Professional home staging shows buyers how beautiful a home can look with the right furnishings, window treatments and lighting. Touring staged homes for sale can be almost as educational and inspirational as visiting a home decorating store. But as helpful as staging can be, it can also seduce buyers into believing they can achieve the same decorating results with their own furnishings or distract them from other aspects of the property that should have equal or greater impact on their purchase decision. Here are tips for looking past staging and using it to your advantage as a home buyer.
Study The Bones. Every home is defined by its structure, layout and cosmetic appearance. Staging is purely cosmetic. By the time escrow closes, staging will be gone as quickly as eyeliner wiped away with cold cream. The structure (foundation, plumbing, wiring, roof, etc.), layout (allocation of space) and appearance as defined by attached features (light fixtures, counter tops, cabinets, flooring, paint, wall coverings, etc.) will remain. Buyers, do not be seduced by staging’s cosmetics. Focus on the soundness of the structure and livability of the home’s layout. Be prepared to change cosmetics to suit your tastes.
Imagine Your Furnishings In The Home. Staging can work to the seller’s advantage or disadvantage. The intent of staging is to show buyers that the home “looks good in clothes.” What if the clothes used to stage the home match furnishings the buyer currently owns and the end result – in the buyer’s opinion – doesn’t look good? If the fix is a bucket of paint or minor remodel, no big problem. The small expense may not impact a buyer’s decision to make an offer. If a buyer’s furnishings are a square peg that doesn’t fit in a home’s round hole, the buyer should consider the cost of acquiring new furnishings when budgeting their purchase.
Measure To Make Sure Your Furnishings Fit. Buyers should measure not only the outer dimensions of each living area, but also spaces where major pieces of furniture or similar items will be placed. Small staging furniture may be placed in a room to make it appear larger. Do not be seduced by that staging tactic, measure each critical space.
Use Staging To Your Advantage. Buyers should not waste the opportunity to borrow ideas from staging. Staging professionals are designers, why not take advantage of their expertise to expand your idea of how the home could look?
Have questions about staging or other aspects of real estate buying and selling? Drop me a line!