The 3 Most Important Rooms to Stage in a House

The 3 Most Important Rooms to Stage in a House

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Staging not only results in a quicker sale but also tends to increase the home’s value too, according to the newly released 2019 Profile of Home Staging report conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®. One quarter of buyers’ agents say that staging a home increased the dollar value of a home between 1 to 5 percent compared to similar homes on the market that weren’t staged. Seventeen percent of agents said that staging increased the home’s dollar value between six to 10 percent.

Which rooms are the most important to focus on in the house?

Staging the living room was found to be the most important for buyers (47 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (42 percent) and staging the kitchen (35 percent). For inspiration on sprucing up the master bedroom, view our slideshow: How I Staged It: The Makings of a Master Retreat

The least important area to stage? The guest bedroom, according to buyer agents. Only 8 percent of buyer agents said it was important to stage a guest bedroom in the home.

Staged to Sell: A Fixer Upper to Show Stopper

Staged to Sell: A Fixer Upper to Show Stopper

Home stager: Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, with offices in Portland, Ore., and Seattle The home: This Portland, Ore., home was a “complete and total fixer,” Riordan says. But it wasn’t anything that some savvy staging couldn’t fix. The 3,180-square-foot home was built in 1906 and features five bedrooms, 3.5 baths. It’s listed for $875,000. Riordan’s Staging Tips: 

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

  1. When staging a home, stick with neutral rugs with little to no pattern. This will keep the the rugs from distracting from the house itself.

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

2. Mix styles because not everybody loves modern or Victorian or vintage. By having an eclectic mix of styles in each room, the staging can appeal a little bit to each person.

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

3. Use color blocking. By assigning a single color to each room, buyers will have a way to discuss each room. This house has a green bedroom, a pink bedroom, a grey bedroom, and a brown bedroom. When the buyer say, “I think Sally should have the pink bedroom,” the other buyer will understand immediately which room they were talking about. Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org.
How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts

How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

A lot of real estate agents are looking for a good, reliable home stager that can magically transform their listings into the price point their seller is hoping to achieve.  The trouble and confusion sometimes comes when the real estate professional asks a few home stagers to “bid” or present a proposal on their vacant home.

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Photo credit: HSR Certified Helen Bartlett of Refined Interior Staging Solutions in Kansas City

The vacant staging proposal price can range anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000 for a smaller home, so do you just pick the best priced stager?

I think we can all agree that there is a BIG difference between Walmart and Restoration Hardware when it comes to furnishings, so choosing a home stager on price alone is not a good idea … here’s why.

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Photo Credit: HSR Certified Corrine Kaas of Harmonizing Homes

The professionally certified and trained home stager ranks the home based on “luxury level” and places the most ideal furnishings that kind of buyer would “expect” in the home.  In each area across the country, there is a certain buyer “expectation” that corresponds to price point and location.

DO make sure the furnishings enhance and correspond with the buyer expectation for that home.

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Photo credit: HSR Certified Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal in New York City

It’s not a matter of simply choosing a couch/chair/coffee table/rug to go into the space … it’s an art form. Professional stagers tend to base their price on the VALUE of the furnishings that go into that home. This is how they calculate their return on investment (ROI) and cover their costs, so that their business will be around in a year. This is also how they are able to stay on trend, turn over older furnishings, and present the home in a fresh, modern way every time.

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Photo credit: HSR Certified Leia Ward of LTW Design in Connecticut

DON’T choose on price alone. 

Going with the lowest priced staging proposal could mean you are getting low priced furnishings, which ultimately could hurt the sale of the home. Here are a couple questions to ask a home stager rather than base your choice on price:

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Photo credit: HSR Certified Glenda Evers of Elite Interiors

DO ask them what kind of “look” can I expect to go in this home?

This is their chance to show and talk you through their expertise and show you their work. If they fumble or choose a style that does not fit the style or luxury level of the home, then I would question their credibility and training.

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Photo credit: HSR Certified Jeff Johnson of the Home Staging Pros in Florida

DO ask them if they buy wholesale?

The certified stager knows how to buy wholesale and can get AMAZING prices on luxury furnishings (thus more bang for your buck!) But some home stagers are not certified or trained in this kind of advanced shopping.

I train on this extensively, and here’s an example of the kind of pricing you can get by going to the market. I love the look of layered rugs and this zebra hide rug costs only $99 at the market … what?!

 

DON’T base your choice on experience alone. 

