Cincy Chic: Can you tell me what "staging" is?
Sharon Colvill, owner of Eye 4 Design Interiors: Staging is preparing a home to successfully sell by neutralizing and de-personalizing it, so that it appeals to as many buyers as possible. Statistics show that staged homes sell in an average of 33 days versus homes that are not staged, which can sit on the market for an average of 196 days or more. Therefore, it’s important to educate sellers on the fact that the way you live in your home is different from the way that you sell your house, and since your house is now a product, you want your product to stand out from all the others.
Cincy Chic: Why did you get interested in staging?
Colvill: I became interested in staging because as a realtor, I saw the benefits of staging firsthand. I believe whole-heartedly that staging is critical to a quick sale, especially in this tough housing market, which is saturated with inventory. Because it can be difficult to eliminate the emotion of how you see your house and put yourself in the place of the buyer who wants to be able to envision themselves living in your house, hiring a professional stager gives sellers the advantage they need to hit the market as prepared as possible.
Cincy Chic: Tell me about your staging business and when you got started.
Colvill: When I decided to close the chapter on my career as a realtor, I decided to pursue my passion for staging and decorating full-time. In October of 2009, I started Eye 4 Design Interiors, which specializes in staging, de-cluttering, organizing, accessorizing and re-designing home and office spaces. In addition, I received my designation as an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) to further develop my talents, skills and abilities.
Cincy Chic: What kind of prior experience do you bring to your staging business?
Colvill: I believe that with more than 15 years of experience helping clients successfully navigate the process of selling their homes, I have an advantage in the area of staging because it allows me to combine my knowledge and training in real estate with my creativity and organizational skills. I’m able to communicate what steps need to be taken in an effective and efficient way, while making sure to acknowledge the challenges that are often present during a time of transition.
Cincy Chic: What kind of special certifications do you need to be a stager?
Colvill: Although there are several certifications available in the area of staging, I became an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) because I believe this program, developed by Barb Schwarz, the founder of StagedHomes.com, is the most comprehensive training available and gives the home stager all the tools necessary to succeed.
Cincy Chic: What should someone look for when hiring a staging professional?
Colvill: I suggest that if you’re looking to hire a staging professional, make sure he or she is accredited and, because this individual will be coming into your home and either giving you staging suggestions or directly handling your personal property, it’s important they are insured and trustworthy.
Cincy Chic: What are some of the success stories you’ve experienced since starting your staging business?
Colvill: Since starting my business, I’ve developed relationships with several realtors who’ve chosen to make working with me an automatic part of their listing presentation as a means of giving their sellers every advantage over the other listings in the marketplace. The agents that incorporate me into their marketing plan recognize that I’m skilled at what I do and will help their homeowners sell their home faster and for more money. Simply put, staging is the most effective and efficient way to sell a house in today’s marketplace!