3 Misconceptions About Home Staging

Nearly half of all Realtors believe that a staged home can bring a higher price than a non-staged home. According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 32% of buyers’ agents believe staging a home increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent. Another 16% of agents believe it increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by six percent to 10 percent.

With so much money at stake, why do some people still fail to stage their homes? Possibly because of a few misconceptions still surrounding home staging…

1.  Staging is only necessary for unoccupied homes.

No way! While vacant homes do benefit from the addition of furniture and accessories, staging an occupied home can have a tremendous impact on your listing photos and on how potential buyers view the space. The best part? It usually costs less because a professional stager can work with what you already own. Often something as simple as rearranging furniture can better showcase the hidden potential in a room.

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This home is clearly occupied, but we removed unnecessary pieces and rearranged the furniture to showcase how bright and spacious this living area truly is!

2. My stager will just tell me to paint everything beige and make it neutral.

Sometimes–but here’s the thing: buyers must be able to envision themselves living in the house. This is much easier for them to do when they’re NOT surrounded by the seller’s taste-specific design choices, family photos, and references to hobbies/sports/universities/religion throughout the house. Buyers need to see your house, not your stuff. On the other hand, there are sellers at the opposite extreme who completely eliminate all coziness and create an environment that is far too empty and sterile. A good stager will help you find the right balance between effectively depersonalizing and creating a comfortable, welcoming space that invites buyers to picture a romanticized view of what life could be like if they purchased that home.

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We were able to work with this client’s existing color scheme and furnishings to create better MLS photos and show off the spaciousness of the room.

3. Staging is basically just decluttering.

First of all, let’s talk about that terrible word “decluttering.” I hate it and don’t use it with my clients. Simplifying is a much more accurate word. Decluttering implies that your stuff is either messy or junky, and the bottom line is that, no matter how great (or not) your belongings are, removing extra distractions will help potential buyers focus on the architectural details of the home. That being said, adding decor in a very intentional way (eg., a large bowl of bright, beautiful lemons to highlight a gourmet kitchen island or setting an elegant table in the dining room to help buyers envision how easily they could entertain) is an important part of styling the home for photos and for visits from buyers.

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For this client, we hid the toys and rearranged the remaining accessories to highlight the height of the fireplace and the spaciousness of the room.

If you need a little help getting your Katy, TX home ready to go on the market, give the home staging experts at Three Bears Home Staging a call at 832-377-0785, and we’ll set up a Walk & Talk Consultation to get you started!

3 Revelations I Had While Staging My Own Home For Sale

blog-3RevelationsA few weeks ago my husband and I noticed a home we’d had our eye on for several months dropped the price. We decided to take a leap of faith, made an offer, and it was accepted!

“Next step: we have to have put our current home on the market and get a sales contract within 14 days,” my real estate agent/husband told me.

Mmm-hmmm…Ok. Should be no problem for a Realtor husband and a home stager wife, right? No pressure at all! <insert exhausted, hysterical laughter here>

Well, I am happy to say that within 3 days of activating our listing we DID, in fact, get a sales contract on our current home. But what I learned (and was reminded of) during this back-breaking, anxiety attack inducing experience, I feel compelled to share with other home sellers and those who work with sellers on a regular basis. Take note…

  • I will no longer use the phrase “de-clutter” when talking to my clients. I don’t think I had realized how emotionally charged this word feels. Doing what I do, I am constantly reminded of the need to simplify my surroundings. I keep things extremely neat, tidy, and organized around my home and felt fairly confident I’d be able to get our home staged in no time flat.

After my third trip to Goodwill in a 12-hour period and becoming increasingly personally acquainted with the staff, I came to the conclusion that I was very, very wrong. Even though my home wasn’t “cluttered,” the truth is that there were still a LOT of things in my house that we had outgrown, no longer used, no longer needed or wanted, and it just didn’t make sense to pack and move them. To my mind, “de-clutter” implies that one is messy. Because I am not messy, I wrongly assumed that meant I didn’t have clutter. This humbling experience has taught me that, as it relates to staging, I think a more accurate phrase home sellers should embrace is “less is more” or just “reduce and simplify.”

*In a related note, sellers should remember it is hard to be objective about your own stuff! I do this for other people all the time, and once our photos came back, I still noticed several items that probably should have been removed or neutralized for a better photo presentation. Reducing your “visual clutter” (stuff that’s not junky or messy, but still a visual distraction for buyers) is why it’s good to get a professional stager to come in as an objective third party to help you “reduce and simplify.”

  • Staging is an important part of emotionally disconnecting with your home. I raised my little ones in this home. My husband and I experienced personal and professional milestones in this home. We needed more space for our growing family and growing business, but it was breaking my heart a little to leave this place that held so many memories. Enter home staging…my professional mind knew this needed to happen. My bookshelves were carefully organized — but they needed to be less full, less personalized, less distracting to potential buyers. The walls had gorgeous family photos (and murals!) —but they needed to come down so buyers could visualize their own family living there. My kids had adorable play sets and large toys — but they needed to be packed away so buyers could see how spacious the room was. As I busily packed away treasured items and repainted spaces, as it gradually became less personal and felt less like OUR home, we began that all-important process of detachment and we all began to grow more excited about moving to the new house.
  • It is so worth it! Staging your home — and living in a staged home — is without question a completely stressful experience. Your world is upside down while you move, reorganize, camouflage, rearrange, and neurotically clean every facet of what has always been your sanctuary. You chase after every crumb with a wet sponge, yell at people for daring to sit on a couch with freshly fluffed pillows, painstakingly make the bed with ALL the throw pillows every day…but if you do stage it right and if you price it right, the offers WILL come. And then you can start to relax again and look forward with excitement to a future in your brand new home!

Getting your home ready to go on the market can be incredibly stressful, but we can help! If you need a hand getting your Katy, Texas home ready to sell, please give Three Bears Home Staging and Redesign a call at (832) 377-0785 or contact us here.