Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Stage a House?

Being a person with a passion for old homes and for fixing things, I sometimes forget not every buyer or seller has a "vision" for the potential of a property. For those folks who know me well - I tend to see opportunity where others see bad wallpaper, shag carpet, or overwhelming window coverings.

It's amazing what a difference cleaning, painting, and staging can make. If you look at the photos of 3935 Fremont Ave N posted on this website, you'd never know just a few months ago peach drapes hid the beautiful wood trim, carpet hid hardwood floors, and wallpaper made the kitchen look nearly impossible to work with. With paint and the removal of carpet and drapes, plus the addition of a few accessories, including artwork, silk plants, a dinner table for two, and some kitchen accessories - the house looks very welcoming. There are times when I stop by 3935 Fremont Ave N and I think to myself "geez, this is a gem of a house". I only wish I had gotten a few "before" photos to truly show the difference.

As a seller, one of the easiest things to do to improve your home is take as much "stuff" out as you possibly can, and then go back a day later and repeat! I operate under the idea "less is more" when staging a home, and it seems to be working.

I've also noticed younger buyers may like some antiques but they don't want to be living in a museum. This is a hard concept for me to grasp as I LOVE wonderful old furniture with charm and character - but for staging, we need to keep a balance between new and old so the buyers can go either way when envisioning the house as "their" house. If you stage it too much one way or another - you're likely to shut out half the people who look at the home.

Staging also helps buyers understand how they may use the space. By simply adding a drop leaf table to one house, a seller clearly demonstrated the lack of a separate dining room wouldn't mean you couldn't have a nice meal. Staging can also minimize some of the imperfections in an old home - it's not meant to hide serious flaws, but it can show how some minor imperfections are not necessarily impossible to live with - much like putting on a flattering party dress - staging should show off a home's best features.

I can see staging and minor rehab work plan are going to become a part of my real estate business. Not only will it benefit my sellers, but I enjoy the down time from being out and about all day. Plus - it gives me a great excuse to buy some really fun accessories when they show up on clearance!

If you are curious about the potential of your home, feel free to contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.