To Stage or Not to Stage
Of course, I may be somewhat biased in my opinion but “to stage” is my choice. The first time I began hearing about staging was during my binge watching of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing (New York and Los Angeles). The stellar agents were always referring to the “stagers” and this house must “be staged” before it could be shown. Whether it was a vacant staging (no furniture) or an occupied staging (home still occupied), the results were always spectacular. Although these are multi-million dollar homes being presented on these shows, all homes regardless of price, benefit from the art of staging.
Take a look at the before and after photos below of a home that was staged in Toronto. It was an occupied staging and the owner was putting the house on the market and planning to move within 3 months. So the family would still be in the home while it was being shown to potential buyers. The before photo of the master bedroom is how it appeared when we arrived. A lovely room but my first impression if I was a prospect is that it looks “lived in.” I would see the owner and not myself living there.
Part of staging can include moving furniture from one room to another. For example, the chair on the left was swapped out for a chair that was originally in the family room. That one change lightened the room, making it appear more spacious and comfortable. You will also notice that the bookshelf in the right corner, filled with books and personal items was removed from the room. Leaving that corner empty added to the larger appearance of the room, making it less cramped. A mirror was added to the wall which was a great accent. Mirrors also help in giving the illusion of more space. The throw and the pillow were placed on the bench as warm accent pieces to give the bedroom a personal feel. In addition, the comforter was changed and the dark green pillow cases replaced with lighter ones to brighten the room even more. The final touch were the props added to the nightstand so that potential buyers could see how they could live in the space and how it would make them feel. Turn on the lights and Voila! The room has gone from dim, cramped and impersonal to warm, open, spacious and inviting.
Staged homes mean better MLS photos, which typically leads to more traffic, which can lead to more offers, which could increase the profit to the seller. A properly staged home is a win-win situation for all involved!