you need at the right price (new area rug, lamps, throw pillows) to keep you within your budget.
How Staging Works
The easiest thing to do is contact a Home Stager and ask for an estimate. Most are happy to visit your home and give you a free estimate, and it is usually a quick process. They come over, they look at the exterior and the interior (ALL your rooms, including closets) and give advice on how to make it better. If you have a hard-and-fast budget you must stick to, be sure and communicate that so they know how involved you would like to get. If they think you need to spend more or do more than you had in mind, you can discuss it, and weigh the potential improvement against the cost involved. It’s always a good idea to get several estimates, see which person you like best, and if your tastes are similar.
Once you hire a Stager, and you like the results, you may find you want to do more. Just like any service, home staging pricing can vary. Some charge an hourly rate, and some may charge you a set fee for the entire job.
When Home Staging Helps
Chances are, if you’re not sure whether you need home staging, you probably do. It could help more than you think. Perhaps you have already realized that you need help, but you don’t know where to start or how far to take it. Your real estate agent should be able to give you an idea--based on their experience in seeing a large variety of homes--on how much to do, and how much it could help. It is a worthwhile investment that will make all the difference in your showings. Remember, the better your home looks, the better the price looks and the sooner it will sell.
The cost can be minimal, but the expertise, and the results, are invaluable!