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A New Way To Think About Home Staging

Posted by Karen on August 24, 2020

Written by Karen Hutchinson, REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

Staging for Living vs. Staging for Selling

Staging is not decorating, and decorating is not staging. When you decorate your home to live in, you want people to notice your things. When you stage your home for sale, you want people to notice your space.

We live in a world where HGTV has become a fixture in our television viewing habits. This reality has created elevated expectations for those shopping for their next home to buy.

These expectations are generally unrealistic. Most people who are selling a home don’t have access to a television crew of professional designers, decorators, and contractors. And they don’t have the budget it takes to produce the “after” version of a home that needs updating or a complete renovation.

That may seem like depressing news for some homeowners who are trying to sell. But, things are not as bad as they seem.

There are things you can do to your own home to create a welcoming environment for home buyers to feel comfortable in. Buyers will be able to start to dream and plan for their life as the new owner of your home.

This is exactly what you want when you are trying to get your home sold quickly, and for the most money possible!

Staging to live in your home

You love to be surrounded by things that matter to you in your home. I get that. Everything like souvenirs and photos from your travels, your children’s artwork, the colour choices you make for your home furnishings, and even the goofy magnets on your refrigerator that make you laugh every time you reach inside for your favourite bottle of chardonnay.

But, these aren’t the things that matter to anyone shopping for a house that will become their own home.

You need to get harsh with yourself and depersonalize the home you have been living in. This helps a buyer visualize the things that matter to them in the neutralized space that you have kindly created for them.

The easier it is for a buyer to see themselves living in the home you’re selling, the quicker your home will sell. And you will receive more money for it.

If buyers can’t visualize themselves living in the home, then you need to be prepared to wait for the buyer that has a hyper-keen sense of visualization. In my experience, that buyer is rare and you’ll be waiting a long time and may have to accept less money.

Here’s what happened when you moved into this home you are selling…

  1. You personalized your home to match your individuality.
  2. You became attached to your home and living space.
  3. You accessorized your home to showcase your collections.
  4. You used accent colours to suit your taste.

The good news is, that’s what you were supposed to do! You made it feel like your own home.

But now that you’ve decided to sell, it’s time to depersonalize and detach.

For instance, the next buyer may not be into house plants as much as you are. While there’s nothing wrong with your choice to live amongst this greenery, the next buyer may have a hard time seeing how much space is in the home if they can’t see past the jungle you’ve created.

Here’s what happens when you stage to sell…

  1. You depersonalize to appeal to a large range of buyers.
  2. You detach yourself from this home so that it can sell.
  3. You de-clutter to show off the home’s best features.
  4. You use neutral colours to emphasize the space.

Neutralized homes SELL

The message here is “tone it down”.

Just a few healthy house plants tastefully located throughout the home can make a bigger impact than many houseplants taking over all the space in a home.

Changing your mindset from “living in the house” to “selling the house” will set you on your way to selling your home more quickly and for more money.

“Yikes, I’m feeling overwhelmed!”

You’re now thinking that taking these steps is “easier said than done”. That’s a fair thought for many people.

We all have our strengths and for some people detaching and depersonalizing isn’t among them. This doesn’t make you a bad person!

What it does likely make you, is it makes you in search of someone who can help you. Some people are stronger in things like math and science, and some of us are stronger in more visual and creative pursuits.

How I can help you

A recent client of mine was feeling slightly overwhelmed at the thought of preparing her home for sale. There was a lifetime of family memories surrounding her and she was having trouble knowing where to begin.

Does this sound like you too? It’s definitely a daunting task, and I would never minimize that overwhelmed feeling that goes along with this process. To be able to reduce that feeling for yourself however, is to come up with a plan. Are you still thinking “easier said than done”?

If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of depersonalizing your home, I completely understand. I have seen this and lived this myself many times.

Please know that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Asking for help is a sign that you are not giving up! I would love for you to reach out to me so that I can provide guidance for you to take the needed steps that would help a buyer visualize your home becoming their home. I can happily provide you with advice that can help get you on your way.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of having fresh eyes on the living space. Someone who can come in and be objective, make suggestions on where to begin and how to proceed, might be all the motivation you need to get started.

I would be very happy to provide fresh eyes and fresh advice for you to help you get started. You can easily contact me by clicking here: Contact Us

This may be bigger than both of us!

Of course, there are cases where the task is too big for just one or two people.

Thankfully, there are professionals who make it their life’s work to provide this service for you. They can either work alongside you or work entirely for you to produce the result you’re looking for.

I can provide you with contact information for these professionals who would be happy to consult on your individual situation.

Please contact me and I would be very happy to chat with you about how you can get your home ready to sell: Contact Us

Remember these 3 words:

  1. Detach
  2. Depersonalize
  3. Neutralize

These three concepts are your goals.

Keep these three words in mind as you work your way through your home-selling preparation process and you’ll stay focused and will complete your task before you know it!

More information on how to prepare your home for sale

You can read more about the steps you can take as you prepare your home for sale in a recent blog post of mine by clicking here Make Your Home The One That Buyers Want

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