All to often I will come across a disappointed home owner or real estate agent who ventured into staging a listing and did not get the price they were seeking and then felt "staging" didn't work. The problem is homestaging has become a very diluted and over-used buzz word and unfortunately I hear many people using the term "staging" homes without a clear understanding of what homestaging truly means. I'm going to attempt to debunk the urban myths of homestaging so consumers shopping for homestaging have a clear understanding of what they are looking for.
Myth: "Homestaging Means To De-clutter Your Home"
Well that's part of the job, you begin by de-cluttering but you don't stop there. If you're definition of "staging" a home is "de-cluttering" than I hate to inform you, you've only just begun to scratch the surface. The only thing you're really doing is de-cluttering the home.
Myth: "Homestaging Is Cleaning and Then Adding Some Updated Furnishings"
Mmmm... maybe, maybe not! To be fair the number of required tasks to staging a home will vary from home to home, however I see many people stop there and call it "staged" but in the meantime the home is in desperate need of repainting, the floors are in desperate need of repair and at the very least, change the light fixtures and hardware from the 1960s! It is not "staged".
Myth: "The Space is Empty So I've Just Added Some Furniture And It's Staged"
Is it staged? Staging a home is creating a WOW-FACTOR. Do you honestly believe that by adding a few pieces of furniture in a room adds a wow-factor? Of course not, so therefore it is not "staged". Staging is not limited to showing how to furnish a room, staging a home is like merchandising, it is the art of creating an emotional must-have connection with a buyer. How many buyers do you know feel emotionally connected to a space because someone has come along and added a couple of garbage cans as end tables, and picked up a sofa from the side of the road or used a sofa a friend of a friend of a friend was getting rid of and put it up against the wall? None! It merely comes across as a dilapidated home that the owner didn't care enough about to make it truly presentable and therefore why should you care enough to make an offer or a decent offer at that. The end result, cheap and sterile much like the offer.
Myth: "I've Added Some Accessories, Why Do I Need To Add Furniture?"
A number of people will throw a few pictures on the walls or some accessories around the kitchen. Meanwhile the kitchen is old and dated and there is no furniture in the room. Frankly you really didn't make any difference.
Some advice someone in the industry once imparted on to me and I'm passing on to you which is a simple analogy to always remember when considering whether or not you've staged a home and whether you can honestly call it "staging". This person referred to it more as taking the sale of a home seriously, but it applies.
When you prepare yourself for a job interview, you will often dress for the occassion, right? You will wear your best pressed clothes and you will accessorize yourself to match. If you wear a suit you will often compliment it with a nice tie and dress shoes, perhaps even a nice watch. If you wear a neatly pressed skirt and blouse you might accent yourself with some nice heels, a belt, maybe even a scarf and perhaps a little make up.
So if it makes sense to match your outfit with your accessories to create a positive lasting impression that you expect others to take seriously why wouldn't you consider the same analogy with your home?