Why it’s so important to hire a home stager (part 1)
We don’t live in staged homes. Our houses are our refuge from the world where we let down after along day at work or school. It’s where we raise our children, entertain our friends, play with our pets,and develop our hobbies.
And during the business of living, we don’t notice that slowly we are accumulating more and more stuff.We just keep on buying more storage totes that stack well. No wonder Marie Kondo (decluttering guru) is the latest craze. We stop seeing dirty handprints on door frames, light switches, and even the walls. It’s hard enough to keep the public areas of our house clean, let alone EVER thinking about all the dust on top of our furnace and water heater. I’m scared to pull out my washer and dryer. And it usually takes an upcoming graduation party for our high school senior to make us notice that our home is in dire need of some repairs and updates.
This is all fine if we plan on living in our house forever. But when we decide that it’s time to move for one reason or another, we need to somehow disassociate from our house and look at it from a buyers’ perspective. This is nearly impossible to do without a set of trained eyes to bring awareness to what we just don’t notice. Home sellers have a very difficult time separating their everyday life from what appeals to the target market for their house.
As a home stager, I know that buyers are savvier than ever before. They watch HGTV for recreation so they are well-informed through both traditional and social media. In our competitive housing market, where buyers have many comparable choices, they are much more likely to fall in love with houses that they can envision as their own. Not only are extremely clean houses aesthetically pleasing, but the silent message it sends to potential buyers is that this home has always been taken care of and well-maintained. There are likely to be no surprises down the road that are camouflaged.
Your house needs to be spotless and then some! The first place to start is to
declutter. Some people can do this just fine on their own, but chances are this type of person is already purging stuff on a daily basis. Piles of papers were
always a problem in my house. Then I learned that through a few
extra minutes with the mail every day that I could eliminate a lot of
those piles. I now open the mail, keep those darn bills, shred any
potentially private information (credit card applications), and recycle
the rest, every day! There’s no magic answer. We have to put in the
time somewhere, and it’s much easier to do it daily, rather than tackle
it after months when it’s overwhelming.
Then there are those people who don’t even know where to start, and there are a lot of them. It can be paralyzing. Don’t be afraid to admit if this sounds like you. There’s no judging here! We’re all different, and that’s what makes the world such an interesting place to be part of. I salivate at the sight of chaos and want to dig in and organize. I know it sounds weird and has taken me years to understand and even appreciate about myself. I’ve even developed a 4-Step Declutter process to use when I partner with home sellers. Together we make decisions, one item at a time and with no pressure. Decluttering is very time-consuming and shouldn’t be done all at once if you can help it. It’s best to tackle one room at a time. Decide that you’ll devote at least two hours every time you plan to work in that room. At first, maybe you’ll need to reward yourself after your two hours with something small that brings a smile to your face. Once you start seeing progress, you’ll be motivated to follow through until the room is done! Then schedule time for the next room.
When we declutter first, it becomes easier to really deep clean because there’s less stuff to clean around!
Come back for my March blog, which will contain an easy-to-follow list of what you should clean to maximize getting top dollar for your house!