Why & How?
Simply put, when you go on a date you have only one chance to make a good first impression… and when you go on a job interview your preparations make the difference between being asked back for a second round of meetings and no call-backs. So when selling your home why not do all you can to make it the most appealing space the buyers have seen; the one they can imagine themselves living in?
There are a few very basic steps like de-cluttering; cleaning off the top of the fridge, kitchen cabinets so that it doesn’t appear that there isn’t enough space for storage and the things you use on a daily basis. It’s also important to remove all of the personal reflections of your lifestyle like family photos so that visitors don’t get hung up on peering into your world or have such a strong sense of your personal style that it’s difficult to imagine their furniture and belongings in that space.
On the other hand an empty apartment doesn’t give any sense of how to use the space and most buyers can’t get a sense of proportions without any furniture in the room. The investment you make in staging will come back to you at a rate of 5-10 times the amount you invest in an empty apartment and a creative broker can make a few simple additions (and deletions) to a home to increase the selling price by as much as 10%.
Some clients have the budget for professional stagers but if you can find a good broker who has the skills it becomes part of the service. In my case I keep a variety of props, furniture and accessories as a base and add to them as the apartment requires. My assistant has a great eye and so together we recreate the space to show off its finest qualities. Take a look at some of the before and after photos here and you’ll see that we try to appeal to a broad range of tastes and while we use color and art the goal is to stay non-specific in the décor.
When the client has a good budget we can rent full rooms of furniture and accessories for a short term to create comfortable living spaces that indicate how a living and dining space can be used for instance. The companies that do this best in the NY/Metro area are Churchill and CORT. The monthly fees are better over several months rather than one month so don’t gamble on a quick sale as you never know how long the entire transaction will take.
Staging: Before and After