Friday, August 15, 2014

Setting the Stage

Staging a property to sell is more than adding a few candles and throw pillows.  It's about maximizing a home's best features and minimizing the less than ideal.  This can involve such things as rearranging furniture to improve traffic flow, harmonizing a room's color palette, removing clutter and distracting items, and guiding potential buyers to see themselves living in the home.

Vacant properties are a wonderful opportunity to bring personality to a clean canvas.  Sometimes, sellers are hesitant to spend money renting furnishings for staging as they aren't sure they will see a return.  However, there is plenty of evidence that staged homes sell faster, and the sooner homes go under contract, the more likely they are to get a higher price.  Properly sized and placed furniture can reveal just how large a room is, and what the best use for a space might be.  Randomly placed plants or chairs add nothing and might even detract from the space.

From a recent showing in Denver - an example of what not to do...
Staging doesn't always have to cost big money, though.  As part of my listing services, I provide a professional stager early in the process to consult with the seller.  We take a tour of the property together, making a list of items that should be repaired or improved, and our recommendations for priority.  The seller can then decide which items to tackle before listing the property.  Paying attention to items before listing usually gets the seller more money - if a seller identifies an item needing attention, he can repair it.  If a buyer finds it during inspection, they may want it replaced instead.

Cleaning, decluttering and painting to make the best first impression possible is important.  If a buyer sees a lot of repair items - even small ones - they will begin to mentally subtract those costs from their offer price.  Additionally, they may begin to worry that there are other items they can't see that have been neglected, possibly discouraging them from making an offer at all.

The final stage before listing involves the stager coming back to stage the property for photographs and showings.  She will use some of the furnishings that are already there and add to them with other things she feels are in keeping with the character of that particular home.  A well-staged home can make buyers want the lifestyle represented and make an emotional connection with the property.  Remember - the way a home looks while you are living in it is often much different from the way it should look when it is up for sale, just like how your children look when they come back from the park and when you ready them for family portraits.

I would love to help you with your real estate journey. 
Please contact me at 303-917-7143 or