Setting the Stage to Sell

Setting the Stage to Sell

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In a buyer’s market, selling a house can be quite the headache. But consulting with a home staging company or staging your home yourself can help you achieve a quicker sale at a higher price.


Staging means “selling the space.” When products are marketed for sale, the packaging is what first attracts the consumer. Therefore, when selling residential real estate, our personal homes are transformed into a marketable product via staging.


Staging uses four steps to complete this process. The first step is to enhance the positives in a space. The “positives” include the room’s shape, doorways and natural light sources like windows. After maximizing the positives, work to minimize the negatives. This can mean making a small room or window look larger or setting a consistent color palette throughout the property. When choosing a color palette, remember that interior designers often focus on bold accessories and color palettes while home stagers work to neutralize the decor and colors.


To make a breakfast area or dining room appear larger, remove any leaves in the table. Then place chairs, preferably only two, on only two sides of the table. Having chairs on all four sides of a table takes up visual air space while placing chairs on only two sides of a table creates a cleaner space.


While trying to sell a house, prospective buyers need to be able to see themselves living in a space before they will make an offer. To help aid in this process, take the third step: de-personalize. Remove personal photos, award certificates, and other personal items, including teen posters and children’s sports trophies. These items can be displayed again after moving to the next home.


Along the same lines as de-personalizing a space, is the fourth step of the process: de-cluttering. De-cluttering a space can help transform a house into a sale. For an owner occupied property, “less is more” because fewer items translates into more space. For an investor property, though, “more is money” because bringing in furniture and decor items transforms a vacant property into a warmer environment and creates a friendlier atmosphere.


So for owner-occupied properties, remove unnecessary items, such as artwork, decor items and furniture pieces. In the kitchen, homeowners should pack away anything they have not used in the last three months.


De-personalizing and de-cluttering can be a difficult project to execute successfully because of personal attachments. To help ensure success, start by removing all items in a room. Then decide which items to place back in the space. You will be very choosy about what you put back into the room because once the item has been removed, the importance of that item for the room decreases.120108FASHION2.jpg


What you have after redesigning the room are the “cluttered items,” or those items that did not go back in the space. These items can now be donated, re-purposed or packed away with proper labeling so that you can locate them later.


Re-purposing an item changes the use of the item. For example, a silverware divider can be used to organize small tools in the garage or crayons and markers in the play room.


When consulting a professional home stager, they will present you with a written consultation report. This report will contain several sections, including:


  1. Items to be completed by the homeowner — These are usually maintenance items, those things we should always be doing but sometimes put off for a later date. Now is the time to get them done.
  2. Items to be completed by the home stager — This will be an itemized list set up room by room. At this point, the homeowner could follow this list and do the work themselves.
  3. The price and time allotment to complete this project.
  4. Acceptance and payment terms.


Home staging is a valuable and necessary tool to promote and sell property in today’s market and in the future. Studies show that home staging causes property to sell faster and to sell at higher prices. You have heard the phrase “Put your best foot forward,” so put your best house forward by enhancing it through home staging.


Editor’s note: Click here to see more design ideas from The Edgecliff.


Maureen Jacob

Location: The Edgecliff Private Residences