In our last post, we offered steps to take if you’re thinking about selling your home in 2016. We emphasized decluttering and depersonalizing and then choosing which updates or repairs will have the highest payoff. This is where staging—the professional preparation of your home that is done prior to putting your house on the market—comes in. Staging is becoming increasingly important—dare we say crucial?—in today’s competitive real estate market. We had the pleasure of following around organizer extraordinaire Kelly DeMaso, owner of Simplified Organizing & Staging (SOS), to learn more.
Watching Kelly was both I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E and humbling. She entered the home, walked around to see what she was working with, and then immediately set to work organizing the kitchen cabinets, removing pictures and memorabilia from the refrigerator, and reworking counter space. As Kelly was working, she explained some of the science of staging, saying that if a house looks well-maintained and extremely organized, it makes prospective buyers feel as though they will have less to worry about with regard to organizing in the space.
A stager will compile reports of what needs to be repaired or updated, will help you get organized during the move, and will make the house look its best for prospective buyers. The last step sometimes involves adding in furniture (many agents or stagers have furniture on hand) to give an idea of the purpose of the room and help buyers envision themselves in the space. In the process of selling, a home becomes a product.
What spaces need to look the best in order to sell that product? Kelly answered, without hesitation, that the kitchen and the bathrooms are the most important. (Shawna Dillon, in our interview about dream kitchens, said something similar.)
In selling your home, you’re selling a lifestyle, as well. You’re selling everything that can be done in the house—making memories, sharing time with family and friends, relaxing, luxuriating, and so on. There’s a difference, though, between selling your own memories and selling the potential for others to make their own memories. Removing all of your personal items is key so that others can start to envision themselves in the space. This can be an emotional process, but Kelly points out that the more you do before you sell, the less you’ll have to do after. It’s also a good idea for your own safety to remove all your personal information (for example, taking pictures and diplomas off the walls). Having a stager helps to ease the transition, both functionally and emotionally, by pointing out things like this.
We left Kelly to her work of polishing, organizing, and revamping, and when we came back the next day, it looked like the same house—only ten times better. When creating your budget for selling your home, you should consider a stager, or a real estate team like Patterson Real Estate Group, who offers staging as part of our real estate services. It is an investment that pays off.
For more on the benefits of staging, see this article that ran in last week’s New York Times.
All photos by Lindsey Welsh; all staging by Kelly DeMaso.
The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.
400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314