More people are aware of this term than 13 years ago when I first started this business, but there still seems to be a little confusion and a lot of misconceptions. Quite simply, it is the process of improving the appeal of a property when trying to sell it. The goal is to maximize the home’s best features and draw attention away from any shortcomings and present it in a way that will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. This involves a lot of different types of projects and since every property and situation is different, it is really a good idea to consult with a professional home stager before the house is listed. Occupied stagings are different from vacant stagings and some houses may need updating, while newer or newly remodeled homes may not. It may involve sprucing up the outside to improve curb appeal, and since most houses have issues, it may involve making repairs.
Terms you should know:
- Occupied Staging – the homeowner is planning to remain living in the home while it is on the market
- Vacant Staging – this may be a newly renovated investment property (“flip”), a bank owned property, or possibly the homeowner has just chosen to move out
- De-cluttering – for occupied stagings, this step is critical. Most people know they need to “clean up their mess”, but de-cluttering can also mean removing personal collections, thinning out the books on bookshelves, organizing closets and kitchen cabinets, and cleaning out the garage.
- De-personalizing – very similar to de-cluttering and just as important. It is important to put away personal toiletries in bathrooms and remove personal photos, memorabilia, collections and any items that may reflect your personal beliefs on religion, politics, or even your favorite football team. This is easy – just get a head start on packing for the move. More difficult de-personalizing may involve painting rooms a more neutral palette or neutralizing a too taste specific decor. It is all very important in order to help the potential buyer envision themselves living in the space.
- Redesign – this involves editing and rearranging existing furniture and accessories in order to achieve better traffic flow, highlight focal points, and make rooms look larger.
- ROI – Return on investment – you want to be sure that any improvements you make will bring a good return – either in increasing the value of the property or in increasing the appeal of the home.