By now you've gone through an emotional roller coaster while preparing your home to be judged by every person who walks through it. This thought alone can put a person in a tailspin. Within this series, for sale sign wanted, this step can be the easiest and the hardest. You've loved your home, put sweat and tears into it, even made it a showcase of who you are. I get it, I love putting my personality stamp to every place we live in. So what I'm about to say may not be what you want to hear. Your home is really not your home any more while it's on the market. The objective is to remove your style and have it speak to the masses. Although, your home is beautiful and decorated wonderfully, having it decorated is not necessarily staged.

Buying and selling a home are investments that no one wants to take lightly. How the property is perceived and presented for any consumer product on the market should be given just as much importance. In order to gain an edge on today's market, your home must first be priced well and next look better than your competition. The best way to establish this is by showcasing your home so that it has the potential buyer emotionally connecting. This process is done through "staging" which as been a proven method to bring faster sales and sometimes with a higher return.

What is staging? Staging is a process of using design and conceptualization techniques. The goal for a home stager is to create a space that makes buyers connect emotionally to your home so ultimately they will see themselves in the space. They see themselves as the owner, not as a guest.

The first step is to have a discussion with the stager in order to review the property’s weak and strong points. Together you'll discuss the changes need to be made, how much time it will take, and what else is needed to stage it. Within this 10 part series I've been sharing with you some steps towards being staged, like decluttering, depersonalizing, repairing and cleaning.  Staging has five basic elements: De-clutter, Pare down, Position furniture, Color, Lighting.  

Emphasizing a property's strengths while minimizing it's week points is the effectiveness of home staging. This allows your home to be shown at its maximum potential. A home stager's goal is to create a presentation of a well-cared for home which gives a positive first impression and ultimately attracts the attention and admiration of prospective buyers. This will encourage them to consider how your property fits their requirements.  This might be accomplished by showcasing your personal belongings in a new way or creating a new space with furniture brought in by your stager. 

When you work with a home stager, too often it's easy to take the process personally, but you shouldn’t. Many of us have watched an HGTV staging show and said to ourselves I can do that. Let me say, staging is not a do-it-yourself sport, and only a third party specialist can bring the neutrality and objectivity needed to accomplish the goal. You may interpret their decision to move your grandma's painting out of the room and add something else in it's place to be a personal attack on your grandma and you. The decisions made are always done to help ensure your home is being shown in its best way. 

In all honesty, selling a home and using a professional stager is an inconvenience. Daily routines will temporarily be turned on its head.  All of the inconveniences can be unsettling as you watch your life rearranged to suit the tastes of others.  However, selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, it is precisely those "others” who should be your focus.

"A 2007 survey of Accredited Staging Professionals by the training company StagedHomes, found that 94 percent of staged homes sold on average in one month or less and spent 80 percent less time on the market than those that were not staged."

As you can see, staging a home is very important to the overall process. In the next post to our 10 part series is 30 quick tips to home staging. See you next time!

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