Staging to Fit Any Budget
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
It is no secret staging a home for sale has a positive impact on price and time on the market. While staging is optional in some parts of the country, locally it is understood and expected by both sellers and buyers. Having watch hundreds of buyers while showing homes, I can unequivocally state staging makes a positive difference.
While becoming commonplace for listing agents to cover the cost of staging, there are still regions in the Bay Area where the seller is expected to pay. Fortunately, there is a level of staging to fit every budget. Levels 1 and 2 apply to occupied homes, levels 3 through 6 are for vacant homes.
This is Staging 101 and includes two steps. First, the home is extensively decluttered with all personal pictures, collections, knickknacks, and so on removed. The rule is “No more than 3 items on any horizontal surface.” Second, the home’s belongings are moved around to optimize the look and feel of the home.
This level also starts with decluttering, but includes a stager bringing in additional pieces from their inventory to upgrade the overall look of the home. This could include pictures, plants or pieces of furniture as needed.
This is the entry-level for vacant homes. Rather than bringing in extensive furniture and accents, key areas are highlighted with groupings of objects. As an example, a collection of objects on a kitchen counter or fireplace mantel.
Instead of using real furniture, “prop” or “faux” furniture made of plastic or cardboard is used to define a space. Rather than a moving truck pulling up with real furniture, the stager shows up in a car with flats or bags of “furniture” that are assembled on site. For examples go to www.cubiqzusa.com.
With the advent of COVID-19, many of us were forced to look for alternatives to staging. We turned to companies such as www.boxbrownie.com/virtual-staging – we take pictures, send them off and they are returned with furniture photoshopped in. The cost is dramatically less than full staging.
This is still the gold standard and the one that resonates the most with buyers. When they see a gorgeously staged home online, they fully anticipate being able to visit and experience the home with the staging in place.
Shakespeare stated, “All the world’s a stage.” Staging brings the show home.
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.