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THE SURVEY SAYS...Staging A Home Is "Inconvenient .. Disruptive." Home Sellers, Do I Have News For You!

Home Stager with Looking Fine by Redesign, LLC

I'm sure many of you have heard this before. "Staging a home is inconvenient and disruptive so it's not worth the hassle." (or at least something close to this statement).  Well, yes, it can be inconvenient and disruptive for the homeowner.  Just think about the daunting task of clearing all your extra appliances and "stuff" off of the kitchen countertops before a showing.  Then dashing into all of the bathrooms to stash the toothbrush and personal items and scrubbing the shower from top to bottom.  Oh, and don't forget about the dirty laundry piled sky-high in the laundry room.  Oh, darn, the kitty potty is full of...well, you get the picture!

The reality is that when selling you will have to tweak the way you live in the home.  It must be kept impeccably clean and organized.  It must appear spacious, warm and inviting.  And, yes, it will require sacrificing your "personal" style of living and you WILL have to take strenuous measures to tidy every room before an Open House.  Having your home staged to sell can be inconvenient and disruptive.

Consider this, would you rather be temporarily inconvenienced with some disruption to your life, OR have a home that isn't properly prepared (staged) for the market and have it sit for months without any offers? Possibly having to endure showing after showing...month after month?  Think about the inconvenience of not being able to move forward with your plans.  What about the possibility of taking on two mortgage payments?

Looking Fine By Redesign had this very conversation with a potential client just a few days ago.  After explaining the benefits of staging their home before listing, and mentally preparing them for the undeniable inconveniences that they will have to endure during the selling process, the client was able to understand that staging is definitely the "lesser of two evils." 

We were able to give a few tips and suggestions that will help alleviate some of those inconveniences, (whether "real or perceived,") such as:

  • Place a small box or tote under the kitchen sink that can be used to "stash" the extra countertop items quickly and efficiently before a showing.
  • Place a similar box or tote in the bathrooms or linen closets to quickly hide away personal toiletries.
  • Use decorative baskets in the laundry room to hide away extra items and small amounts of laundry if necessary.
  • "Double-up" on the use of one or two of the bathrooms in the home.  Consider having the children use the Master Bath/Shower to eliminate the number of bathrooms to clean.
  • Keep a "pre-set" dining table complete with fresh flowers and/or candles.

We strongly recommend, however, that you do NOT store the kitty potty in the same manner as suggested above!  This is a MUST CLEAN DAILY item...no exceptions!!

It is critical that a homeowner understands that once their home is put on the market, it isn't your home anymore.  While it may be the place where you live, it is now a product and in order to sell that product, it MUST be staged for maximum buyer interest and for a quick sale!

Teresa Mills Schremm, is a Certified Professional Home Stager and Owner of Looking Fine By Redesign, (www.LookingFineByRedesign.com) and Member of ASHSR. Serving Western Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties, Greater Cleveland, Ohio area.  Call for your Consultation today at 440-655-5831, or email teresa@LookingFineByRedesign.com

Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

I like how you stressed temporarily inconvenienced.  If you staged your home to sell and price it right, hire pros-it will be sold in record time!!!!

Feb 21, 2009 09:43 AM
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

It amazes me how uncooperative some sellers can be. Some people just don't "get it" when it comes to doing whatever it takes to accomplish a goal, and that includes selling their home. Thanks for the post. 

Feb 23, 2009 11:43 AM
Teresa Mills Schremm
Looking Fine by Redesign, LLC - North Olmsted, OH
Online Home Staging - Coast to Coast, ASHSR

Cathy, you are so right...how many times does a home sit on the market...even staged, but doesn't sell because it isn't priced correctly.

Dan & Amy, I'm sure you see this far too often.  Doesn't it make you wonder if these sellers really want to sell at all?

Thanks for commenting!

Feb 26, 2009 08:14 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Ask the seller what they expect to see when they are househunting.  Wouldn't they gravitate to a home that was well maintained an attractive?  They don't call a pristine house a buyer's dream for nothing!

Mar 22, 2009 12:32 PM