Generic Home Staging Lists: Why They Simply Aren’t Effective

Generic home staging lists are a dime a dozen. Prepared either by well meaning realtors or by their brokerages, these lists are always very similar and are meant to help home owners prepare their homes for sale. While great in theory, these lists can both help and hinder sellers who are faced with having to tackle projects that they may – or may not have – been prepared for.

Preparing and staging a home for sale isn’t the same process it was ten or even five years ago. Buyers have made it clear what they want when looking for a new home and often a generic staging list isn’t effective in addressing these wants or needs. In fact, when we visit homes we often find the number of home staging misconceptions is staggering. And that is simply in the homes we are hired to consult on or stage. For homes we never see, we can only imagine what transpires without the guidance of a pro stager. Here are the key reasons why we don’t advocate simply using a generic staging list:

They Aren’t Specific Enough

If you have read these lists, they all say ‘de-clutter, organize and lighten and brighten.’ Great. What does this mean for a home owner though? What rooms should be de-cluttered? How much should be packed away? What rooms should be lightened and brightened? What paint colors are buyers going to respond positively to? You get the point – these lists aren’t customized for the property and they leave out a lot of pertinent and vital information. We have seen this go terribly awry with sellers either getting overwhelmed to the point where they do nothing or going overboard and taking all personality and appeal out of their home. As they live in the home, it is tough to be objective so how do they decide what stays or goes?

Decluttering can be daunting: What should stay or go?
Decluttering can be daunting: What should stay or go?
Working with a pro stager ensures the right furnishings stay so the space has modern appeal.
Working with a pro stager ensures the right furnishings stay so the space has modern appeal.

When it comes to lightening and brightening a home, we have too often seen a home owner select personal or unattractive colors in an attempt to add value to their home. Why does this not work? Because personal paint colors such as pink, blue, green and yellow aren’t to everyone’s tastes and while fresh paint can add value, selecting the wrong color can stall the sale of a home and detract from its overall value.

They Don’t Address Vacant Homes        

Vacant properties are among the toughest to sell because they appear cold and unappealing. Without furniture, they fail to showcase the function and lifestyle a home can offer. Vacant homes also magnify faults in a home without furniture to detract and soften each selling space. Statistically, vacant homes sit on the market up to 90% longer than staged vacant homes which means sellers are carrying the costs for two homes while one lingers on the market. Generic lists commonly completely avoid the topic of vacant homes which means home owners who are in this situation often have no idea how to handle them. This often results in homes lingering on the market empty and low ball offers from buyers who perceive the sellers as desperate to sell who will accept any offer.

Staging a vacant property is what a professional home stager can do to add value and equity in a home – and also ensure that it sells fast and for what it’s worth. A common misconception is that staging is too expensive however it is never close to the cost of all the price reductions and carrying costs a seller has to assume when their property doesn’t sell.

staging empty rooms

Staging is an effective tool and a worthwhile investment.
Staging is an effective tool and a worthwhile investment.

They Fail to Address the Final Preparation Step: Staging

Contrary to common belief, de-cluttering, painting, doing home improvements and repairs is not staging. It is part of the preparation process but it’s not home staging. Home staging is the final step after everything else has been completed. Home staging involves furniture placement (or editing), creating great traffic flow, highlighting architectural elements and infusing the WOW factor into each selling space with modern décor and furnishings which will ensure a home stands out online and against its competition. This is not an easy thing to do and this is why DIY staging are rarely as effective as having a professional stage a property. Professionals are trained to know how to properly showcase each area so opting to either ignore this vital step or do the staging yourself can backfire with financial consequences.

This room has been mostly de-cluttered but it’s definitely not staged!
This is what a professionally staged space should look like. Highly appealing & marketable so that the most buyers possible want to buy it.

They Don’t Specify Which Home Improvements are the Most Cost Effective with the Greatest Return on Investment

By now, most of us know that investing in kitchen or bathroom renovations will improve the overall value of a property. Most of the real estate lists will encourage home owners to add value to their homes by making improvements in these areas. This is great! What home improvements in these areas however is the most effective while still being cost-conscious? You see, the whole point is to wisely invest in specific home improvements that buyers will value. Spending lots of money on improvements where a seller won’t recoup their investment isn’t the best course of action. Investing in a staging consultation will ensure that home owners get property-specific advice for improvements that will add value to their home without breaking the bank. Over improving the home or doing renovations that won’t add value can really sour a home selling experience.

marg kitchen Collage 2
Selling in ‘As Is’ Condition means selling your home for less. Investing in smart updates will sell buyers on both the lifestyle and value the property offers.

They Fail to Address the Top Potential Buyer Objections in a Home

From wallpaper to faux wall treatments, buyer objections come in many forms. Generic lists don’t normally address them and by not doing something about these issues before a home is listed for sale, home owners can be in for a lengthily stay on the market. Leaving a home owner to guess which things should be changed while leaving other potential issues is not a great idea. Having a home stager consult on the property will ensure that all potential issues are identified and addressed prior to selling so that home owners have the opportunity to make changes first. A home stager is the home owners ally and advocate in this scenario, providing them with relevant and up to date recommendations that can potentially add thousands of dollars of equity to their home.

Mansion Kit Collage

Looking for more information on Home Staging or would like to work with Kitchener-Waterloo’s premier Home Staging Company? Contact us! Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is an award winning home staging firm that has the talent, expertise and resources to make your home THE home to see! Visit our website to see our extensive portfolio or become our fan on our Facebook Business page to keep up to date on our latest projects. To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.

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