“I love HGTV… I watch it all the time!” This is frequently one of the first things that I hear when I meet with a prospective listing client and talk about staging his/her home. In all honestly, I cringe a little when I hear this because experience tells me that I’ll likely have to “undo” the doings (or at least the perceptions) of an excited and slightly overzealous homeowner.
Home staging is simply preparing a home to appeal to the widest range of buyers, with the objective of selling your property for the most money in the shortest time possible. Staging involves making repairs, neutralizing decor, de-cluttering, de-personalizing and rearranging furniture and accessories. A well-staged home shows off its best features and downplays any challenges such as a small living room, awkward entry way, etc. It’s definitely not HGTV. Consider the following:
- HGTV shows have crews of home design and construction professionals that can seemingly make things happen in a snap. “Reality TV” is not real life; most homeowners do the projects that I recommend themselves (hiring trade professionals as necessary). In staging your home, the “crew” will pretty much be you and whomever you may be able to enlist to help.
- Any seller would love to have a design show’s budget; “reality,” however, is that costs associated with staging must be looked at in terms of return on your investment of time and money. Good home staging utilizes what you already own. Any costs should be for repairs and what I like to call “big impression” items like painting the purple living room a calming earth tone shade of taupe or light gray. The key here is making the greatest impact for the least amount of time and money.
- HGTV has professional designers with years of formal education and high-level experience; they make a living combining colors, fabrics and style to give a home a very specific, highly-personalized, look and character. I am here to help and make the task easier – not to redesign or redecorate a home for anyone’s specific lifestyle or tastes, but to present the property in a way that enables buyers to envision their lives in the home.
- HGTV is popular because of the unique and interesting things they do with homes – bright and intriguing color combinations, cutting-edge design etc. The more provocative the show, the more viewers and the more advertising revenue. My objective in staging your home is to have it appeal to the broadest possible range of buyers; “playing it safe” in terms of decor is what actually pays off.
I actually love HGTV too; I watch it frequently and get some good ideas from the shows. The staging work I do for Sage clients, however, is not HGTV.