"Light" Staging vs. "Fully Staged" Property

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Properties Seattle

Yesterday I went out with two agents from the office to assist in "Light Staging" their Vacant Properties.

I love Real Estate Sales as an "Artform".  Knowing when to fully stage vs. "lightly" stage, is an important decision that you make for your seller clients.  When homes were on the market for a very short time a few years ago, these decisions were a bit less important than today, when a home could easily be on market 90 to 120 days before the close of escrow.

Adding staging costs to the mix can't be "it's ALWAYS best and better".  But cold and old and vacant can give one the creepies.  So heat on is important as is putting a few strategically placed pleasant items.

I call this "Taking the Curse Off the Vacants" aka "Light Staging".  I firmly believe that agents should own their own supply of "light staging" items.

In the above property, I brought in this small table set to define an eating area that had no hanging light.  Recessed lighting above the eating area, which was quite large, didn't give the right feel to the large space of this townhome.  Placing a glass table, neatly set with a few items and just a couple of chairs, added ambiance and created that "this is where you eat when not at the counter, message.  I chose to use the wall items on either side of the eating space, rather than in it, leaving a nice clean freshly painted wall in the large eating space. 

In the above townhome, where the eating space was much smaller, I did the opposite.  I removed the table and chairs the owners had there, and added the bar stools.  The "Walk Path" to the sliding doors to the "Territorial View" would have been blocked by a table set, and was one of the prime features of this townhome. 

Glass tables are often my favored item, as they always seem to make the space look larger than when using heavy furniture.

This glass table has travelled back and forth across Lake Washington many times.  I use different chairs, but the glass table top lifts off easily, the base is very lightweight, and there is a plant holder underneath for when you need a bit of color. 

I am not totally averse to using a heavier table, as in the photo above, but the space has to be large enough without blocking the sliding door exit to the balcony, and bright enough to handle the dark colors and heavier theme.

This is cracking me up, as I honestly forget how many times we've taken this same glass table (I own two fo them) to various properties in so many areas.  It's been in Judkins, Green Lake, Phinney, Juanita, and

...and even Sammamish :)

But this is the first time it's made it over to Shoreline, to another agent's listing.

to take the curse off the vacant's for Bruce Ching.  He's going to get some paper towels for that holder dead center, and we will do a few other things before loading this property up into the mls.  But "the little glass table that could" was hauled over and set up yesterday, and the place already feels like home to me.

Take the ASP course if you are an agent, it sparks you with the idea that you don't just snap the camera and load up photos into the mls.  It only takes a few hours to place some items here and there, before you shoot those photos.

We all know that a buyer's search for a home is likely to start on the Internet.  When you have a vacant listing, give the buyer something to see on the internet besides that cold and vacant white space.

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Washington King County Kirkland
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light staging
stagent services
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Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
Kim says the little glass table has the Wanderlust to be of help here and there and everywhere.  Like the travelin' man :)
Feb 10, 2008 04:09 AM #1
Rainer
3,079
Wendy Torres
CENTURY 21 Mulvey Real Estate - Yorktown Heights, NY
Thanks for the tips. It was helpful.
Feb 10, 2008 05:14 AM #2
Ambassador
732,514
Courtney Cooper
Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office - Seattle, WA
206-850-8841

Ha ha - cute table!  I have doen the same thing honestly - I have one or two pieces that you will see all over Seattle - lol

Nice job by the way:) I like the light Staging best:)

Feb 10, 2008 05:15 AM #3
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA

Courtney,

It's fun to look back.  The "colorful condo" in Juanita was a challenge, the one with the citrus green chairs and bright walls.  The rest of the condo was bright yellow with an orange stripe, blue, spice, green.  Every color known to man was in there.  But it sold in 18 hours, so I guess we did the best we could with what we had to work with.

The townhome in Ballard with the white sofas (the only furniture I asked them to leave behind besides one other "staging" piece also sold in 18 hours.  But looking at the photo, I'm not sure the area rug helped.  It was theirs and not mine, and I always try to use a few of the owner's things when I can.  It's hard to tell someone they have absolutely nothing that can be used to show the home.

Feb 10, 2008 05:55 AM #4
Rainer
137,271
Kimberly Grant
Exit Leon Crawford Realty - Huntsville, AL
Real Estate Agent - Huntsville Alabama
You make a good point Ardell.  I actually have been thinking about this lately.  Do you recommend any of the staging designations or classes that are offered to Realtors??
Feb 10, 2008 06:32 AM #5
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
I took the ASP class from Barb Schwartz and it changed my life, and my client's lives as well.  Barb was the teacher of mine, so not sure if it's just as good if she isn't the actual teacher in the room.
Feb 10, 2008 07:15 AM #6
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA

Kimberley,

The final hands on experience in someone's home with lots of other agents is invaluable.   But clearly not everyone who takes the course learns what I did.

 

Feb 10, 2008 07:17 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,344,139
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
ARDELL:  The Barb Schwartz class has been recommended to me and I'll seriously consider taking it if I can find a class schedule to work with my life schedule. 
Feb 10, 2008 08:43 AM #8
Rainmaker
244,695
Geordie Romer
Windermere Real Estate / NCW - Leavenworth, WA
Serving Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee, and Plain

Ardell- Those are some great examples. It is really helpful to see the same table in lots of different environs. I can't say I own a staging collection, but have thought about heading that way.  Selling vacation homes near the mountains we need to make things look "cabiny". (You think that's not a word, but it is the number one complaint about a listing here - not "cabiny" enough)

Feb 10, 2008 08:43 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,781,403
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Ardell, The rooms look lovely and I agree, a glass table seems to open up the space.  For years I had a heavy kitchen table and finally got a glass table--I absolutly love how light and airy it feels.
Feb 10, 2008 09:53 AM #10
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA

Carole,

All of my tables are glass.  Makes it hard to bang on the table to make a point though :)  I LOVE your blog BTW.

Feb 10, 2008 01:41 PM #11
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA

Geordie,

I don't have sofas.  The glass table I use I bought at Levitz for $100.  In fact I liked it so much a bought a second one.  Very lightweight and easy to transport in our jeep.  I have those chairs in maroon (color shown) dark blue and yellow.  They also come in sage green and I really should get them. 

I often use the chairs in my home.  The wrought Iron and stone chairs I used in the Sammamish home I bought from a relocating seller.  He wasn't even my seller client :)  I saw them in a condo I was showing and he sold me two end tables, a dining table a coffee table and six chairs, all matching, for $500.

I just used a bunch of my staging pictures to decorate the new office.  If you say in the same color scheme of burgandy, sage and gold, some spice, you can mix and match your things.  I'll go grab a photo from my last shopping trip I posted earlier so you can see how the colors coordinate.

Feb 10, 2008 01:49 PM #12
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
Feb 10, 2008 01:49 PM #13
Rainmaker
659,609
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
A little staging can go a long way.  Sometimes vacant homes just do not show their best.  I will however take a vacant home over a cluttered one anytime.
Feb 10, 2008 03:42 PM #14
Rainmaker
304,860
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
Agreed on that one, Randy.  I haven't had a cluttered one for as long as I can remember.  We may be seeing more now though, with people not able to buy before they sell as easily.
Feb 10, 2008 04:16 PM #15
Rainmaker
215,151
The Brewer Team - Benchmark Realty
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Good job. A lot of customers don't understand what this can mean to thier property.
Feb 10, 2008 11:03 PM #16
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ARDELL DellaLoggia

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