Effective Home Staging Tip Series #1 – What is Home Staging and What is it Not?

As the real estate market has cooled and many Real Estate Professionals and home sellers are struggling to sell their properties quickly, many think the best way to survive is to cut their budgets for staging their listings.

“Studies show that pulling back on staging your listings during a recession actually hurts, rather than helps with home sales. Listings that are staged and priced competitively sell in half the time that non-staged properties do.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find lower cost options to help you prepare your properties for sale.

I decided to create the Do-It-Yourself Home Buyer Attraction System to meet this need for valuable information at a lower cost than traditional staging services. The system provides real estate professionals and home sellers with the knowledge and skills that I have acquired working in the field over the last few years. These tools and strategies are proven to work in a seller’s market and they will work in a buyer’s market to make your property truly stand out in the marketplace and draw buyers to you.

So, over the next few days I’m going to lead you through a short, but information packed series on how you can start transforming your listing or home into a home buyer magnet.

Let’s start with a very important distinction: What is Home Staging and What is it Not?

Home Staging (House Staging, House Fluffing, House Primping, Real Estate Staging, Staging Design) is the art of decorating a home to sell quickly and for TOP DOLLAR. It is the most proven way to get top dollar for your home as you prepare it for sale.

What Home Staging is NOT…It’s not just decorating. It needs to be strategic. An important thing for both Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers to remember is that before you start the staging process, you need to identify who is most likely to buy the house, otherwise known as your target home buyer.

Staging is not just about hanging up some art, sticking a tree in the corner and adding pretty pillows to the sofa. This seems to be the misconception many times. By knowing who the target buyer is, you will be able to design a lifestyle to appeal to that specific group of prospective buyers. As a real estate agent, you can then design a marketing plan to attract those same people.

I remember a particular property that I was hired to “stage”. It was for a Realtor client of mine. The interesting thing about this property was it was a job that was going to be a favor to him since the original Stager he hired for that project flaked on him at the last minute. I usually don’t work on properties that I haven’t had a “relationship” with, meaning I haven’t seen the property and the sellers have not gone through my staging consultation process so that they fully understand what needs to be done in preparation and shown how they were going to live in their staged home. Well, to no one’s surprise, when I arrived to do my ‘thing”, the house was NOT READY. It was a small house, but it was a family house with parents and a couple of kids. There were shoes and dirty laundry all over the house, the small kitchen and bath were cluttered and dirty, beds were not made, it was NOT READY! When I spoke with the owner, their comment was “well, can’t you just stage around me?” The answer to that was a resounding “NO!”. I left that property, unstaged. My mistake was agreeing to do the job in the first place. I thought I was doing the agent a favor, but really, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors.

I understand that real estate professionals and home sellers are anxious to start marketing their properties as soon as possible, BUT take a moment to consider what you’re allowing to be marketed. REMEMBER, you only have ONE chance to make a FIRST impression, make it the best one possible!!!

Stay tuned for #2 in our Effective Home Staging Tip Series where we will address what really sells a house.

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