Listening to a Stager – Don’t Take it Personally, Just Take it Down!

A few months ago, I wrote about the importance of staging from the perspective of a real estate agent. This month I’m turning over my column to one of my favorite stagers so she can share some useful tips to take the stress out of staging

As a stager, I love the challenge of finding all the little things that owners don’t see in their own homes and showing how to fix them. My job is to make your home appeal to a broader, more diverse audience. However, sometimes what I might suggest in an interior design scenario would not be what I would suggest for a staging. Interior design and decoration are very personal; as a stager we want your home to be more marketable. There is a difference. I mention this because I often get eye rolls in the beginning that generally turn into gratitude after I’m done. For example, I may absolutely love the artwork you have in your family room and you may too, but I might suggest you take it down for your staging. Some clients just don’t like to hear this.

Also, many people assume that you have to buy new things for staging, but this is not always necessary. You might buy some LED lightbulbs, touch-up paint, and a new set of towels for your bathroom, but the majority of my staging jobs involve removing items, cleaning, painting, and re-arranging. Just think, when you do move, you will already have some of that stuff you’ve collected over the years packed up and ready to go!

Here are some tips I offer when it comes to staging:

· Take down those personal family photos.

· Schedule a good deep clean of the whole house and hire someone to shampoo your carpets, rugs, and furniture (you’ve been meaning to do that anyway, right?).

· Buy a Mr. Clean magic eraser and touch-up paint to repair scuffed up walls.

If the stager tells you to sell your oversized sectional … my advice is to just do it! Remember, you will be moving to a new place and chances are it won’t fit in your new space anyway. The money you will make by selling your home faster you can use to buy yourself a new sectional that is even more comfortable and fits in your new room. If you don’t want to sell it, then just store it or put it in the garage. Chances are the stager suggested it so potential buyers could see the size of the room or your beautiful hardwood floors.

My most hesitant clients in the beginning are also the ones who end up telling me they wish they had staged their home before they even envisioned selling it because I helped them see the potential of a room or space, or made it feel more comfortable. If you listen to the advice of an experienced stager, you will end up loving your last days in that home you are trying to sell, and the whole process will be easier and less stressful.

Suzan Zeolla is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Briarcliff. She has over 20 years of real estate experience.

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About the Author: Heather Schneider