I came across this article by Jason Van Steenwyk of realestate.com and thought that he did a great job of really explaining the benefits of home staging, what it is, and what it’s not. He discusses how, at a minimum, home staging is “the process of cleaning the place up to look great for the buyer”, but then elaborates to say “staging is the art…” (I like that!) “…of taking a bare home and presenting it to the potential buyer in such a way that they want to live there…” This is what I always have in the back of my mind when staging a home. I always try to create a feeling in the home that communicates a lifestyle–I want people to aspire to live the type of life I am showcasing. I never over-do it because that can sometimes come across as contrived. My goal is for the prospective buyer to mentally and emotionally move in within the first 10 seconds of viewing a property.
Jason also eloquently defines the difference between interior design and home staging, and this is something I try to explain when people ask what it is that I do. He says “[Home Staging] is a very different skill than doing an interior makeover to please the owner. The owner has specific and identifiable tastes and will likely be there for years. The home stager has to anticipate the average taste.” Home staging is all about appealing to the broadest range of buyers. Some homeowners may be insulted or upset by a home stager’s comments to remove their personal items, artwork, and decor from a space. Home owners should never feel this way. There may be nothing wrong with their taste, but the problem is that it’s just that–their taste, not the taste of the average buyer.
Jason also talks about diminishing returns of home staging. It’s definitely possible to spend too much on home staging. Some stagers will make recommendations beyond what will really add value to the home. When I’m working on a project, I always focus on the key rooms that matter most to buyers, and of course, am respectful of the seller’s budget. Sometimes a seller has great furniture and accessories, but the way they are showcased is all wrong. In those cases, I simply work with what they have to maximize the appeal of the home. Other times, bringing in some accessories is all that is required to give the home a bit more character. And many times, especially with vacant or semi-vacant homes, we recommend bringing in furnishings. Every case is different, and presents a new and wonderful challenge.
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For Jason’s full article, go to this link: