Whenever I conduct seminars in the community about Staging, I frequently get asked the question:
"Do I have to buy all new stuff?"
I can't help but smile when I think about why the person asking me that question has that idea. More often than not, people associate Home Staging as they see it on television. With shows that tout: "You too can get your house ready for sale with only $2000!" or "I spent $950 on Staging and it sold in less than two weeks!", it is hard not to have the impression that one must spend plenty of money before selling a home. Some of the designers on television replace the homeowner's possessions with all new furniture and accessories because the "look" they are after cannot be delivered with the homeowner's current possessions.
I am here to tell you the goal of professional stagers is really not to cost you thousands of dollars to Stage your home. In my accreditation course, I was taught that using the homeowner's current possessions is the best course of action in saving them money and gaining the most profit from the sale of their home. The goal is to use creativity to repurpose what homeowners already own to fit the vision for a home. Granted, that doesn't always work and sometimes there do need to be purchases made, but that is where the vendor discounts come in. Most professional stagers have a host of vendors that they receive discounts from and can pass those savings on to their clients. That really helps take the bite out of having to purchase new items.
Creativity here is key! It is so important to look at what you already have and discover new ways to make them work for your space. I recently read a blog post from a Teresa Meyer, owner of Stage A Star in Cincinnati. She had a house that was filled with antique furniture. She reused the homeowner's existing antique sofa and made the living room look fabulous! It saved the homeowners a ton of money and oh, by the way, did I tell you it sold within a week. Teresa repurposed and repositioned furniture and accessories that the homeowner already possessed! That is getting the most bang for your Staging dollars!
When furnishing a home, there a few ideas that I would like for homeowners to keep in mind - whether they are selling or staying. Keep big items neutral whenever possible. No one wants to replace a sofa every four years! Bring pattern, texture and color in with accessories and smaller upholstery pieces. It will save money in the long run. Neutral pieces can be livened up with just a change of color on the wall or the addition of throw pillows or area rugs.
When purchasing accessories for the home, keep adaptability in mind. Target accessories that can be updated for the seasons or color changes quickly. It is easy and inexpensive to update the color of a candle as opposed to purchasing a whole new table vignette.
It can be quite daunting to purchase accessories for a home. Having a professional to assist with making informed choices goes a long way in saving money. If you would like additional information about choosing transitional accessories for your home, I will be at Whitt's End: Home and Garden on May 28 at 6:30pm. Refreshments will be served and there will be a short demonstration on how to choose the right accessories for your home.
If homeowners make good choices to begin with, they will not have to ask their Stager if they have to "buy all new stuff". They will be confident knowing that they have items in place that will create an inviting atmosphere that buyers will be interested in. This ultimately creates good news for one's living environment and wallet.
This article was posted in The News Enterprise, May 22, 2009 by Sheila O'Mara