Staging, the perfect name to depict the intent of focusing attention to the home and pleasing the audience at hand. I share with clients that staging is putting on the best show. You recall the props, scenery and most of all the acting. The seller must remember that their home is not about their personality or comfort but setting the right tone and impression so the audience will want to applaud and remember your home as a stand out.
I have recently layered another service for my clients, a professional stager. In the past I feel I have done an adequate job of assisting them in furniture placement, decorating tips, etc. As more awareness of proper staging has been brought to us by numerous popular television shows, I have found that sellers tend to receive the suggetions made by an accredited stager with a design background better than to me. It has been a valuable tool to get the home prepared on the front end for success.
I made a business decision to offer paying for a couple of hours of consultation with a professional stager when I have received a listing commitment. The homes I offer this to usually are older and are as we politely put it as Realtors, "tired" in finishes. They need some upfront money invested to get much more on return. The owners have to be willing and able to afford and make changes. They also have to have the personality to receive the recommendations as helpful and not as criticism. That is why it is important to utilize the services of a good stager that has the personality balance to deliver the suggestions with authority but in a polite manner.
I have recently called upon the services of one of our Active Rain members, Karen Otto, to visit on a couple of my new listings. It was a outstanding experience and the ideas were excellent. She knew just how to deliver the news that some areas of the home needed attention and verified what I had told the sellers about dollars put in would have a huge return for the investments and also reduction of days on market. An ideal partnerhip to my business.
Not only is a well staged home is critical to maximizing the home's potential of selling for top dollar it is also a reflection to you, the Realtor, for helping your sellers understand that the right impression from the very beginning of the listing is equally critical. The spotlight is on you to deliver the message. And to answer my question posed ... YES, the service of a stager is worth every penny! It make the home look great and me look good.