If you’re like me, you have watched your fair share of HGTV and you may be wondering do you really need to stage your home to make an impact on buyers like they do on TV? Statistics says it makes all the difference.
What is Staging?
Staging must be done well to be effective, but first you must understand exactly what it is. Staging is strategic planning of how a room is set up to show at its best. This is when you clear out unnecessary items, excess or large furniture, and all your clutter, while adding a few items that make it appear like it could be anybody’s home (think model home set-up) and it also helps show the room’s purpose. Staging is meant to do four things.
- Add light to the room or make it feel brighter
- Show the room’s purpose
- Show the room’s scale (a huge sectional sofa may make the room feel smaller in scale versus a small sofa and loveseat.)
- Make everything feel crisp, clean, and welcoming, while allowing the buyers see the space as possibly their own (nothing is personalized to specific taste)
Is there such a thing as bad staging?
Yes! There are things sellers try that have the opposite effect on buyers. Here are a few to avoid:
- Over-staging: If you set the dining room up for a fancy 10-person dinner party, it will look very over-the-top. Simple is better, like a nice bouquet of REAL flowers in the center and a place setting for four set out like it is ready for tonight’s dinner.
- Too much scent in the air: Odors can be an issue--even pleasant ones. While the very light fragrance of fresh baked goodies or lemons may make a buyer feel at home and that the house is really as clean as it looks, anything overpowering makes a buyer wonder what you are hiding. Some buyers may suffer a sensitivity to fragrance, so spraying air freshener all over your house before a showing may not be the best idea. Subtle is the key when it comes to scent.
- Covering up issues: If your house is need of big repairs or the living room is painted neon purple (because that is what you like), do not assume that decluttering and adding a nice throw rug will draw away from the obvious issues. Buyers will still see the walls or large repairs needed, no matter how cozy the set-up of a room might be.
It is wise to ask your REALTOR’s advice about what would make each room of your house show better. There are expert stagers you can hire to stage your home, or you can do it yourself. Just remember that staging should make your home more appealing to buyers and allow them to see your home’s true potential and appeal.