December 18, 2014 Lydia Gable

What is a Staging Expert? Why It's Important?

Will the Dining Room Table Fit?

What is a staging expert? Essentially a home staging expert is there to anticipate the home buyer’s expectations before the showing. The staging is sort of the visual answer to common questions like “How will my furniture fit in the space” or “Where will my bed go?” or “Is the kitchen a good space to cook?” and “Does the home get a lot of light?”

When a realtor stages a home with real furniture and accessories, it’s easier for the buyer to visualize where things will fit. The aim is usually to create an upscale feel in order to achieve the desired sale price. A good staging expert not only knows the space, but has a good understanding ofwho the buyer is.

An Over-Looked Part of the Selling Experience

As a staging expert myself, I can’t stress the importance of finding a realtor who is an expert in this often over-looked part of the selling experience. Good staging is a balance between enough furniture to fit the space while still creating the element of spaciousness, imagination, and minimalist design. (For more 2014 design trends that lean more toward clean minimalist spaces and a blue palette, see my article, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014).

When choosing a realtor, make sure that he or she is indeed an experienced home staging expert. Below are a few must-dos when staging the home for buyers, so you know ahead of time, what itshould look like.

1. Maid Service Anyone?

It’s no accident that five star hotels present rooms as first and foremost, sparkling clean right down to a fresh, corner-folded roll of toilet paper. Your house should be sparkling clean. Don’t assume that the buyer will understand that someone lives there. Most staging experts will have a cleaning service come in to make the floors sparkle and the place have that scent of clean. Remember, buyers will open the cabinets, the closets, look behind doors, and under throw rugs. Don’t let dust or grime become deterrents to a great sale.

2. Your Home is a Show Case

An article in Realtor Magazine, Staging: Small Things Can Make a Big Difference does a really nice job of illustrating through the use of before and after photos, how small changes can make a huge difference psychologically for a buyer.

In these before and after pictures the kitchen counters are transformed from ‘lived in/organized’ into a kitchen show piece. As stated in the article, the expert purchased just a few items including vases for $40; pears and a tray for $25; and towels $8

Photo: Cynthia Howe

3.) The Home Starts at the Curb

As I stated in my article How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value, don’t ignore the home’s curb appeal. The garden, the light fixtures, the walkway even the front door—all of these elements are ‘on stage’ when a buyer drives up to the home. Even a door knocker – believe or not — can add to the feel of the home.

‘It Used to be an Extra, Now It’s Just an Essential’

Real estate mogul and the ABC’s Shark Tank star, Barbara Corcoran suggests that staging is no longer a choice if you wish for your home listing to be competitive. In January, Barbara Corcoran spoke at the Real Estate Staging Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas. In an interview with RESA’s CEO Shell Brodnax, Corcoran summed up the need for home staging.

There is no better way to end this article and sum up the importance of good home staging the with Corcoran’s succinct statement:

… 9 out of 10 people start their search online…home staging used to be an extra, now it’s just an essential. Why wouldn’t someone stage a home if they want to get more money for their house?

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® and staging expert who has helped countless clients buy and sell homes in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this article or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in Westlake Village or the surrounding areas, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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