Staging a property has become so popular lately that I wanted to take a few minutes to share my thoughts with regard to it.
First and foremost I want to emphasize that although this Blog may make me appear to be opposed to it, I am most defintely not. I just think it has its place and we are getting caught up in a bit of a marketing phenomenon cultivated by the many television shows focused on how to sell a property.
To be fair to individuals running Staging businesses, one Stager I respect immensely emphasized to me that Staging is actually a three part process, but most people really only think of it as the final stage.
The first stage is "Analysis and Planning". This involves understanding the composition and features of your home and compiling a llst of work items required to prepare your home for sale.
The second stage is "Physical Work"...painting, fixing or replacing elements in the space, cleaning, decluttering, and preparing the structural place for presentation.
The final stage...the one we tend to think of as "Staging" involves "Showcasing the Property" for final presentation.
Here is the thing: In my opinion, I think that between a Realtor's knowledge, a Seller's Knowledge, and a Home Inspection Report (which I usually suggest getting prior to listing a residential freehold property for sale), it is often possible for the first two stages to be covered off.
The final stage is important...your home MUST be showcased effectively. Sometimes this requires a Stager and I will be the first person to tell you that if I think it is the case.
Television shows, however, seem to have convinced people that their own common sense isn't good enough.
I have sold a lot of properties and I am here to tell you that most people...not all people...but most people...already know what to do:
1) Repair damage (and I mean repair damage properly...you do not want an artifical cover up unless you enjoy legal issues after the fact).
2) Paint where and if necessary.
3) Declutter your home, arrange furniture so that the home is presented in a manner that would be appealing to the largest number of buyers (i.e. the pool table in the dining room may be totally cool for your personal day to day use...but not for selling purposes).
4) Remove as many family pictures etc. as possible so that the property can be viewed by a buyer as "theirs" and not "yours".
That is it. That is pretty much all you need to do, barring glaring issues in a Home Inspection Report.
The thing is...I am betting you already knew that.
Why is it then, that so many people feel the need to pay a Stager to tell them what they already know?
Staging has its place...and it may be necessary for you...but it also may not be necessary.
If you are not already working with a Realtor I would be happy to assist you with arriving at the right decision in this regard.
Sometimes your money can be better spent.
Wishing you all the best,
Alan Read-Chua, Broker
Sutton Group - Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage