One of the biggest challenges I face as a Realtor is telling folks that they need to ready their home for the market. Whether its a small project like decluttering their kitchen counters and dresser tops, or a huge take-on like repainting everything and bringing in new furniture, no one likes having a person telling them that their house is anything less than perfect. This is where I'm happy to offer the services of a professional stager.
Staging is such an important part of the home-selling process. How a home photographs can mean the difference in having a flood of viewings- and offers!- within the first few days on the market, or sitting without interest for weeks. Photos are the first thing a potential Buyer will see of their hopeful new residence… Why not make that first impression an incredible one?
I’ve been fortunate in my career to meet the professionals who can take over where my expertise ends, allowing me to serve my clients with a team approach. From professional photographers, to professional stagers, I want to bring my Sellers a full gamut of resources. After all, when I’m hired to help sell a home, I’m handling one of the largest- if not the largest- asset someone owns. I need to make sure I’m servicing them to the best of my abilities. I sat down with friend, partner, and professional stager Jill Gaynor of Home Staging Specialists to gain a little perspective from her end of this process.
How does the staging process work? I know that I usually send you in as a consult in the beginning, if needed, but after that, I’m out of my expertise. What happens after that initial meeting? Staging is an important part of the selling process. When we come into a property, we don’t have the relationship you may have with your client. We come in with “Buyers Eyes” and make sometimes difficult recommendations on the condition of the property and what it will take to get a property ready to sell. Staging is NOT about your personal taste, it’s about appealing to the new owner, having them see themselves in the new space. After the assessment, we will write a report, summarizing our review, provide any vendors needed if necessary to complete the process and provide an estimate on what it would cost to stage a property. In addition, as part of our services, if the client uses us to stage, we will also connect your MLS listing to all of our social media as well. We are definitely a team-oriented firm and work closely with the client and the Realtor. We stay in touch with you and the client until the property is close to closing. We definitely believe "it takes a village” to get a property SOLD!
You’ve mentioned that one of the easiest ways to begin a home refresh is to declutter. Do you have any favorite ways to organize and store in places like the basement, the closet, or the dreaded junk drawer? I am a big fan of a labeler. When my kids were younger and learning to do some chores, I would label the shelves so they knew what size sheets went where without going through all of them to figure out. In addition, I have baskets in my pantry that are labeled for medicine, dental- extra toothbrushes and floss you get from the dentist, napkins, etc. I try to identify where things should go so when I had “helpers” they knew where to put things. In regard to the junk drawer, I would say, at least once a year, stand there with a garbage can and toss/purge all of those miscellaneous items that you thought you needed but didn’t and/or forgot why you were saving a particular widget.
Do you have clients who will call you to stage their home, even if they aren’t planning on listing? What are those projects like? We have been very fortunate to develop great relationships with staging clients that have turned into design clients. A little bit different school of thought: Staging is getting a product ready to sell to GQ Public. Design is making a house a home. We have had several clients who liked what we did from a staging point and when they were moving into their new home, we would often go to help them place their furniture into their new home, recommend paint colors, source any new pieces they may need and help them develop a plan to be in their new home.
Finally, I have to ask- is your home just perfect? (Laughing) I can honestly say I have never been asked that question! Of course I don’t think my house is perfect…it’s perfect for us with a large family, and, I will admit, every time I stage a property, I drive my husband a bit crazy with cleaning out some closet, garage, section of a basement, etc. Since our children are mostly grown and gone, the dust has settled and I am in the process of doing some “updates”. With 4 children and a constant revolving door of their friends, our Derby festivities, etc., (which we both love to have the company!), our home has been well loved and it’s time for a few updates since we built it 15 years ago. We built our home to be functional as well as welcoming where no room was off limits. As you know, a home is constant maintenance, and when our youngest finished playing field hockey and moved to college, it was time to do some updating. Today it’s pretty quiet, but they still pass through now with their dogs, significant others, and friends from college. We are always ready for whomever comes through our door and love every minute of it...
Dear readers, when I invited Jill over to chat, I felt that momentary panic of wondering whether or not my home was up to her standards, so I know that it can be nerve-wracking to ask someone to come into your home and make suggestions on how to make it better. When I asked Jill if she was judging my surroundings as soon as she walked in, she said she was only “assessing.” Smart answer!
GIVEAWAY ALERT!! I’m thrilled to have teamed up with Jill and her Louisville-based company, Home Staging Specialists, to offer an in-home consultation ($150 value) to one of my lucky readers. Whether you’re considering selling your home, or just want a professional to offer an opinion on streamlining or making things a little more cohesive, Jill’s opinion can prove invaluable! Beginning at noon EST today, Monday, August 7th, 2017 until 5pm EST Friday, August 18th, any reader in the Louisville Metro area can enter to win by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. One entry per day only. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email on August 18th. Good luck!
** photos by Kyle Lueken **
** this post was sponsored in part by Home Staging Specialists. all thoughts and opinions are my own **
Yours, most sincerely, Joyce