To Stage or not To Stage – That is NOT the Question!
Wherever you are on the staging continuum-advocate for staging or not, or somewhere in between, it’s important to know what you gain for your client and for yourself when you decide to stage!
If you (or your seller/ client) read a lot of blogs or watch the DIY shows, you and many others might think that all it takes is a wave of a magic wand to make a property into a home. But there are many things we as stagers do to create that sound we know you, as real estate agents, want to hear when your prospective buyer walks in the door – Aaaahh – the sound of someone who has just come home, or at least the sound of someone who feels they can envision themselves living in this home!
Although we do unlock the potential of a home by playing up its assets- architectural or otherwise, more than that, we define spaces, open-up possibilities and disguise that ever-present fuse box cover! Many people say, “the living room looks so much bigger now that there is furniture in it!” Well why is that? It sometimes feels like a contradiction. Basically, the planned and practical use of the space and thoughtful layout creates a purposeful flow of traffic and helps the buyer who cannot “visualize’ how their sofa will ever fit in this room, see that it will indeed fit and so will their chairs and their cocktail ottoman and on and on!
Many times, there are rooms in a property that can have multiple uses. You might think this is a fabulous option but it isn’t always and sometimes it creates choice overload, and unlike buying all 5 pairs of those boots you are lusting after, it is not as easy to re-do the design of a room 5 times. We identify the room’s purpose with staging and it doesn’t matter that there may be more than one. This is especially important with open floor plans, contrary to the idea that “this is such a great space, so wide open, you can do so much!” But for the person who can’t even think of where to start, this is a room that will remain empty because they are scared to make a mistake. We will differentiate this space and create multiple spaces that relate to each other and make sense. You can define the space by furniture placement, area rugs and the use of wall art, but at the same time the whole space is unified because of the use of color, style and traffic flow.
Another key tenant of staging is to choose furniture with the scale and proportion that fits – it is neither too small nor too large and bulky. We don’t want to forget about the outdoor space – go beyond the curb appeal and make a real impact and create a warm welcome. The foyer is not just a place to drop your mail and keys.
Stagers are also stylists, using many design secrets – using groups of 3 – sometimes the same exact things but more often using 3 different elements - heights, shapes, textures, color, finish – but all with a sense of appeal, commonality and flow. Bookcases, countertops and cocktail tables are good surfaces for accessory groupings.
Greenery, whether permanent or otherwise, brings in a fresh clean “breath of
air”. We don’t want the staged home to look cold or uninviting, or like no one
would ever live there. If you don’t have a great view, add a sheer window
covering that lets in light but distracts from what lays beyond.
We love to take chances with how we hang wall art if appropriate. We vary heights, create gallery walls and hang pieces that really make the room look finished. You remember the usual situation that until the art is hung a new home just doesn’t feel like home, even if all the boxes are gone!
Based on the clients vision we will adhere to the architectural elements of the property but also make the home look fresh and inviting. Furniture can float in the room-not smack up against the 4 walls, and this can also make a room look bigger.
We do not like to over accessorize – every bookshelf does not have to be laden with books and nick knacks. Too much furniture and accessories is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make. We like the skeleton of the room (furniture), to be the canvas, and the area rug, accessories and wall art to bring in color and interest.
The most amazing part of staging is the sense of gratification we get when we see the transformation complete. We so often hear that the seller now wants to live in their staged home or that the new buyer wants to purchase our staged rooms in their entirety! And when we hear that the property received 17 offers and has a ratified contract the first weekend it is on the market-this is the piece de resistance!
Contact us today so we can help you Stage it & Sell it! Design it & Live it!