Nitty Gritty of Occupied Staging: It’s not as bad as you think

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It’s a delicate balance selling a home with occupants and working around all their possessions. There is a high probability cluttered rooms, ill-placed and dated furnishings, artwork, overstuffed cabinets and closets, plus day-to-day messes exist and they will distract homebuyers, plus look unappealing in photographs.

Before Living Room of Occupied Home – odd placement of furnishings and chandelier

Encouraging buyers to fall in love with an unstaged home becomes a challenge and the home could remain on the market for months on end with multiple price reductions.

Professionally staging a home is a strategic marketing tool and will provide value to the bottom line.

  • “32% of home buyers are willing to offer more money for a staged home compared to a similar non-staged home.” — National Association of Realtor’s 2015 Profile of Home Staging
Before Living Room of Occupied Home – too much furniture

Sellers have misconceptions about staging a home for fear they must live in a sterile home void of personality, and that simply isn’t true.

Living Room after home staging – cohesive seating arrangements and no chandelier

Occupants can live in the home and with a few modifications it can be comfortable and attractive. The process of staging makes a difference, and yes, there will be changes to attract buyers and capture their attention, especially for photographs, such as:

  • Arrangement of furnishings to enhance traffic flow, increase vantage points or show off architectural features.
  • Reducing the amount of furnishings or décor in a room to create balance, harmony and showcase room sizes.
  • Simplification and organization of collections, décor, paperwork, and closets to reduce clutter and chaos allows buyers to appreciate the home and see the potential.

Additional considerations, include:

  • Deep cleaning the entire home, including windows and tidying up the exterior. Cleanliness plays a huge role in welcoming buyers. They don’t want to buy someone’s dirty house.
  • Update outdated fixtures, lighting and wall colors attracts buyers wanting a move-in ready home.

Taking steps to showcase the home before it is listed can increase the selling price and decrease the duration of the listing, which ultimately is the win-win everyone wants. Staging and photostyling the home is a powerful tool before listing and can generate higher offers with faster sales!

Getting down and dirty and knowing where to start is daunting. The training and experience of a professional home stager offers to stage an occupied home will help to ease the transition, provide resources and help to transform the home. The home stager is a trusted professional to help you get the most for your home.

Debbie DeMarais is a professional certified home stager with DeMarais | Home Staging + Design and has successfully staged and styled hundreds of occupied and vacant homes in Santa Fe, resulting in beautiful homes receiving fast offers and quick sales. She is a member of HSR, RESA and Allied Member of ASID.