Several years ago, I took some staging courses and became a certified Stager. My intent was to use the skills I learned to accessorize my marketing plan by adding a complimentary staging consult to my listing package. The investment has paid off in spades.
When I take a new listing, I spend a considerable amount of time with the Seller preparing the home in advance for picture day. It's a two-step process, where the first meet and greet is spent walking around the home, discussing what needs to be done to prepare the home for market. The Seller is given a homework assignment to declutter and depersonalize prior to the second visit, where we stage the home.
I ask for creative license from the Seller to move furniture, rearrange odds and ends, and accessorize the home. This next step seems to work best if the Seller isn't present. Why? Because it's difficult for some Sellers to envision the process. Their belongings are very personal to them, and our decision to change the way they live (temporarily) isn't always received in a positive light. However, when the staging is done, they are usually delightfully surprised. So much so, that sometimes they change their mind about selling =)
Staging is a good thing. It adds a layer of expertise to the service REALTORS provide, and it's a great tool to differentiate oneself from the competition. Staging benefits the Seller too, as most staged homes sell faster, and for more money than other competing homes on the market. As Martha Stewart would say... It's a Good Thing!
Staging - It's a Good Thing!