Sellers and Realtors: Staging Education, Part Three, Decluttering
Part of my role as a professional home stager is to educate Home Sellers and Real Estate Agents about the realities of Home Staging. Watching home staging programs on TV frequently misleads viewers and does not often impart the details of how a professional stager works and how the staging process plays out.
In the Fresno, Clovis and Madera foothill and mountain communities the housing market remains a very strong Buyers market. I have heard many stories of buyers getting homes for 40-50% of the value that was established for them 2-3 years ago. Many sellers are underwater with their loans and need a way out. Home staging can help with these issues.
Professional home staging is frequently misunderstood by many real estate agents and homeowners. Sellers and agents are often fearful of the stager and the process. They often think that it is primarily about decluttering, removing family photos and then adding beautiful items from a stager's inventory or having to buy new furniture themselves.
While those aspects can be important they are NOT the sum total of what a professional home stager can do for you and your home. We do NOT come into a home to demean or berate how the seller lives. Our goal is to help sell the property and to make the process as easy on the seller's as possible.
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This is Part Three of a Seven (7) part series about the ins and outs of real-life professional home staging. You can read Parts One and Two here:
In my professional opinion no aspect of home staging receives more attention AND confusion than DECLUTTERING. Some people have other names for it because they don't like saying anything associated with "clutter" and its negativity. Whatever it's called, it is crucial for any home that is going to be marketed FOR SALE.
My favorite comment that gets agents and sellers thinking is:
The way that we Dwell is NOT the way to SELL.
If you were to walk into my home today (or tomorrow) you might say or think that it is cluttered. I am not a minimalist and I do surround myself with things that I love. There are collections, artifacts from our travels, there's something on every horizontal surface and an abundance of wall art. MY HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE and it would have to change if we decided to sell it, but I'm simply living here now and it works for me and my family.
I had a Realtor say to me this week: "I'd love to have you come into my home and give me some redesign advice BUT you'd probably tell me to throw away all of my cr#p." My response was: "STOP..I only ask people to declutter and pack if they're selling their house. I don't do that for ReDesign. Staging & Decorating are two very different ways of pulling together any space." (And I never use the term cr#p.)
Every square foot, every inch, of a home For Sale has substantial dollar value and buyers want to see all of that square footage. Clutter is very distracting and takes away from the features of the house that buyers want. Decluttering helps refocus potential buyers attention on architectural features, room size, storage space and more.
Which of these rooms is more appealing to you?
The only thing that has changed in this bathroom is that it has been decluttered and a few decorative items were added that the seller already had in her home. She took the advice of a professional stager and together we made the room much more appealing.
Many stagers say that anything smaller than a basketball or a melon needs to be packed away. This is often true but clutter can also mean there's too much furniture. Traffic flow and ease of movement throughout any space is very important when a home is being shown and in listing photographs. Every room needs what we professionals call "breathing space". A room with breathing space is visually more relaxing. The eye needs a space to rest, in good design, and this is particularly important in staging.
When you are decluttering, please understand that buyers will look everywhere. Closets and the garage are important features in a house For Sale. Do not stuff them with your personal items thinking that this takes care of the problem. A professional home stager can help you with clever storage ideas that will make living in a home that's For Sale, easier on your family.
You want potential buyers to feel relaxed and you want them to take their time in previewing your house. A house with good energy will invite buyers to stay and consider how they could make this house their home. All of the items that you love so much will NOT sell your house. You will eventually have to pack them up for your move, so do it NOW.
Make your house, someone else's future home. Make it appeal to a broad range of potential buyers.
DON'T INVITE THEM TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT LISTING.
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Dream Interior Redesign & Staging, by Ginger Foust is a full service Professional Staging and ReDesign company.
Locally serving the California foothill and mountain communities of Oakhurst, North Fork, Coarsegold, Ahwahnee, Bass Lake, Wawona and Mariposa. Also servicing areas of Fresno and Clovis, California.
Providing Virtual and Conceptual Staging Worldwide.
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Visit our website at www.dreamredesigns.com for more information or call 559-877-2442.