Stage, Stage, Stage

By:  Linda Shropshire Grissom

Staging, a relatively familiar buzz word in the real estate industry is defined as the re-arranging and accessorizing of home furnishings to create universal appeal. Staging enhances a property’s positive features which result in better photographs, marketing collateral and web presence. Staging beckons a potential buyer to linger and feel right at home. 

Every realtor worth their salt will recite this to you. HGTV devotes hours per day to shows like “Designed to Sell” and “Get It Sold”, to show tangible  proof that staging is essential. So why am I chanting it again? Simply put, staging works.

The Facts:

  • During a competitive real estate market, staged homes seize  the attention of  buyers from first sight.
  • Exceptionally staged homes sell within weeks, while others remain on the market for months..
  • Many well staged listings entertain multiple offers, even in a down market and command top dollar.

When I started my real estate career eight years ago, I took it upon myself to re-arrange  furniture and accessories for my new listings.  No matter what I saw when I walked into a property, I was immediately struck by what I could do to make the environment more appealing. Soon thereafter, I heard the word “staging” and realized it was something, that while few appreciated at the time, made a monumental difference in getting my properties noticed. 

I silently built a niche for myself providing “staging” services to each of my new listings. I accumulated a garage full of lamps, plants, framed art, towels, cookbooks and a host of  other accessories. I noticed right away that other agents enjoyed showing my listings and buyers were romanced by the Cabernet and wine glasses strategically placed on the counter. My listings sold and fast. 

Staging has boasted a whole new career path for individuals with the aptitude for space, beauty and form.  A professional stager can demand anywhere from $150-200 for a consultation to $2000 or more for full service staging. I dare say well worth every penny.

A professional stager not within your budget? Here are a few things to remember:

  • Staging goes beyond decorating and cleaning. It is about creating a mood.
  • Plant flowers or establish container gardens on your porch and buyers will swarm to your front door.
  • Set the stage with your foyer. Create a super clean, balanced and inviting environment. Sparse, simple and universal accessories are a sure bet.
  • Place a major focus on your kitchen. New appliances bring high return. Store all counter appliances and kitchen tools. Set the stage as if you are planning for a dinner party.
  • No matter how attached you are to the wood grain, paint the panelling.

Whether you hire a professional stager or plan to do it yourself, your investment in staging  is sure to pay off and put you heads above the competition. Get it started today!

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