Home staging is no longer simply a buzzword, but a mainstream concept that has forever changed the way residential real estate is marketed. Nowadays we acknowledge that every home needs to be staged to some degree.
In a perfect world, every agent would have the necessary education and feel confident enough to offer guidance to sellers as a free service so as to properly prepare their homes for the real estate market.
As if agents don’t already have enough to do when listing a home, sellers today expect their agent to broach the topic of home staging. After all, they too have been watching HGTV. Today’s buyers are busier, pickier and savvier than ever before.
Enter the 'Stagent', a valuable agent with additional knowledge, skills and resources at their fingertips. Realistically speaking the average seller does not want to foot the bill of a professional stager; they would rather spend any extra cash on their new home. The Stagent helps to keep extra spending down to a minimum.
The home staging process begins several weeks before the home is listed and involves hours of preparation for the final presentation. The initial task is to create a great first impression and to provide a pleasant journey from the curb to the front door.
The front door area is the first place the potential buyer will actually stop and look around while the agent opens the door. And so we set the stage for a potential love affair to begin.
Home Staging differs from interior decorating, in many ways. When we decorate, we take the client’s personal taste and lifestyle into account, but when we stage we take into account the demographics of the area so as to appeal to the people who are likely to be house hunting in the area where the home is being listed. We take each home and feature it prominently, so as to show it in it’s best possible light.
We stress the importance of presenting a home that is in a good state of repair and that is scrupulously clean. No one wants to move into a new home and spend days cleaning out someone else’s dirt.
Keep in mind that there are complete strangers walking through your ‘open house’. We depersonalize by removing a long list of personal items and in doing so we remove the family from the home and also ensure the safety of both the homeowners and the agent.
As Stagents, we are resourceful and will work with the seller’s own furniture and accessories while paring down clutter. We will also have the necessary resources for furniture rental should the need arise. Showing a light, bright, clean and uncluttered space is the ultimate objective.
Just as no two homes and no two sellers are ever the same, no two staging scenarios will ever be the same either. There are many variations depending on factors such as the condition of the home, whether it’s inhabited, whether it’s furnished and the condition of the furniture.
We address the exterior of the home, just as we do the interior; after all, it’s the exterior of the home that potential buyers see first. Staging a home at any price point, anywhere in the world, requires a set formula.
Now, please don’t think we expect agents to climb a stepladder or don painters overalls. We empower the seller by providing support in the form of checklists, suggestions for organization, handy tips and resources.
Today’s agents need to embrace all the skills, and have at their disposal many of the resources of a professional stager. This additional set of tools will increase the agent’s value, credibility and marketability.
About the Contributor
Andy Capelluto - author, speaker, educator
International School of Staging
Home staging not only differs greatly from interior design or interior decorating, but is also a whole lot easier It’s a formula that anyone can learn. Her new book The Power of Staging - A Seller’s guide to Home Staging guides the seller through the very simple, graphic step-by-step process.
Stagent® is a term that Andy Capelluto coined and trademarked ten years ago. It is a real estate agent who has gone through the 8 hour course. They also offer the CSA Designation - (Certified Staging Agent)
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