Understanding the Occupied Staging Process
If you are selling your home, the first impression is everything. Buyers don’t want to have to look past your personalization to envision living in your house. They need to see how big the rooms are and to mentally “move-in”.
Vacant staging is when no one is living in the house. The homeowners moved out or it is an investment property. Since the house is empty, all furniture and accessories are brought in by the stager to create a lifestyle.
An occupied staging is when the house is on the market and the homeowners are still living in the house. A professional stager works with the existing contents of the house, but less of it. The goal here is to showcase the house, not the contents, which can distract from the architectural features.
Staging can make the difference between top dollar and lingering on the market. There are many options for staging a house and one size does not fit all. From the basic consultation, where the homeowner implements instructions given by the professional stager to the hands on rearranging, staging prepares the house for its close-up. Sometimes decorative accessories are brought in, either by the stager or homeowner to set the stage for photography and showings.
If the house is well maintained and updated, the focus may be more on editing each room. If the house needs to be refreshed, cost effective items will be discussed during the consultation. As a professional stager, my goal has always been to save my client’s money. Over the years of being in the business, I have stopped my client’s from major unnecessary renovations. If the return on investment is not there, save your money put it towards your new house.
Staged homes typically sell faster and for more money than unstaged similar homes. If a house stays on the market without an offer, the price will be reduced. As much as it costs to stage a vacant house with furniture rental and accessories, it still costs less that that first price reduction. Occupied stagings do not require bringing in furniture and costs a fraction of the price of a vacant.
By using what the homeowner already owns and bringing in a few key accessories, the house will look and feel better. Most sellers have everything they need to set the stage except the vision to put it all together. If there are similar homes on the market, the staged house will stand out from the competition.
Never forget the power of sweat equity. The more a seller does to get their house ready for sale, the better chances they have to sell quickly and for top dollar. Professionals can be hired to do the work but many will do-it-yourself.
From my recent move/downsizing, I can share my biggest lesson learned: Edit and forget it! It is impossible to move the contents of a large house into a smaller house. Besides, setting up a new house, I moved my staging inventory, which consists of all the decorative accessories I use to stage homes. As much as I purged, I am still unpacking, organizing and donating. My last column listed local places to donate. A comment I have heard regularly over the years: “We should have been living like this all along”.
The cost of staging is less than the first price reduction.
Claudia Jacobs is professional stager, decorator and owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Newburgh. Visit claudiajacobsdesigns.com or call 294-8993. Send questions and photos to ClaudiaJacobsDesigns@gmail.com.