All home staging companies are not created equal – make sure the one you hire will stage your home and not just declutter itA few weeks ago we were having a lunch with a Realtor friend, Pat Duffey of Better Living Real Estate. She told us about a real estate agent she knows who works with a home stager on every one of her listings. She went on to explain that the home stager goes into the home with storage bins and re-organizes and re-arranges the home owner's belongings. She puts any clutter into the bins and instructs the home owner to remove these items for the duration of the sale. This sounds like a great service, however, this isn't home staging.Home staging is the act of preparing a home for sale so that buyers will see the beauty and potential of the home and make an offer. This is done by way of decluttering, depersonalizing, cleaning, rearranging, updating, and artfully adding décor items to stylize the home. Typically, the home owner is in charge of going through their belongings and decluttering, cleaning, and depersonalizing. Then, the home staging company can come in and conduct the actual staging by adding décor items. The service we mentioned above stops at decluttering and rearranging meaning the home is never actually staged.
Please note: I'm not putting down anyone who helps home sellers declutter. I feel 100% confident that this service helps home sellers make the home look better before going on the market. However, I don't believe they should call themselves a home stager. I also believe agents who promote these "stagers" are doing their clients a disservice because it is only taking their home partially there, meaning they are leaving money on the table.We actually hear this misconception quite often that a home that is neutral, clean, and depersonalized is staged. However, this is what a home would look like if you stopped there:Although clean and neutral, it feels bland and boring.And this is what it looks like after a home staging company works their magic:As you can see, staging the home with décor items add interest, color, and style. All of which are needed to produce the highest perceived value and make buyers desire your home. A true home staging company will provide the décor items to transform the home into a highly desired property.Recently, we staged a home in Wakefield. They were using their dining room as an office and catch all room, which was the way the home functioned best for them. However, when selling, this is not an ideal situation. Not only does it make buyers think there is no area for dining, they also assume there is no designated office.If the agent mentioned above had their "stager" come in, the best she could do was pack up the boxes, and tidy up the desk. Although it may look better, it would not solve the core issue. This was a job for a professional home staging company!We advised our client to remove the large chair, boxes, filing cabinet, and desk. Then we brought in a dining table and four chairs from our inventory. A console from another room was moved in to act as a server. Lastly, we staged the room with dishes, a floral centerpiece, mirror, art and other items. Now the room has a clear function and the décor items add the style buyers are looking for. Not surprisingly, the home sold at the first open house with multiple offers for over asking price. I'm willing to bet that this wouldn't have been the outcome had the other "stager" come in and removed the clutter.As a member of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), we know and support many women who own a home staging company. We all understand the value of home staging and go far beyond decluttering. If you are planning on listing your home, make sure you hire a professional home staging company who will truly stage your home to appeal to buyers.Download our Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Home Staging Company for more information on what criteria you should be looking for when researching a home staging company.Call us at 781-489-8489 today to schedule a FREE home staging consultation.