Should I Stage or Should I "Whoa" Now?

This is a question I get A LOT!!  The answer: it depends. You kinda knew that was coming, and here’s why. When I mention staging to clients, I usually get, “Whoa! Wait a minute, Lisa, what am I supposed to do with all my stuff?” or, “But Lisa, it costs so much!” Okay, let’s say you’ve lived in your home for over five years. You’ve accumulated a lot of items: furniture, pictures, knick-knacks, plants, etc. If this is you, chances are you will want to stage your home. 

You want to present your home in the best light for the buyer to remember. What they see and feel when they first walk in is going to color the rest of the home tour. It is difficult for a buyer to picture what the house will look like with their things when they have to look past your stuff (I mean treasures). When they leave your home, all they will likely remember is what they saw: your items. Not the house’s layout, not how much space you have, not the wonderful kitchen; just your things. 

Here are some tips free of charge: 

  • Remove collections, any furniture not a necessity (i.e., hall table, extra chairs/couch [one couch and two chairs are more than enough], statue of liberty, 1000 books on how to garden), heavy curtains/drapes, extra rugs (one under furniture in living room, dining room, and bedroom are plenty; too many and it will seem like you’re hiding something underneath—unless that IS what you’re doing), personal photos/pictures of you and your family, and extra plants (one per room is great).
  • Paint in neutral colors (no, red is not a neutral). The stager can help you pick out colors that will best suite your home.
  • Don’t take it personally. Listen to the stager! I can’t stress this enough. If you’re going to pay for this (or if you’re lucky enough to get me for your agent and I pay for this), then do what they say. Try to remember they are not criticizing how you decorate; what you like is perfect for you, and they know this. However, they also know how to get it sold by creating an environment that appeals to the most buyers out there. What does Nike say? Just do it. You’ll be glad you did when you get that offer (or multiple offers)! A professional stager will be able to tell you what you should keep, what should be taken out (notice I didn’t say thrown out), and how to place the furniture in order to create a home that the buyer can picture living in, and isn’t that what you want? You want it sold. You want the buyer to feel like it could be their home—their next adventure, so you can move on with yours.

If you’d like to talk more about choosing a stager, or getting your house ready to sell, contact me today!