Staging for Success
Designer’s Notebook | Issue #2 | November 25, 2005
Changes in furniture placement, paint and even music can help your home sell faster!
The Calgary real estate boom has rapidly accelerated a new phenomenon in the art of house selling - home staging.
A current slate of popular television shows outlines the benefits of simple renovations and home staging that can result in faster sales and potentially higher priced houses.
No detail should be overlooked when staging a home for ultimate success. Home staging is most commonly needed when a home has been on the market for too long. The stress for both REALTOR and homeowner is at its maximum and both parties need a solution to reach their goals.
Outsourced stagers or decorators can be consulted to help make the home more appealing to future buyers. Home stagers can suggest changes in furniture placement, elimination of clutter, simple paint techniques and colours to achieve different goals and other simple improvements.
Home stagers may actually make the changes themselves or simply provide the homeowner with a game plan. Tips on ambience are usually provided, such as cleanliness, aromas (or getting rid of bad ones!), appropriate music, yard care or pet control. Perhaps the best time for this service or way of thinking is BEFORE stress and disappointment connected to a house sale set in. Homeowners should seriously consider their home's suitability for the marketplace prior to putting it on the market.
A different scenario for home staging exists when a developer is buying, renovating and reselling a property. The developer has already paved the way for a successful sale by making major or minor improvements to the home. Hopefully he or she has made tasteful and well thought-out design decisions that will attract future purchasers. Many stop here, however, and fail to consider the psychological and financial benefits of staging the new and improved home. To pursue this final step, the developer may use some of his or her own furniture and home décor items to enhance the home. They may also outsource a home staging company to furnish and primp the home.
Either option will allow future buyers to envision themselves in the space. The perfect balance of simplicity, cleanliness and newness should be considered because over-furnishing a space can have a negative impact as well. The most important areas to focus on are the kitchen and living room, but especially the front hall. Bedrooms and baths are of secondary importance as they are easier for potential homebuyers to visualize on their own.
When my husband and I sold our last home we were anxious that it hadn't sold after only three weeks. Our experienced REALTOR casually suggested placing a Japanese fighting fish in a beautiful vase on the kitchen island. No sooner had we implemented the plan than the home immediately sold! This anecdote emphasizes the importance of positive attitude during the process of selling a home and the benefits of a good REALTOR/homeowner relationship.
All parties can benefit when homes are staged for success. Start with a checklist when getting your home ready for sale. Allow plenty of time to prepare, pack and purge. Consider consulting with your favorite agent or stager and be emotionally prepared for brutal honesty. They only have your best interests in mind - selling your house!
Sandra Young is a Calgary designer and owner of Willow Studios. Phone: 230-9226 or www.willowstudio.ca