The act of staging goes well beyond the removal of clutter and personal effects; it is the creation of a mood that subconsciously evokes harmony and balance upon entering the space. By creating this environment, buyers are more inclined to relate to the property. Rather male or female, young or old, potential buyers will be drawn to the peaceful spirit created in a staged home. From the moment a buyer approaches a home, they must envision themselves enjoying the property- both inside and out. From the landscaping and gardens to the actual look, feel and smell of a home, staging should wake up all of the senses in a pleasing and inviting way.
Three basic staging words that every seller should embrace are clean, bright and clear. A brightly lit home certainly shows best so make sure you highlight all of the natural light by removing the heavy window treatments and adding attractive lighting fixtures where possible. It is also imperative to ensure all light switches are wiped clean and work properly and that bulbs with appropriate wattage are utilized. Make sure all light fixtures, even the hard to reach ones, have working bulbs with particular attention paid to those where the bulbs are exposed. If you have a great lamp with an old lampshade, spend a few dollars and replace the shade. It is worth the effort! Lighting sets a tone that the space is a happy one. It is imperative that your home is immaculately kept while on the market, particularly the kitchen and bathrooms. Beyond the obvious reasons, a potential buyer will understand that you have maintained your home to this standard from cleaning the vents to maintain the basic foundation- the hidden elements.
The hardest task on the staging list is clearing out the distractions. When we live in a home, even just a short time, we no longer see the buildup of accessories and piles of shoes by the door. Beyond the accumulation of things is the importance of a clear, flowing floor plan. While an overstuffed couch and large comfy chairs may be ideal in your great room for family movie night, they are not appropriate when preparing your home to sell. Large upholstered pieces of furniture make any room appear much smaller thus it is very important to clear out any obtrusive furniture or items that might distract a potential buyer. When a potential buyer enters your home, they should feel drawn into the space and treated to a clear vision of how they would like to live. Chances are, they already own the pieces of furniture you have removed to sell your home so your beautifully styled living space will be the inspiration for them to move right in!
Staging is not a new concept and is widely accepted across the country as a mandatory service in the home sales process. The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey and found that only 94% of realtors agreed that home staging has a positive impact on the buyer’s view of a property. As the Miami real estate market has slowed down, it is essential that sellers position their homes in the best possible light. Stage to sell!
Elizabeth Stiff and Jacqueline Krueger are President and President Elect of the Miami Chapter of RESA, Real Estate Staging Association. They are also the founding partners of PeacefulNest Inc., a boutique home staging and design company servicing our local community. (www.peacefulnestinc.com) 305-800-NEST