Did you ever experience someone, maybe a friend or family member, after they’ve bought a new house or simply acquired new furniture, they move the items around several times until they decided where they should be placed to function properly and still look pleasing? When you think about the fact that the vast majority of people cannot visualize furniture placement in an empty room the idea of people moving couches and tables around several times isn’t surprising. What is surprising is after witnessing something like this first hand real estate agents will still list an empty house. Now it isn’t difficult to explain “this is the dining area” or “this is the family room” and many times those distinctions are obvious, but not always.
Furnishing a room is important, especially when a space’s use isn’t as clearly defined. It also is important to give the room dimension and scale, especially in photos. But furnishing a house isn’t enough. Why is staging necessary? Let’s talk about what staging actually is.
Where else in life have you heard the word stage? Well, it’s probably when you went to see a play or a concert. Items are placed on the stage to set the mood. For a rock concert not only are instruments and speakers set up for optimal sound, but visual effects are placed, a back drop to identify the band and many times a light show to enhance the experience.
Now let’s think about a play. Items are placed on the stage to set the scene. You wouldn’t set up a street scene with street lights and store fronts if you wanted the audience to picture a family sitting in their living room watching a movie. You also wouldn’t create a castle backdrop with stone walls and suits of armor if the play takes place in 1960’s San Francisco. In other words, the way the stage is set communicates a great deal non-verbally.
Now let’s apply that to the house you are attempting to sell. The way the stage is set communicates a great deal non-verbally. This applies to both positive and negative perceptions. Let’s say the 4th bedroom is being used by the homeowners as a walk-in closet. OK, people do that, but chances are somebody touring a 4 bedroom home is looking for a 4 bedroom home, so that makeshift closet needs to be staged as a bedroom, or at least an office with a day bed. The makeshift closet also conveys to the buyer that there isn’t enough closet space in this home. Lot’s of non-verbal communicating going on.
We agree, then, that furnishings communicate quite a bit about a home, but how is staging different? I’m glad you asked. Furnishings say “anyone can use this room as a family room”. Staging says “this is where I can sit with my honey and watch a movie.” Furnishings say “Oh, look, this kitchen has a breakfast bar”. Staging says “I can picture my kids sitting here at this bar helping me decorate cookies, or talking to me while I make dinner.”
This is why it’s important to have the home professionally staged. Professional home stagers are trained and experienced in helping the homeowners rearrange, declutter and maximize appeal by “setting the stage” in the home. Why leave it up to chance? Work with a professional home stager to provide guidance and resources for your clients so they can get the greatest return on what is probably their biggest investment, their home.