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  • Writer's pictureLissa Miller

All The World's A Stage...

You may think the line from Shakespeare's "As You Like It" really has nothing to do with staging a home, but actually, it does. Here's a little history of the staging industry. Barb Schwarz, a Seattle real estate agent started sprucing up homes going to market in 1972. Her previous career in the theater was the basis for the name of her new profession. According to Ms. Schwarz, she was the one who invented the word staging to describe fixing up houses for sale. The term has prevailed and the use of staging for marketing homes has skyrocketed in the decades since the idea's inception. Now that we understand the origin of the term staging, let's go on to the process.

Why do clients hire me to stage their homes before selling?

Staging sets the tone for a property that will sell quickly versus one that lingers on the market. The first impression a home gives, means everything.

Here are the stats:

-A buyer decides if they can picture themselves living in a home within 8 seconds of walking in the door. That should get your attention!

If a home is uncluttered, appears spacious and has an attractive, streamlined look, that first impression is much more likely to result in a offer.

-A home that has been staged has an 87% faster selling rate than one that has not.

-On average, a staged home will sell for 17% more than a comparable un-staged home. Another way to think of this is: when the seller spends an average of 1% of the value of the home on staging, they see a 1000% return on investment. Now we're really getting your attention!!

If you have never used a stager, you may want to know answers to the following questions:

When a staging professional helps a client who is getting ready to move, what are the first steps taken? Who pays for the staging? Who does the staging? DIY’ers may ask, can the client get ideas and do a lot of the staging themselves? Here are some answers that may help your home sale process.

First, payment for the staging may vary. Some realtors hire their own stagers and provide that service to their clients. Alternatively, a homeowner may contact a stager directly and make the payment themselves. In either case, a determination would be made whether a total a partial or total staging package is desired, including ideas for improvements, implementation of those improvements and hands-on staging (possibly including furniture and/or accessories). An alternate approach might be to do a consultation only and provide the homeowner with ideas, and a plan for improvements. Then the homeowner might opt to complete the improvements him or herself.

Initially a stager does a consultation with the client, goes through the entire house with the homeowner, identifies issues that need addressing and shares ideas about improvements. The stager may encourage the homeowner to take notes or they may offer a detailed report or plan to provide the homeowner when the consult is finished.

In the end, the staging should be completed by the time the realtor’s photographer schedules pictures of the home. To this end, the homeowner should leave sufficient time for the stager or themselves to complete the work.

The plan should be to have all improvements, be it painting, repairs, flooring changes, etc. , done days before the photography session. After the improvements are done, furniture and accessories would be added. Finishing touches can be done immediately before pictures to ensure the house is in top shape.

The intent of staging is to make a home look as spacious and uncluttered as possible. The desired result is to make the home appeal universally to buyers. To that point, the appearance must be neutral so that the buyer can imagine themselves living there. Staging also creates a mood. It adds focus to the best aspects of the home and it distracts from the undesirable aspects of the home.

The interior needs staging, but the exterior is all-important also. Curb appeal is the first priority. As stated above, the buyer gets their impression of the home in the first 7 seconds. As they walk into the home, the outside area and entry should be clear of any obstacles, and be attractive and inviting.

As you consider staging or not staging, keep in mind a key point mentioned above: the value that is added when a home is staged. Your home is one of your most important investments. By having your home staged, you give your home it’s best chance of selling quickly and for it’s highest price. The convenience of a quick sale is immeasurable and the equity you take with you to your next home determines what kind of a home you are able to afford.

I hope this blog post gives you the information you need and helps you decide what is best for you. If you decide staging is for you, you can contract with me for a 90 minute consultation that will give you the guidance you need to stage your home. Or if you prefer, get in touch with me for rates for full or partial home staging packages.

Realtors, get in touch with me to get listings sold quickly. I can work with your clients to get the home sale-ready and take that stress off your busy schedule.

Best of luck!


“Make Room for What You Love”


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