Staging will always be an art form and some of the most talented stagers I’ve seen who do not sacrifice on quality of materials are brand new to the industry. Their heart and soul is placed into that home and it shows.  Take a chance and try someone new.

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Photo credit: HSR Grad Leslie Anderson of Leslie Anderson Interiors in Virginia

A good rule of thumb is to consider spending a little less or around 1 percent the value of the home on vacant staging in order for the staging to match the luxury level of the home. The million-plus dollar home needs to be staged like a million bucks …. buyers expect this.

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Photo credit: HSR Grad Birgit Anich of BA Staging and Interiors in Connecticut

If the seller’s furnishings are over 10 years old then DO have them consider “moving out” beforehand, so that they can make an extra 5 to 10 percent the value of the home in the sale.  According to recent staging statistics, the seller who spends close to 1 percent on staging usually sees over a 10 percent return on investment. There does appear to be a connection between spending more and getting more.

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Photo credit: HSR Grad Corrine McKendrick of Pacific Home Design

Photo credit: HSR Grad Corrine McKendrick of Pacific Home Design

DO educate the seller on how they can get the best price for their home by staging.

I’m seeing a lot of smart agents educating their sellers on this critical cost, sometimes even paying it up front (for the cash poor seller) and then charging it in closing as part of their fee. We all know that markets go up and down, but the real estate agent who consistently puts the best marketed and priced product on the market for the sellers, is the one that will be around forever.

To find home stagers that do the kind of work featured above, visit Directory of Certified Home Stagers and Designers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president and founder of the Home Staging Resource, an advanced home staging and redesign certification training company.  Slinkey has been awarded the “Most Innovative Product of the Year Award” three times for her training and serves on the board of the Real Estate Staging Association. Slinkey is a published author and international speaker on staging, color, and design. She is proud and privileged to help create and mentor thousands of staging and design businesses across the globe.

Make the Front Porch a Selling Point

Make the Front Porch a Selling Point

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The front porch is making a comeback. And more builders are adding them back into new home designs.

The front porch was once a mainstay in home designs in the early 1900s. But over the years it has gotten swapped out for those street-facing garages. Also, homeowners sought more privacy and started favoring decks in their backyards than expansive front porches facing their neighbors.

Now, we’re seeing those iconic front porches coming back.

And the younger generation is bringing a different spin to this idea of “porching.” There’s this growing movement called “Porchfest.” This is where neighborhoods across the country are holding events, like music festivals or even a speaker series, right from homeowners’ front porches.

So if the listing you’re staging has a front porch, make sure to take advantage. Add some rocking chairs, a porch swing, or outdoor furniture–complete with cushions and pillows–to show it off as a place to sip lemonade, relax, and mingle with neighbors on a warm summer day.

Look at how some of these designers on Houzz used the front porch to boost a home’s curb appeal.

Staged to Sell: This Staged Home Sold for 107% Above Asking Price

Staged to Sell: This Staged Home Sold for 107% Above Asking Price

Home stagers: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, real estate pros and owners of Ambiance Decorators LLC

The home: A single-family home located in Upper Montclair in Essex County, N.J. The home was staged by Amy and Katie, and sold for 107 percent of the asking price at $1,073,575. Amy and Katie sought to stage the home with a “fresh, updated, classic, and timeless” look.

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Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

 

Stagers’ tips:

  • Curtains: Sheer curtains are great for softening windows and letting the light in. They do not compete with the design and are not too “style specific” so they are often processed as calming.
  • Plants: Plants are so important in design for color and texture. They also add interest by bringing the outdoors in.
  • Colors:Soft colors present a calming affect allowing buyers to view the room as relaxing and peaceful.

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Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

Stagers’ tips:

  • Furniture: It’s often best to leave out the chairs at the head of the dining table…this prevents the back of the chair from stopping your eye in a photograph.
  • Accessories: A beautiful runner, arrangement of flowers and a few candles create a classic centerpiece.
  • Art: Art is the last item added to the design. We often add neutral art to complete the look of the room but not distract buyers from focus on the space.

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Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

Stagers’ tips:

  • Accessories: Just a few accessories on the bookshelf will highlight the space without feeling overwhelming or cluttered.
  • Lighting: It’s always best to compliment the furniture arrangement with lighting. If there’s not enough space for end tables, floor lamps are a great option.
  • Furniture: A padded bench is a great option for a coffee table to add a little something different.

 

Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org.

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