Listing a house: It's like sending a child off to school. You hope they've received the right preparation and developed excellent study habits so they will earn straight A+s, go to an Ivy League School, and successfully pursue the career of their dreams. If they need help along the way, you'd get them a tutor, wouldn't you?
You're so proud of your new listing. You've given the Sellers checklists of things they need to do: repaint the kids' bedrooms; power wash the deck; farm out the pets. You're now ready for the MLS photos because the house is clean and neat as a pin, right?
What kind of grades did the house earn? You're thinking "Well, gee, the Sellers worked hard and accomplished a lot of the things I told them to do. So I'll give them As and Bs." It would be far better if you'd hired a professional Stager to earn Ds and Fs! Here's why:
The report card for a successfully Staged house should have all Ds and Fs:
D = Declutter: Clutter is in the eye of the beholder. It takes an objective eye to identify and remove it. Is the grouping of twenty-three family photos still on the family room wall? Pack them up and fill the space with one large piece of neutral art.
D = Deep Clean: Most homes are clean (except mine - but it's not on the market!), but once a home is on the market it must remain spotless. Moreover, here "clean" means like new: the grout, fixtures, appliances must all look NEW. Also, be careful of unique cooking smells that can linger for days!
F = Function: Is it a dining room or a playroom? Don't confuse the buyer. Each space must have a clearly defined function, usually the one it was originally designed for. Hint: Got a three bedroom house? Better show it as that, not a two bedroom and home office.
F = Flow: Does the layout of the furniture enable a natural and easy traffic flow through the house? You don't want potential buyers ending up at dead ends, backtracking or feeling crowded. You want the house to feel as expansive as possible. A Stager can provide the optimal layout.
F = Flavor: It's not about decorating. It's about presenting the house's features in the best light possible for potential target buyers. So even though those valances are clean and neat, get rid of them. They're outdated and block the light and architectural trim! Install some updated neutral drapery panels to give the room height and let in the light!
A professional Stager will tutor the house and Sellers towards the desired goal: a quick and successful sale!
Happy Staging! Julie