Why DIY Home Staging Isn’t Worth Your Time
As the new year approaches, people are starting to think about their goals for 2020. Which means at least some of you are starting to think about selling your house. Maybe you’ve been saving money and want to finally upgrade, or maybe you’re an empty nester who’s decided to downsize. Either way, the gears are starting to turn. Where does hiring a professional home stager come in?
While you’re in the planning phase, you’re probably starting to consider the changes your house needs to get it ready to go on the market. Which, hopefully, means you’re considering staging.
Now, there are plenty of articles and videos out there for “Do It Yourself” staging. But there’s a reason why we have so many clients looking for professional staging services—there’s A LOT to get wrong.
Do you really want to take a gamble when you’re selling one of the biggest investments you’ve ever made?
Here are four reasons to hire a professional home stager instead of attempting to stage a home yourself. You can hear Melissa Marro, owner of Rave Home Staging, talk through the common mistakes of DIY home staging on her Monday morning radio show below.
1. Avoid Going Too Neutral
“Old School” home staging—and many of those DIY “advice” articles—says to stay neutral and appeal to a broad audience. Stick to white and off-white colors. Simple geometric shapes.
You DO want to depersonalize the house. It shouldn’t feel like you or whoever lived there before is STILL living there, because that doesn’t create an inviting space for the prospective buyer. But if you go too far making it look neutral, you’re not doing yourself any favors either.
We’ve found that the best strategy is to identify the most likely buyer and create an environment specific to that buyer. This is known as demographic and psychographic-based staging. It’s the most effective method for helping the buyer form an emotional connection with a house—making it attractive and memorable, not merely neutral.
2. Use Color, But Balance It
Some people are stuck in 2005 when it comes to using color in a home. You may read about the 10/30/60 rule for color, which is a basic rule of design, but whether or not you should stick to it will depend a lot on the specific house and the neighborhood that it’s in.
Generally speaking, you want your color palette to be consistent throughout the house. Don’t go overboard with bold colors either. Each room should flow easily into the next without a jarring difference in colors and theme. This creates the feeling of a single, larger space.
The list price of the home will influence the color palette too. More expensive homes are generally less colorful than lower-priced homes. Even a beach house, which you might normally think of as whimsical and colorful, should appear more subdued if it’s a high-end property.
These are all factors that a professional stager will have at the front of their mind as they are planning out a stage.
3. Keep To Scale
Another common misconception: a smaller room will NOT feel bigger if you fill it with a lot of smaller furniture and items. But honestly, that’s just clutter.
If you want to make a small room feel larger, you should use normal size pieces. Just use less of them.
When it comes down to it, scale is more about balance than the actual size of the items you’re using. Unless you have a great eye for design, achieving that balance can be a nightmare.
4. Get the Best Value Out of Your BIGGEST Investment With a Professional Home Stager
The most important reason to hire a professional stager? Return on investment.
Let’s say you decide to save a little money when you’re putting your house on the market with DIY staging. But you’re busy trying to get everything else lined up to sell your home at the same time, so you quickly rent whatever furniture seems to fit and place it where you can, hoping for the best.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t make a great first impression. So your house sits on the market. You take multiple price reductions.
When you finally do close, you realize you’ve lost more money from price reductions than you would have spent on hiring a professional home stager in the first place.
We don’t want you to have to make that realization. We want you to get the best value for your investment—in fact, that’s what every good professional home stager wants.
It’s also why we advise against virtual staging. Your house is probably the biggest investment you have. Don’t cut corners when it’s time to sell.