During a seminar on Staging last week, a participant was surprised to learn Staging was more than “making rooms pretty”. The best analogy I could come up with was to think of it as baking and decorating a fine dessert! Let’s face it no-one goes into a restaurant to order a plain slice of cake with no icing, drizzles, ice cream or decorating. They want the wow factor! The fundamental elements are what actually make the cupcake. The flour, eggs, milk, butter and sugar, are necessary. It’s the filling or substance – chocolate pudding, vanilla cream, or jam centres, etc… that make it desirable. The decorating on top is what makes it stand out and look pretty but the substance is what the customer really wants and what they order and buy!
When Staging a home we must first address the fundamentals. The home must be de-cluttered. Remove all excess from all the rooms, placing items in storage, if necessary. Complete any basic repairs that have been left incomplete, leaking taps, ripped screens, etc. Then we make sure it is clean, from your light fixtures to your baseboards to windows. Everything must sparkle! Each individual room must have a distinct purpose and furniture layout to best support that rooms’ function. This would be similar to the flour, sugar, milk, butter and eggs in a cupcake. It’s the basics and alone tastes and looks alright. Unfortunately, this is where most people stop when listing their homes for sale. Even if you stage with décor and accessories at this point – your home can still be missing the real substance – what the customer really wants, orders and buys!
Professional Home Staging takes it to the next level. We look at the substance of your home. What updates are common in your neighborhood. If most homes in your neighborhood that sold in the last few years have had their flooring updated, and your flooring is now 30 years old, then that is something we should consider to make your home highly desirable. If other homes have updated kitchens and baths and yours hasn’t been touched in years, it’s time to consider basic updates! No – you most certainly do not have to do complete bath and kitchen renovations. But updating can be as simple as a new counter, paint and flooring. We focus on lower cost updates that provide the biggest return on investment. This year alone our clients have seen returns from a minimum of 200%+ to more than 500% of their update costs! This is the substance that sells! This is the vanilla cream filling in that glorious cupcake! This is what the customer really wants, what they are looking for and what they are willing to pay more for when they find it!
Once we have the home de-cluttered, cleaned, rooms with dedicated functions and the home properly updated, then we complete the decorating. Think of the final placement of furniture, décor and accessories as the sprinkles, drizzles and cherry on top of the most magnificent dessert. However, it is critical to the final presentation of the property to have the fundamentals mixed together just right, and have the right amount of updates and substance before we accessorize with décor. If the basics and substance of the dessert are not appealing – no amount of sprinkles or décor can make an unappealing dessert look good. Think again of a cupcake – maybe it’s chocolate but it’s over cooked and didn’t rise properly and has no filling. Then you cover it with icing and sprinkles – at first glance it may look ok but upon closer inspection the customer sees it’s not light and fluffy and has no real substance! They no longer want it. If you give them a chocolate cupcake that is light and fluffy, with fabulous vanilla cream filling, with beautiful butter cream icing and sprinkles and drizzles on top… there is just no comparison to the first unappealing cupcake!
That is exactly what Professional Home Staging is all about! We first address the fundamentals, the substance and then the final WOW factor to make your home one of the most desirable homes in your neighborhood! On a personal note, my daughter just came into my office – her observation – “Mom, I think you have Christmas baking on your brain!” You may very well be right, my dear! Time to get my baking completed!
Happy Holidays everyone!