I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

Let me just say upfront, home staging is not rocket science, but by the same token not everyone has the skill to do it well.  I’ve heard staging skeptics make remarks such as, “Hey, if you want to pay me $150 to come over and tell you to turn the lights on for showings I will be right over.”

I will admit that some staging advice would fall into the category of common sense.  For example, a professional home stager will probably remind you to:

  • Take out the trash everyday so odors don’t build up in the property
  • Open the drapes (or remove them if out of style) to let in the light
  • Don’t let horizontal surfaces fill up with clutter
  • Turn on lights for showings

On my website I have a complete checklist of common sense things that a seller should do each and everyday to enable them to say yes to a showing at a moments notice.  I know it may seem like common sense to make your bed before leaving the house, but a gentle reminder in the form of a checklist can help make those new habits stick.

But what a good professional home stager will also do is look at your space objectively. He or she will be able to quickly identify the best feature in the room and determine if it is the first thing that catches a buyer’s attention when they walk into the room.  If it isn’t she will know what to do to remedy the situation.

She will have the ability to read the room quickly.  If there is too much furniture in the room she can quickly identify the pieces that should stay and what needs to go into storage.

A good home stager also keeps alerts to trends and design innovations.  Sometimes when you have been in a home for awhile you become numb to the décor.  I follow the trends so I know what will appeal to today’s buyers and what will turn them off.

Some Real Estate Agents have a very good idea of what needs to be done to make a property appeal to buyers.  The problem is that they want to keep you happy and keep your listing.  They might make a couple of recommendations, but then they stop.  Why? Because, you prefer to hear about what they like about your property rather than what they don’t like.

The Real Estate Agent wants to be your friend, and show their appreciation for your business.  They want to play the good cop. They call me in to be the bad cop!

Home staging is also referred to as real estate staging and property staging, and house staging.  No matter what you call it, it is a very good investment for anyone preparing their home for the market and it is a win, win, win scenario.

  •  You win by managing your time well. If you invest in home staging you will get specific advice about what changes will have the most impact on the saleability of your property. This will enable you to focus your limited time on the right things.
  •  The real estate agent wins because he or she has a quality product to take to the market,
  •  I win because I make a living doing work that I am passionate about and excel at.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a staging consultation today. You can also reach me by email.

Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Do You Remember the Story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears?

  • Sometimes the porridge is too hot,
  • sometimes the porridge is too cold,
  • and sometimes the porridge is just right

The same is true with home staging. I have been staging vacant and owner occupied properties in the St. Paul, MN areas for many years and I see staging results that are:

  • too hot …busy and distracting
  • too cold…uninspired and leave you flat, and
  • just right…that’s where I like my projects to be!

busy decor in staged vacant property

TOO HOT!

Here is an example of the staging being too hot!

A buyer viewing this property on the MLS or in person would likely miss the great features the space has to offer because his or her eye is drawn to

  • the large green plant looming in the foreground,
  • the enormous vase of flowers on the sideboard and
  • even more flowers on the window treatment and the table.

Home staging is all about making the property appeal to the maximum number of buyers. A skilled stager will stage the property to appeal to the lifestyle and taste of the target buyer.

This property is in Highland Park, MN, a neighborhood in St. Paul, MN.  Highland Park appeals to young professional families. Most 30 somethings would not relate to this decorating style, it might even remind them of their grannies house. I bet that most would not make a listing appointment after viewing this on-line.

Home buyers in St Paul, Minnesota are discriminating and sophisticated.  This staged vacant home would not be on the top of their must see list.

I wonder if a buyer would even notice that updated light fixture, the beautiful hard wood floor and the generous size window that lets in lots of natural light?

stripped staged vacant

 TOO COLD

Then there is the other extreme.  A property that is stripped of all accessories and only has a piece of furniture placed under a light fixture to keep buyers from bumping their heads is also not going to capture positive attention either.

In this picture a buyer would be struck by how crowded the room is with the sideboard and the table completing for the space. The room is cold because there are no accessories on the table, or art work to soften the wall, or rug to anchor the table in the space.

I think most buyers would pass up this listing on line because their first impression would be that the dining room is too small to be really useful.

perfectly staged vacant dining room

JUST RIGHT

And now we have a room that is simple but lovely.  The sideboard has been moved out, accessories have been added to the table, art has been added to the walls, a small natural element has been placed in the corner to soften the angles in the room, and an area rug has been placed under the table.  Oh…and let’s not forget about the floral
from the window.  Too taste specific, it had to be removed.

Staging a vacant home in this crowded St. Paul, MN real estate market is critical.  But just as important is hiring the stager that will get it JUST RIGHT.  You can count on me to do just that!

Make It A Great One!