I believe our homes have a soul – spread across our walls and covering the surfaces of our homes – left there by the world we create as we live our lives. The energy and vitality of that soul endures, creating the inevitable vibe that is felt by anyone who crosses the threshold.
When preparing our homes for sale, many “experts” believe that removing our personality is a good strategy. We at Stage Right believe that leaving the “soul” in the home is the better way to stage.
As always, balance is key. Too much of anything is rarely a good thing, and too much clutter or too much editing can have a negative effect. After 15 years of helping agents and homeowners transform their homes, we always counsel that careful editing and intelligent furniture placement (or replacement) can add tremendous value to a room. We believe in creating an environment that has the feeling of a “well-loved home”. Few would disagree that a home that appears to have been well cared for, cherished, and valued, is a more desirable investment than a home that has not been.
Our advice to agents and sellers (as well as to new stagers) is to resist the urge to strip the home of personality. Leave the family photos on the end tables, leave some of the kids’ toys about, and don’t strip the closets bare of all your possessions. Leave some of you in the home. People buy on emotion, and they will sense when a home has had its soul removed. It is the reason why too many stagings today look cold and lifeless.
At Stage Right we have five principles we pursue in helping to create a home that leaves a lasting impression:
- rooms have a balanced feel (between furnishings, art, and personal possessions)
- the home feels fresh (well-maintained)
- the home has a new feel (on “trend”)
- rooms feel bright (cheerful)
- show that there is “love” in the home (keeping the right personal possessions)
When all five “principles” have been met, then and only then should a home be listed.
Below is an example of a “staged home” which was stripped of family, personality, and charm. When the house failed to receive any offers, Stage Right was asked to come in and “re-stage”. You can see the difference below by sliding the slider at the bottom of the image back and forth. With the home’s soul restored, a very successful offer was soon to follow.