Q: At what point should I start staging?
As soon as you think there is a possibility you may want to list! The more time you have to work on your home the easier it will be to accomplish your goals, find deals on services and/or repairs which may need to be done.
Q: I'm just in the planning phase and not ready to start working on my home yet. Should I wait until I'm ready to start packing and decluttering before calling a home stager?
Working with a home stager from square one can save you oodles of time and money. Having a game plan will help you stay on-track and on-budget, and a good home stager will be able to keep you on target with the things that will make you money, while avoid those improvements which won't yield the best ROI.
Q: My home is pretty tidy, isn't that enough in this market to get offers?
The short answer is yes! A tidy home, in decent shape, which is competitively priced will likely be able to sell fairly quickly. The question is: how competitive do you want to be in with your list price?
Buyers are either going to purchase your home becasue it's a good bargain or becasue of an emotional connection (the "oooh I want this one!" effect)...if investing $100 in strategically chosen prep and staging yields you $1000+ that is quick cash in your pocket that you don't want to leave on the closing table. Don't underestimate your home's potential!
Q: How does professional staging differ from general decluttering or decorating?
This is a fantastic question and one I get all the time! To start, let's look at our desired outcome: increased list price + reduced time on market.
In Colorado buyers have plentiful opportunities to evaluate their interest in your home and how much they are willing to pay. Many deals fall apart after an offer is made, and even more often offers are reduced after an inspection report. We want to keep your buyer engaged and in love with your home through every step of the buying/selling process...yep, that's right, every step!
When we stage we are effectively launching a marketing campaign for your home which we want to carry through from listing to the closing table. We don't just stage once, but at key junctures throughout the listing process. I'll walk you through all of those so that your home will put it's best foot forward every time and you will see more money in your pocket at closing!
So in answer to the original question as to how staging differs from general decluttering:
Staging is unique in that it is “fake decorating”…you know when you invite someone new over you'd really like to impress, and spend hours prior to their arrival making the house look spotless and threatening the kids if they so much as walk near the freshly fluffed couch pillows they will be sent to military school? Yep, that’s called “fake house” and we are all familiar with it. That's Phase 1 of staging your home to sell and is the minimum buyers will expect to see when they walk in your home.
When you work with a home stager we move on to Phase 2 which is where you can really start to set your home apart from the others listed in your area with similar amenities and at a similar price point. When you are selling your home there is tons of potential money on the line which WILL be gained by someone. I want that someone to be YOU the seller!