David Gibson wrote an interested post yesterday entitled,
Stagers and listing agents - what are the tipping points?, which inspired me to write this one.
David was asking for advice from Realtors and stagers as to how to convince sellers that they needed to bring in a stager. As he wrote: "The seller thinks their house is staged, when at best, it is at some point on the continuum of decorated." Given this mindset they feel that consulting with a professional stager is unnecessary.
I commented back to him that it's simple, "No one lives in a staged home". Staging is about marketing--visual merchandising, if you will. Sellers have their home arranged/decorated for their individual "livability". That "livability" doesn't transfer to "staged" just because they put a For Sale sign in the front yard and shampooed the carpeting. Staging is about transitioning their "livability" into a house that the targeted community of buyers can see themselves living in.
Sellers may think that their 60" wide screen TV and twin La-Z-Boy recliners sitting in the traffic flow in the family room are just fine because that is the best arrangement for their personal enjoyment (livability). Or they may have a professionally decorated home with lovely furnishings. However, when it comes to selling the home, neither the La-Z-Boy-filled family room or the personal decorating choices appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers.
The truth is that the majority of the homes I see have 25-50% more furniture and furnishings than are necessary--again livability and a real detriment for marketing. Sellers have lost their objectivity after living in the home for a while, and they can't see their home through the eyes of a buyer. Buyer's can't/don't imagine alternatives for what they see in homes. Staging takes all the guess work out of it for the buyers.
If I put my house up for sale today even I would stage! My husband and I "live" in our house. We have two working offices. So even though my house is decorated, and I am the queen of neat, clean, and organized, there are still items I would remove, accessories I would add and furniture I would move. Once I decide to sell, it's all about the marketing and my "liveability" has to go to the back burner.
Why consult with a professional stager? The only way to transition your property from "livable home" to "competitively marketable house" is to bring in a professional with the expertise and knowledge to do that. No one lives in a staged home--unless it has been staged and it is now up for sale!