home staging, Real Estate

4 Simple Steps to Staging

4 Staging StepsAs a home stager, my job is all about making your home the most appealing to potential buyers. The way your sofa blocks the bay windows in your living room. The collection of family photos spanning 50 years. The slight smell of wet dog. What can be blindingly obvious to visitors, can be overlooked by you. As a home owner, you have grown to love and accept your home and all its little quirks and flaws.

When it comes to home staging, there are four basic steps that I employ before I photograph, price, and list your home.

  1. Deep clean – First we start with surface clutter like old mailings, garbage, and then deep clean from the ceilings to the floors.
  2. Declutter – This is exactly what it sounds like. To declutter means to get rid of any old personal items and furniture that are no longer being used. A general rule of thumb for clothing and personal items is if you haven’t used it in 6 months, either donate or throw it away. For furniture, if your room is crowded by extra pieces, take out what doesn’t get used.
  3. Depersonalize – As with many homes, we LOVE to show off family photos, favorite pieces of artwork, or religious artwork that hold deep meaning for us. What is important to us though, is not going to be important to other people outside of our immediate family.
  4. Decorate – Now we have come to the fun part! After cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing, we get to decorate. The easiest process is to pull items from the homeowner’s own inventory, and to use them strategically throughout the home. Sometimes an item that is pulled out in the decluttering process can be repurposed in another area of the home. There will be times that a home stager may need to bring in items from their own inventory. This can be anything from furniture to home decor. Repurposing the homeowner’s own things can help keep the cost to the homeowner down.

I’ve been asked WHY staging your home is key to the sale of it, and the best answer is this. First impressions are key. If the first impression of a home leaves a sour note on buyers, it usually goes downhill from there. If Home A and Home B are identical in every way including price, but Home A is unkempt and Home B is staged, most people will gravitate toward Home B.

Staged vs unstaged
Before vs After. Photos from An Organized Life©

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