Going from Home to Sold: Working with a Stager

August 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I know they have to design, stage, and sell in one hour. But on some of those design shows, the home stager comes sweeping through, insulting the homeowners in every room, as if those poor people should know instinctively that the wall color they chose for the kitchen is the only reason their house won’t sell. A good home stager in real life, of course, will tread delicately through the minefield of personal decorating taste and homeowner attachments and end at a win-win.

If you need to sell your home and your realtor recommends a staging consultation, here’s what to expect.

The stager will arrive and begin looking at your home from the curb. Don’t be alarmed or feel invaded. They are there to help you sell. Try to envision this fairly unwelcomed guest as someone who is on your team.

If you haven’t listed your home yet, the stager will walk through your property and evaluate what changes need to be made to sell the home. It’s nothing personal. The stager is seeing your home from the perspective of the buyers in our current market.  

The stager will know how to identify all the selling features that your property has to offer and how best to highlight them to buyers.

The stager may give you tips to enhance your landscape or point out areas that need touch-ups. 

The biggest nerve that the stager will hit (delicately we hope) is what is personal to the homeowners and needs to be removed from the home if it is to sell quickly and for top dollar: family photos, children’s art and toys, figurine collections, delicate houseplants, years worth of memorabilia, most of the books, and yes, the  homeowners’ personal design style. I quipped with one homeowner the other day that we were turning their well-lived-in home into more of a Ramada Inn (with all due respect to Ramada, of course).

The point is, if you’re selling your home, you will want to appeal to as many buyers in today’s market as possible. That means that lots of things that made your house your home need to be packed up so that the potential buyers can see themselves living there.

 At the end of the consultation, the stager will leave you with a rather lengthy to-do list. You can plow through it yourselves or call them back to help you. Your realtor will have access to other service providers as well, like cleaners and organizers. Chances are very good that if you accomplish everything on that list, the home you are trying to sell today will become the house that… SOLD!

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