• Alushia Fitzgerald

Dressing A House For Success


Photo Courtesy Of: Staging 2 Sell It

What is home staging? Answer: the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.

But honestly it's so much more than this definition. Home staging is an art, a honed skill that is used to create a mood, a feeling, a lifestyle, an idea of what your home (and life could be) if you were to buy it.


Home staging is something that has been around for quite awhile now ever gaining more and more popularity. On the coasts and in large cities it is such a standard that you don't even think about selling your home before it's professionally staged.


Here in the Midwest you can find it, but only regularly in large cities which makes having a home staging business based in a town of around 27,000 with local surrounding areas topping out at about 59,000 sort of a pioneer in the industry if you will. Every client and realtor we meet always asks staging? What is that and why do I need it?

So this post is for all of my sellers and realtors out there who are competing with the new buyer market.



It use to be giving your home a good cleaning, hiding the pet bowls, and sticking a for sale sign in your yard was all the prep you needed to get your home sold fast. Now with existing homes competing against new builds or custom homes added to the shift of the demographics of the average home buyer as a seller you're going to need to adapt to your buyer's must have list is if you want your home to sell quickly and for top dollar. This is where home staging is going to be your secret weapon.


Contrary to what you might think, home staging is not just for those multi-million dollar listings. Sure it might have gotten it start there, but it is beneficial for every home in every price range and every neighborhood. Staging is also more that just preparing your house for sale, it's what comes after you've painted, done minor repairs, decluttered/organized and cleaned. Prepping is a vital first step which I take you through here, but staging is the icing on the cake.


Before After


Staging makes your home look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, and most importantly it helps potential buyers see your home and not your "stuff." Here is where many readers will argue that the "stuff" is great and what makes the house a home, and if I were working for you as an interior designer I would absolutely 110% agree with you. Our homes are personal, the items in it have taken years to accumulate and they reflect who you are, your taste, your style but when you go to put your home on the market to sell it's no longer about you it's about the buyer.


The goal of staging is to make the home speak to the greatest number of buyers in the best possible way. To a potential buyer the personal photos, the overstuffed china cabinet, and the mismatched items in bookcases of your treasured things are only a distraction from the most important thing to them...your home. Having that detachment from the home you are selling is going to be huge in the staging process. Take the professional feedback as a way of helping buyers envision their own belongings in your home and not as a personal attack.


In general buyers decide within the first 30 seconds of entering a home whether or not they are interested. This is why home staging is so important. It allows the home to be presented in the best possible light to give those buyers that instant connection, and to set the home apart from the sea of others on the market.


Before After


The majority of buyers can't look past what is in front of them to appreciate a home's potential. Nowhere this is more true than with a vacant home. In today's market home buying starts online with listing photos. Whether or not a potential buyer decides to look at your home in person is based on the ability of your photos to grab their attention. Which is also why you should have your home photos professionally done. Dark, out of focus, weird angled photos do not do your home any favors and typically end with a quick click to the next listing.


Take the two photos above. While the vacant photo is nice and bright the space has no definition. If you were to see this online you would have trouble understanding if this is an entry, a living room, a dining room or what. In the second photo staging helps the buyer take the guesswork out of the space so they can see how it can work for them.


I cannot stress how important it is to stage a vacant home, especially if you want it to sell quickly and for top dollar. On average a buyer can walk through a vacant home in 5 minutes. A buyer will take an average of 20 minutes to walk through a staged or occupied home. That is 15 more minutes you have to help that buyer create a connection to your home!


Before Images Courtesy Of: Staging 2 Sell It


Why should I hire a Home Stager?

1. A professional home stager will help you increase the perceived value of your home.

2. Having your home professionally staged (either occupied or vacant) helps to justify the listing price.

3. They are an impartial 3rd party who can provide recommendations for areas that require repair, updating, or organizing.

4. They are not emotionally attached to your home so they will look at it as potential buyers would, helping you to eliminate any "red flags" they might see while touring your home.

5. They have training and experience to best showcase your home by highlighting the best features, showing how to use an odd space, and giving purpose to each room.

6. They are on your side to help you eliminate stress and get your home sold quickly and for top dollar.


-Warren Buffet

The biggest mistake a homeowner can make when it comes to home staging is focusing their decision on price. So many homeowners get stuck on how much a home stager is charging rather than the value of the service they'll be receiving. Saving a couple hundred dollars and getting either bad advice or poor quality work can end up costing homeowners thousands as not all home stagers are alike. Effective home staging has a very high return on investment, so consider hiring the highest quality home stager as an investment in the sale of your largest asset, your home.


Just so everyone out there knows, There Are No Official Home Staging Accreditations or Certifications*. This is a completely unlicensed field. The letters you see after some stager's names simply come from a particular training company. There are several companies and now colleges that offer home staging certificates/degrees and should definitely be considered but that should not be the only reason you hire someone. Homeowners need to look at a home stager's website or social media, before and after photos, testimonials, and market knowledge as all of those will hold more weight than some letters after their name.


If you are a homeowner, investor, developer, or realtor and you want your property to stand out from the competition, sell fast for top dollar, and help you turn those showings into sales Contact Us today to see how investing in our professional staging services can pay off big.





*Required Education: No specific requirements, but some complete continuing education courses

Other Requirements: Optional certifications available

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics



Other posts you might enjoy:

Prepping Your Home For Sale

How To Fix Common Design Mistakes

How To Choose The Perfect Neutral Paint



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