Wow! What a week this has been. I am trying to jump into the age of technology! I joined Active Rain this week and I just set up on Facebook! I spent a long time looking up old friends. I need to remember to only do that when I have some time. Hmmm ...when will that be! It has been a busy, busy week and I made some great connections.
I will post the article that I wrote for our local news paper today. Each month I write a feature article in the News Enterprise. Seeing as though an article was published today, I thought I would share it with a bigger comunity! Enjoy!
Timing is everything right?
I was watching HGTV the other night with my daughter. She watches staging shows with me and gets as excited as I do about the great projects we see. She often thinks we should try many of the ideas we see and complete them in the same amount of time it takes on HGTV. I was talking about painting the living room and she thought we could get the whole room done in a half hour - just like on TV. My daughter is only ten, but she suffers from the same sense of reality that many people do when watching "reality" TV. That these "projects" take a short amount of time and can be completed almost single-handedly.
Most television shows last 30 minutes - including commercials - and document amazing household transformations. Most "Staging" shows really blow my mind. An entire house is cleaned up in two days - including paint, demolition, construction, sewing and accessorizing. The end result is amazing and seemingly effortless. The point I am trying to make here is that IT DOESN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY IN REAL LIFE! Those shows have large crews that come in behind the scenes and get much of the work done. All of the shopping and planning goes on behind the scenes so the viewer doesn't see how time intensive it is. Anyone that has taken part in a staging project can confirm that it is rarely a quick process. Staging a house takes time and sometimes it takes more time than is available.
When Staging a house to sell it is important to allow as much time as possible. Before Christmas, I consulted for several clients who planned to put their homes on the market in the spring. They understood it was going to take time to make changes to their homes. Most people don't create clutter in an afternoon. It is going to take longer than that to clean it up. By planning ahead, those homeowners are going to avoid the costly mistake of staging their house after it is already listed. The time a house spends on the market can directly affect how much money a seller can expect to get. Fix it up before listing to set up for maximum profit.
There is nothing worse than feeling "forced" into choosing something because you do not have time to research the options. By allowing ample time to get your house ready, you can find a reasonable carpet cleaner or handy person to finish odd jobs around the house. You maintain control and can determine the best course of action that you sometimes forfeit when you are under the gun. You have time to shop for bargains instead of having to pay full price because you don't have time to wait for a sale.
Not everyone has the luxury of time. Sometimes you are only given a few weeks to prepare. In instances like this using a stager, or at least finding a friend to walk through your home, is crucial. I must admit that using a professional will be a different experience than just having your best friend walk through. A professional has been trained to know what the best use of your resources will be. Ultimately, hiring a professional will save you time and money by directing your attention to the projects that will have the greatest impact. Time is one of the most valuable resources you have and it pays to spend it wisely.
As seen in The News Enterprise, January 23, 2009