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The Truth About Staging

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Written by Lori Auerbach, Realtor | Vanderblue Team | Higgins Group Real Estate

In a highly competitive housing market, home sellers are looking to differentiate their home from others on the market. While price will initially catch a buyer’s eye, what will make a home attract the most potential buyers in the shortest amount of time? What will get those buyers through the door?


Having a strategic marketing  & merchandising plan that includes styling has become a necessity for selling a home.  Statistics provided by National Association of Realtors will have you thinking twice about refreshing your home before you place a sign in your front yard!

  • 49% of buyer’s agents cited that home staging had a positive effect on a buyer’s view of the home.
  • 77% of buyers reported that it’s “easier to visualize the property as their future home” when its staged.
  • 40% of buyers are more likely to walk through a staged home they saw online.
  • Buyers are willing to spend 1%-5% more money on a home that has been staged.
  • Staged homes spend an average of 73% less time on the market.

Nanci Lewis, a fellow Vanderblue Team Realtor and owner of Home Style & Stage in Fairfield County helps homeowners understand the significance of staging and design whether creating a lifestyle to enjoy or preparing a home for sale.  Creating emotion is the purpose; whether it is comfort, enthusiasm, excitement, serenity, or just plain happiness.  Every home, like every human being, is unique. This is not a one-size fits all solution and it is the essence of the home we are trying to present rather than just a grey pallet with a few touches of color. It is in the subtleties that you will find the differences in staging. Yes,  we have all seen the staged homes that make you feel like you will be living in the magazine. It’s beautiful but unless you are selling a new construction home, it is not reality. 

For those of us who live in the real world, a few pointers:

De-clutter: While this may seem like a no brainer, this should be your first step in preparing your home to sell. 

  • START PACKING! You will be half way through when the house sells and you will be psyched you got it done! Three Bins: KEEP, DONATE, and DISCARD.
  • Remove excess kitchen counter appliances that are not used on a daily basis. 
  • Keep bins or baskets in your bathroom and other living areas so you can easily stash away clutter before showings.

Thorough House Cleaning Inside & Out: Potential buyers perceive a clean and tidy home as having been well cared for and that is added value in their minds.

  • Clear out gutters, wash windows, power wash the exterior if necessary
  • Tidy up basement storage areas. Clear the cobwebs!

Paint: Lighten up dark or bold colored interior walls.  Freshen up paint on baseboards, window trim and doors.  Also look at the exterior of your home-chipping paint sends the message that the home is not well maintained.

Furnishings: Consider the amount of furniture in the rooms and the overall appearance of the pieces. 

  • Less is always more!  You want to visually create spacious rooms.
  • Slipcovers!  Nanci Lewis claims that “slipcovers are king” in the business of staging.  There’s not a more economical way to neutralize and update a room of furniture.
  • Add accessories (We have great ones in stock!)
  • Change lampshades
  • Take down curtains
  • The overall idea here is to look “current”.

Curb appeal:  First impressions start at the curb!

  • Your mailbox should be clean and in good repair.  You may need to apply fresh street numbers or a coat of paint.  Or invest in a brand new one.
  • Your front door should be clean and freshly painted if there’s any chipping paint.
  • Depending on the time of the year, planters with seasonal flowers or evergreens are a pleasant welcome to buyers

If you are questioning what amount of staging you really need then it would be advisable to consult with a stager, like Vanderblue’s Nanci Lewis of Home Style and Stage. There is a whole range of opportunities depending on a homeowner’s budget. Vanderblue Clients receive a free consultation but even if you have to pay a consultation fee, the right stylist can provide amazing value for those with smaller budgets. Clients often provide us with a budget and we purchases the necessary items to give their home a fresh look that sells that they can use for their new home when they move. It’s not uncommon that buyer’s request to purchase some of the staging furnishings so often clients purchase the staging items to keep the look and feel they fell in love with. Creating emotion is the goal; an excited and happy buyer is the outcome.

The Vanderblue Team offers a wide range of services for both our buyers and sellers.   Nanci Lewis’ Home Style & Stage is just another winning combination for our clients, whether buying, selling or investing in Real Estate. 


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