Debra Gould, The Staging Diva® is commonly asked by home sellers whether or not they should change the function of certain rooms in their home to make it appeal to more buyers. Here, Gould shares why it’s important not to make buyers work too hard to imagine their own lives in a space.
Home Staging Helps Home Buyers Stretch Their Imaginations
Home buyers have less imagination than you might think. That’s why home staging can make such a difference in the selling price of a home and the length of time it takes to sell. During the few minutes that home buyers typically spend in a house, most of them aren’t able to look past ugly, crowded and disorganized rooms, or figure out that the missing dining room is actually masquerading as a family room. In a house with few bedrooms, most buyers won’t look past a desk and imagine a bed in its place. What you do with a “spare” bedroom can have a huge impact on how the house does in today’s real estate market.
A professional home stager will not assume that the rooms in your house are already furnished for the right purposes, and will be able to envision what home buyers want to see. A home stager’s job is to lead a buyer down the garden path of how a property can look and show them exactly how they can live in it.
Add a bedroom
Debra Gould, founder of the Staging Diva® Home Staging Business Training Program, has encountered this scenario countless times since she started her home staging business, Six Elements Inc., in 2002. “I once staged a house that had only two bedrooms, and one of them had dark paneling, no closet and was set up as a home office,” says Gould. “Consistent criticism after showings told the homeowners that it was being perceived as a one-bedroom house. For staging, I took out the desk, put in a bed and turned it into a guest room. The house sold within days.”
Add a child’s room
Home stagers pay special attention to whether or not a home might be a popular choice for young families. This is where knowledge of the local real estate market comes into play.
“If a home is in a family-oriented neighborhood and the existing owners do not have children, at least one existing bedroom needs to be transformed into a child’s room,” remarks Gould who is also known as The Staging Diva, “When a couple with a young family walks through a childless home, it’s hard for them to imagine how their own family will live there. Are the bedrooms appropriate for their kids? Where will they play? Professional home stagers always keep the target market of a house in mind when staging. This helps paint a picture for the potential buyer by staging the house the way it would be lived in by them. With minimal furnishings and a few props, it’s easy to show a child’s bedroom!”
Disguising a small bedroom
“If you’re staging a four-bedroom home that has an exceptionally small bedroom without a closet, consider styling that room as a craft room or home office. Home buyers would only see how tiny it is and that could put them off,” warns Gould. “If possible, include a love seat with end tables and lamps so buyers will envision it as a fold-out bed. This will help them visualize how the room can double as a guestroom.”
The important thing to remember is that home buyers are in a house very briefly and won’t struggle to imagine how they can change the property to meet their own needs. When they go to a showing, they want to picture themselves living in that home. With good staging, they don’t have to imagine their lives there; they should already feel like they’re home. That’s what sells homes faster and for more money.
About the Author, Debra Gould
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 1000 Graduates worldwide. Gould is the author of three home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more, visit www.stagingdivadirectoryofhomestagers.com