Staging Tips: Keep it Simple and Real

Thanks to HGTV©, staging a house to sell has evolved from a novelty practiced by a few to a necessity expected by the majority of agents and buyers. Over the past ten years, buyer expectations have shifted along with market conditions. Take a well-staged home from 2010, list it in today’s market, and it will be perceived as un-staged by current standards! So here are some great staging tips to consider…

So, what are the staging trends for Spring 2016?

I tell my clients, “If you want to know what’s in, ask a thirty-something”! While the buyer pool is made up of different age groups, the trendsetters are homebuyers aged 28 – 40. Generally speaking, they love simplicity and minimalism, a.k.a. Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.

What’s Out:


⬥Fichus Trees, Greenery, & Silk Flowers

⬥Valances, Swags, & Drapes

⬥Set Tables

⬥Area Rugs

⬥Ornate Décor & Furniture

⬥Model Home Staging “Props”

What’s In:

⬥Brushed Nickel & Oil-Rubbed Bronze

⬥Natural Elements

⬥Blinds, Shades, Panels, & Bare Windows

⬥Simple Table Centerpiece or None

⬥Bare Hardwood Floors (No Rugs)

⬥Simple Décor & Furniture

⬥ “Real Life”…Simplified


What’s responsible for the current trends?

From my observation, there are two phenomena driving the current trends. First, is the reliance of buyers and sellers on the Internet to buy and sell homes. Because web appeal has replaced curb appeal, online photos are critical and must be incredible! A few empty corners and strategically chosen bare walls equal better photographs. Buyers choose or reject a home in seconds when viewing online virtual tours. A current, staged look paired with professional photographs will do more to sell your home than any other marketing tool.

The second phenomenon is, what I refer to as, the “Allergy Aesthetic”. Countless numbers of my clients, who have allergies and whose children have allergies, have been advised by doctors to remove “dust collectors”. Out went their toss pillows, rugs, curtains, silk plants, and wall-to-wall carpet. In went new hardwood floors! What began as a medical necessity ended as a popular, new aesthetic.

How Do I Get it Right?

Read and follow a “how-to” staging book, and it’s still possible to have an improperly staged home. Real estate is a local business, so the key to great staging is to know your market and target demographic. Consult with an experienced Realtor© and ASP© (Accredited Staging Professional), preferably a team with a proven track record. Together, they can provide you with objective feedback and advise you on the right staging plan for your home. Ultimately, the best staging is invisible. Just remember to keep it simple & keep it real!

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