Real Estate Guide 2010: Reasons to home stage |

Real Estate Guide 2010: Reasons to home stage

Couple choosing paint colors
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The first impression is the most important one when showing your home for sale. It is amazing how just a few simple things can transform a home, making it more visually appealing, and helping it sell. While selling your home can seem like an expensive expedition, and paying to stage it just another expense, evidence shows that when done well, staging pays for itself and then some. The final selling prices of staged homes are higher than their unstaged counterparts. Not only that, staged homes sell faster.

While staging might seem like a hot new trend, it isn’t so new. A woman named Barb Schwarz developed the concept in 1972, and has an accredited program to train staging professionals.

Living in your home, and making it look good to sell are two very different things. While it is possible for a seller to study up on staging and do it themselves, chances are they just won’t be as effective.

Every one of us is emotionally attached to our homes, and our stuff. Selling requires objectivity. You might think that paint color is the best thing in the world, but everyone certainly won’t. You might not even be able to see that all those little statues the kids gave you at every birthday are actually just visual clutter.

A professional stager is skilled at spotting our home’s best features, and knowing how to accentuate them. Sometimes, a stager requires the homeowner to remove a large percentage of their furniture in order to de-clutter. But some stagers even rent replacement furniture, and other items like lamps and art, in order to make the home looks its best. More up-to-date, clean furniture chosen by a professional to coordinate and fit into the room just looks better, leaving a better first visual impression.

Beyond rearranging furniture, a stager will often recommend re-painting and minor repairs. If money is an issue, homeowners may be able to save costs by following a professional’s advice themselves rather than paying someone to do it, but it is only worthwhile if they actually have the skills to carry it out. A botched repair job can sometimes look worse than whatever was broken.

However one goes about staging, remember that it is about making a potential buyer feel comfortable in the home and imagine moving their life there. Reducing the personality of the current owner and increasing the attractive neutrality of the home is the goal.


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