Real estate staging expert Debra Gould suggests homeowners skip silly staging tactics that insult buyers.
By Debra Gould, StagingDiva.com
The current economy has many homeowners trying to hold on to as much equity in their home as they can. If you're trying to save money by staging your own home, real estate staging expert Debra Gould advises you tread carefully, as many staging tactics do nothing but work against you in your goal to sell faster and for more money.
"I've seen many examples of 'silly staging tricks' over the years," states Gould, owner of Toronto home staging company, Six Elements Inc. She adds, "While good for a laugh, homeowners must realize that buyers are too smart to fall for these tricks, which make it obvious they're being manipulated into thinking the sellers actually live that way."
Silly Staging Ideas Room-by-Room:
Living Room. Displaying photos of people more attractive than family members by hanging frames with manufacturers' photos still inside, or even displaying photos of celebrities around the room, are not good ideas. Not only silly, this breaks the 'de-personalize' staging rule. Remove any photos, diplomas or similar items, as they do nothing but distract buyers. ( This is my personal biggest pet peeve. As time and time again the buyers look at ALL the photos; They're curious and want to know what the people look like, do they know them etc. and then TOTALLY forget about looking at the house and what they like or don't like about the house!) Look for some tasteful art for staging instead.
Kitchen and Dining Room. Nothing screams 'staged home' like a formally set dining room. Less is more! Skip the formal setting and put a simple vase of flowers on the table instead. Clear kitchen counters of all clutter and add a simple bowl of fruit for a clean, open look. ( here I have to disagree a little. If you have a large formal dining room, keyword large, then setting it formally helps the buyer to see large family gatherings at holiday time)
Bedroom. The casually draped throw over the foot of the bed with 'tea for two' on top has been overdone, and buyers know you don't live that way. Invest in some nice bedding, put night tables on either side of the bed and include one long dresser and a tall chest of drawers in the master bedroom. If the room seems crowded with those items, use a double bed instead of a queen or king. (Again caveat to that. I think making it look clean, uncluttered if you read, put a book on the bed and a throw, I am not opposed to the bed tray perhaps not the tea for two aspect)
Bathroom. Tassels draped over hand towels, seashells nestled atop a stack of towels wrapped in a bow and champagne flutes on the bathtub are perhaps befitting for a honeymoon suite, but not a family home. Don't fill the bathtub with blue-tinted water and don't tie a ribbon around the toilet seat either. These have been done, but don't make the same silly mistake. Invest in new hand towels, a new shower curtain and remove personal items from countertops such as toothbrushes and makeup. (Here I agree and disagree. Tying the towels is a way for the buyers NOT use them and wash their hands. the champagne flute and blue water part I agree and is a waste of a prescious commodity.)
A buyer won't buy based on dining room settings or a frou-frou bathroom. After staging your home, you want a clean, de-personalized, clutter-free space. If you've done a good job, a buyer won't be able to tell it was staged at all. ( A buyer will base their purchase on how the house showed, definitley! Clean, uncluttered and nicely staged makes them see themselves living in the house. If the house is unkept, cluttered, photos etx. they can't visualize THEIR STUFF in the house because YOUR STUFF is in their face.)