By: Tina Escalante
Many years ago, back when “Farrah hair” was all the rage (Farrah Fawcett, for all you millennials, and yes, I did sport this look for a while!), I started getting really interested in interior decorating as a potential career path. Home Staging wasn’t yet a “thing”…heck, it wasn’t even a phrase yet! Since then, there has been quite a transition from “what is it?” (staging) to “I need it to sell my house!” It seems everywhere you turn these days, there are magazines, online advertisements and tv shows (my guilty pleasure, marathon watching HGTV) that highlight dramatic before-and-after pictures of some real estate ugly ducklings becoming beautiful, expensive, fast-selling swans! Could it really be? I mean, can’t buyers SEE how wonderful and valuable my home is, without all the pomp and circumstance? Quick answer: Nope! Most people are extremely visually literal and cannot magically see, i.e., imagine, the potential in a vacant or cluttered space. Could the average person see that ugly duckling as a swan? Probably not! It’s the same in real estate. Most of us need to be shown how a house or room could look or function…that innate ability to visualize it, isn’t a given in your potential buyer. I am lucky because that is one of my strengths. I can’t draw free-hand to save my life, and my previous attempts at dancing have probably looked more like a seizure, but I can look at an empty space and see it finished with furniture in place, artwork hanging and beautiful place settings on the table. Look, I know you love your home, I love mine too, but I know you might not “dig” my obsession with all things nautical! I have to admit, I would probably be secretly salty if someone came to my house and clearly didn’t dig it’s beachy vibe, but at least I would try to understand and respect their right to have their own style! The point I’m trying to make is that one of the key elements of staging is to depersonalize your home, eliminating the possibility that a buyer may have a negative reaction to your choice of décor or colors, or feel uncomfortable because of all the pictures of you and your family that are everywhere (I know…I am guilty of this too!). So, in answer to the question, do I really need to stage my home, the answer is most likely a resounding YES! If you’re home isn’t already model-like and you don’t live by a minimalist standard, industry statistics show that staging will help you sell faster and for more money than if you had done nothing…so it essentially pays for itself, and then some! It does take some careful thought and consideration, planning and execution, but Staging is a very useful and effective tool to help buyers “see” your home in its best light, so they can picture it as their new home…ahhh…the goal achieved!
Check back for next month’s article, “So You’ve Finally Decided to Stage Your Home, now What?!”