Preparing for Staging, The Three D’s
I’m not a professional stager, but I’m married to one. I’ve watched her work wonders in homes using both the owners’ furnishings and bringing in a few other pieces. Staging, when done by a professional will maximize a home’s desirability and if all other aspects of marketing are done well, reduce the time on the market and increase the owner’s bottom line.
There is much more to staging than what I’m going to present, but if you start with these suggestions, your time with a stager will be better spent.
The three D’s of staging are;
Declutter, Depersonalize and Disassociate.
Declutter nearly speaks for itself. It’s time to put away all the loose papers, knick knacks, extra furnishings and distractions. Your home is now a piece of merchandise. Your lifestyle while on the market will be different. You need to have a quick place to stash the checkbook & bills, newspapers & kids toys when the phone rings and you have a showing in 30 minutes. Clearing out some drawers and having a couple of empty chests to stash things in can make this easier. Items out on the shelves & counter spaces that you haven’t used lately and don’t anticipate needing soon should be packed up and put away.
Depersonalize carries declutter to another level. Start by removing family pictures. They serve as an impediment to buyers who want to visualize their own family decorating the walls & bookshelves. Do you have special collectables that you love that reflect your interests? Consider packing them up too. Your sports memorabilia or spoon collections are special, but they distract from the home, which is what you are selling. Other items I encourage people to remove, are religious or political items. You may be unconsciously deterring buyers whose views and values are different from yours. I’ve had buyers pick up books by political candidates in homes and laugh with each other. We all have political and religious perspectives that we are free to share, but no one is converted by a poster or book cover. The purpose of staging is to present the house, not your stuff or your opinions. By removing distractions buyers can “paint” on a neutral canvas the home they intend to create, without having to feel as if they are evicting you, even subconsciously.
Disassociate is a big part of the Three D’s and potentially the hardest. When you disassociate yourself from the house, it becomes the place you live but is no longer your home. It no longer reflects your family, personality or views but is ideally a clean slate a buyer can emotionally work with and create their own attachments to. The hardest part of Disassociation is that you have memories attached to your possessions and putting them away can be uncomfortable. But focus on your next adventure. The better job you do here the faster you can connect with your next home and bring out all of your collections, personal items and photographs.
For someone to buy a home, the largest investment they will likely make, the home has to have the right number of bedrooms, baths, square feet, etc. There may be many homes in the current market which match your home’s general description; the key to success is to remove distractions and build emotional bridges into the buyer’s world that will cement the attraction. Staging can be a big part of this.
When we list a home, we include our Staging Services at no additional fee. There can be costs for improvements or if necessary furniture rentals, but we do our best to only recommend what will provide a significant return.
This post is part of a Series on Home Selling: The 4 Keys to Selling Your Home Quickly and for Top Dollar