Home Staging - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
As a professional Home Stager I have seen all types of Home Staging done by well meaning Realtors or ambitious Do-it-yourselfers. They all fall short (or in many cases way, way, way, short) of the mark. I've seen the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Home Staging whenever I visit an open house. The one thing that always strikes me however, is just how easy it is to spot a Home Staging job that is not professionally done.
Who should Stage this home?
Television, from the major networks to HGTV, and DIY has done a lot to increase awareness of what a home "should look like", and the desire for "move in ready" properties has increased as well. People expect to see expertly Staged Homes. Most folks won't try to build a massive addition on their home after watching a few episodes of 'This Old House' because they realize this is outside their expertise, yet the same people are willing to gamble on what is probably their largest investment (their home) that they can do as good a job as a Professional Home Stager. Besides it is so very difficult to be objective about your own home.
You would never ask a Home Stager to list a home, unless they were also a professional Realtor... so why do so many home-owners allow a Realtor to Stage their homes instead of a Professional Home Stager? Too often the first step taken when a house has gone without offers is The Price Reduction. Bringing in a Professional Home Stager will almost ALWAYS costs much less than the first (not to mention the subsequent) Price Reductions.
8 Real Life Home Staging Do's and Dont's:
Here are some of the best and worst of the Do It Yourself Home Staging that I see regularly.
- Do de-clutter. Your planning on moving if your selling, right? So lets get packing! Get out whatever is cluttering up your space.
- Don't set the table! Unless everyone stopping by the open house is invited to stay for a sit down meal the table settings are CLUTTER.
- Clean the Fridge! Yes the inside should be free of mystery leftovers and science experiments...but get all the stuff off the front. Pack up the homework and artwork, the snapshots, the old Dear Abby column, the grocery list, the Honey-do list, and the assortment of magnets.
- Put a lid on it. Don't leave the toilet seats up. It really looks bad.
- Do dress the beds. A nice matching Duvet and sham set really pulls a room together. Don't have one or yours is really dated? Buy a new one, it will look great in your new home too!
- Don't over do it. Don't leave a tea tray set on the edge of the bed, or sprinkle the bed with rose petals. Really, don't. It looks phony and won't sell your home.
- Do open the windows. Get in some fresh air, let in some light!
- Don't leave the TV on. It's distracting.
The most important thing to remember is a home that isn't Professionally Staged isn't properly Staged.