up a home before putting it on the market is hardly a new idea. Most
of us have been through the process of repainting walls, replacing
carpets, scouring kitchens and bathrooms and meticulously manicuring
Today, many home sellers are going a step farther: hiring an expert
to come in and set the stage, to make their homes more visually and
emotionally appealing to buyers. Staging professionals are like personal
trainers...for the home. These home makeover artists have become
increasingly popular as buyers have become more discriminating – perhaps
due to a wealth of decorating programs on television.
Stagers usually have a background in interior design and they have
the ability to look at your home objectively, without the emotional
attachments that may color your own judgment.
To make a home feel more spacious, they often begin by removing
some furniture and rearranging remaining pieces more attractively.
If the furniture is outdated or incorrectly sized to the room, some
stagers will go so fa as to lend homeowners more suitable pieces.
Counters, dressers and end tables are also de-cluttered. Personal
collections and photos are limited. Unique collections can distract
buyers, causing them to notice the home’s contents more than
its features. Family photos may make it harder for buyers to picture
themselves in the home. Because storage is always an important issue,
they also clean out and organize cabinets, closets, storerooms and
To make the home feel airy, stagers may remove heavy window coverings,
open blinds and suggest repainting walls in lighter, neutral colors.
To make it brighter, they might bring in additional lamps or add
rope lighting behind molding or under upper cabinets.
Stagers may add pizzazz with new bedspreads, slipcovers,
accent pillows, colorful towels and area rugs. Some lend homeowners
artwork, accent pieces and live plants. No detail is overlooked .
. . whether it’s a new doorknob and a seasonal wreath on the
front door, updated faucets and hardware in the kitchen, an arrangement
in the bathroom or a bouquet of fresh flowers on the dining room
The before and after views shown here provide a vivid example of
the difference staging can make.