What is the Value of Staging Your Frederick Home?
The Staging Industry has been evolving over the last 20 years, out of a series of experiences and practices. Experienced stagers develop an intuition about staging principles, with a very subjective value to others in the real estate industry. Some real estate agents offer staging services, believing it is a very important part of marketing a home. Some believe it works well in some markets and neighborhoods, but not in others. These top 15 staging rules are sure to help any seller present their home in the best possible light.
The first objective and semi-scientific approach to measure the value of staging a home was a recent study from Duke University. Andrea Angott, Ph.D. , conducted a study which admittedly is a first attempt at empirically testing the theories of staging. 457 respondents rated a list of staging principles, with the reasons why the item was of importance given. Ratings were made on a 7-point scale from 1 = “Not at all important” to 7 = “Extremely important.”
The top 15 Staging Rules:
1. Remove personal items from bathrooms such as used bars of soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Common Reasons: Disgusting, clutter, too personal, prevents buyers from imagining the house as “theirs”.
2. Use rooms for their intended purpose (the dining room should contain dining furniture and not be used for an office).
- Buyers can’t visualize things differently than what they see, implies there isn’t enough space, may not realize intended purpose of space.
3. Remove evidence of pets (food bowls, litter boxes, etc.)
- Makes buyers worry about lingering odors/contaminants/allergens/damage, may even cause buyers to imagine any of the above when none exist, off-putting to people who don’t like pets.
4. Turn on every light in the house during showings.
- Makes space look large, positive emotional reaction, indicates there is nothing to hide.
- Make sure everything is clean, because the light will show every dirty spot!
5. A house on the market should be furnished rather than empty.
- Empty houses feel cold, furnished houses feel warm and welcoming, furnishings can make space seem bigger, show buyers how the room is used or how their belongings would fit in the space.
6. Remove garbage cans.
- Smelly, unattractive, take up space, indicates there is no hidden space for it.
7. Don’t have any personal photographs (of people) displayed in the house.
- Hard for buyers to imagine the home as “theirs”, they focus on photos rather than home, makes them feel invasive, buyers may be judgmental or biased.
8. Remove art or accessories that are especially attention-grabbing or personal.
- Buyers evaluate and remember the art rather than the house, people can have a negative reaction to art and transfer that to the house.
9. Paint all walls neutral colors.
- Inoffensive, appealing to the widest population, helps buyers imagine their own furniture in the room, less concerned with matching their belongings to the walls. Remember, neutral doesn’t have to mean white.
10. Remove coffee maker, toaster, etc. from kitchen counter.
- Kitchen counters look bigger and neater, implies there is enough cabinet space, instead of too little.
11. Don’t have the back of furniture facing the entrance to a room.
- Unwelcoming, awkward traffic pattern, interrupts “flow”, makes room feel smaller.
12. “Tell a story” with your staging, ie. breakfast tray with coffee mugs on the bed.
- Feels warm, makes emotional connections, causes buyers to imagine their life will be different in ideal ways if they lived there.
13. Windows should have sheer coverings or no coverings at all.
- Sunlight is emotionally uplifting, makes space feel bigger,shows off outdoor spaces.
14. Use scented candles, plug-in air fresheners, or potpourri.
- Warm an inviting, masks unpleasant odors. (Note: many respondents said that smells should be subtle).
15. Remove some of your clothes from the closets, thin out the linens and items from storage closets. The same goes for your kitchen cabinets. Consider it pre-packing for your move.
- Buyers want to know that all of their belongings are going to fit. Crowded storage spaces, no matter how large, leave the impression that there isn’t enough room.
This study, although not scientific or empirical, is valuable in that it gets to the emotional and esoteric effects of each staging principle. When you see the effect on the psyche of the buyer, the value of correct staging is very persuasive. These top 15 Staging Rules For Frederick Sellers will prove to be valuable when you get your home ready for the market.
- Four Common Staging Mistakes
- Using Fresh Flowers in Staging
- Getting Your Home Ready for the Market
- Getting Your Home Ready for the Market Part 2
The Highland Group
Frederick, Md 21704