I met Jessica when she was first starting out as a Home Stager and knew right away I wanted to work with her! The thing that makes her different is she isn’t afraid to jump into your project with you. She doesn’t just walk room by room and tell you what to do, she will instead ask “What if we moved this? What if we removed this? Let’s just try this quick!” For me, this approach was encouraging because once we had a jump start together I could keep the momentum going and finish it quickly vs. being overwhelmed by a long list.
The other thing Jessica does well is to encourage you to reduce the number of things in each room, while making you feel good about it. More than once she said to me “If this was a home you were going to keep living in, I think it’s perfect. If you want it to sell, lets remove some things and optimize furniture placement so it photographs well.”
1 – Where do you start?
I like to tackle staging room by room. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to stage your entire home in one day! Pick a starting point that makes sense for you and work from there.
2 – When would it be fine to stage on your own, and when is it time to call a pro?
It’s always tricky to know when to call a stager or when to try it yourself. While several factors can play into that decision, my biggest consideration would be TIME. How much of it do you have to spare? If you are able to spend the time to research staging tips and tricks and can devote several hours to prepping and staging your home, I say give it a try! But, if you’re strapped for time and find it challenging to carve out even 30 minutes of your day, its best to hire the help.
3 – How soon before you list a home is the ideal time to start staging?
I recommend prepping your home for sale several months before you plan to put it on the market. This includes packing away excess items and decluttering each room. Once the house is prepped, you can begin the staging process. The time it takes to stage your house will depend on if you are doing it yourself or hiring a Professional Stager. A Professional Stager can typically stage a well prepped home in one day. Don’t forget, your house should be completely staged prior to having photos taken and before any showings take place.
4 – If someone is only willing to have you stage one room, which would it be and why?
If a seller is only willing to stage one room of their house, I recommend staging whichever space is the focal point of the home. Do you have an amazing great room that’s the heart of the home? Perhaps you have an incredible 4-season porch overlooking a lake? Focus your energy on the space that will have the biggest impact with potential buyers.
5 – About how much time can you expect staging to take?
The time it takes to stage a home will depend on how much staging needs to be done in terms of “stuff” in the home as well as the size of the home. Staging isn’t simply making a room look nice, it’s about cleaning and organization as well. For this reason, the time can vary, but it’s realistic to set aside a several hours to complete a thorough stage for the entire home.
6 – What is one (or more!) space people overlook when staging?
Closets! Sellers often underestimate how important storage space is for potential buyers. A rule of thumb is to remove at least half the items in your closets as well as remove items from the floor and top shelf. Eliminating excess “stuff” can open up a closet immensely and allow a buyer to envision how they will use the space.
7 – What helps a room to really “wow,” vs. just look clean and uncluttered?
Accessories can make all the difference in transforming a room from a clean space to a styled space. The use of books, trays, throws, pillows, fresh flowers, and a nicely set table can add that special something to make a home stand out.
8 – Do all personal items really need to go?
It depends who you ask. It’s my opinion that a personal item here or there can make a home feel loved. Removing every single personal item can sometimes make the home feel sterile. You should be okay if you make sure to keep the personal items to a minimum.
9 – Top 3 best staging tips –
Clean and declutter
Consider your home’s curb appeal
Remove large pieces of furniture that unnecessarily eat up too much space in the home
10 – Staging don’ts.
Don’t forget about the exterior of your home specifically the front porch! Your front porch is the very first thing a potential buyer will see. Painting your front door, buying a new welcome mat, and cleaning away bugs and debris will go a long way in ensuring a good first impression.
Don’t stuff all your clutter into closets. Buyers always look in closets and they need to be cleaned and organized just like every other space in your home.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prep and stage your house for sale. The sooner you start, the easier and less stressful it will be!
Jessica Bong is a Home Stager covering the south suburbs of the Twin Cities. She can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Side note: You may have noticed I didn’t ask Jessica anything about pricing. This is because we at Twin City Homes hire and cover the cost of Jessica’s services for our clients.