Home Staging Q&A with Steve Laevastu

Many sellers I have spoken with lately have a lot of questions when it comes to staging. Some sellers wonder if it is really worth it in today’s very hot sellers’ market. However, I feel it makes a HUGE difference with the properties I sell and that I see on the MLS today. I decided to field some of these questions and share my answers with you:

Steve, isn’t staging just decorating? I don’t need my home decorated!

Staging is not just decorating. Staging allows your home’s best features to shine and stand out and it allows buyers to more-easily see themselves living in your home. We focus on bringing in natural light (so important in Seattle) and defining spaces to help the buyers categorize the rooms in your home. We’ll make your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer and best of all, make home buyers want to buy it.

Steve, are we just moving my furniture around or will you bring in other furniture?

It depends on the situation. In instances where your furniture isn’t the right scale or style for what we are trying to achieve, it may be necessary to bring in other furniture. However, in other cases, a slipcover or rearranging how the furniture is laid out will give us the results we need.

Do I have to do this work or do you do it?

Think of me as your personal project manager.  From taking bids from good, inexpensive contractors to working with the interior designer on paint choices to hiring a professional to refinish the hardwood floors, I’ll handle all the details and coordinate the efforts of my team with you.

Will there be painting involved? My living room is purple and I suspect you want me to paint that.

We will review your home together with my interior designer and determine what needs to be done. Sometimes an accent wall is just what the home needs, but in other cases, we may need to have a much lighter feel for that room. Again, if you don’t want the hassle of painting, I can coordinate with a painting professional to have that handled.

Steve, does all this really make a difference in the end?

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 49% of agents who represent buyers indicated that most buyers are affected by home staging and 47% indicated that some buyers are affected by home staging. That means virtually all buyers are affected in some way by home staging. But how does that translate into dollars and market time?

The Real Estate Staging Association did a test by putting a number of identical homes on the market. The staged homes sold over 55% faster than non-staged homes. Furthermore, the National Association of REALTORS® indicates that staging can affect the final sales price between 8-10%. Wow!

Furthermore, with over 90% of buyers searching for homes online, staging coupled with my professional photography service makes your home stand out. When buyers see your home online, we want them to see quality and think, “move-in ready.” Staging and professional photography are key to getting buyers in the door.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Check out the before and after photos below. In the first one, the clients were living comfortably in their living room, but the couches were too large for the space, the TV was awkwardly placed on the fireplace, the fireplace wasn’t a focal point and there was just too much going on:

Kruger living room

But what a difference in the after photo! The room is now light and bright, the furniture is the right scale for the space, the fireplace is a beautiful focal point, and this room invites you to sit down with a glass of iced tea and a good book.

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Which home would you prefer to see in-person?

That is the power of staging. Want to learn more and see more photos? Check out my staging page or give me a call: (206) 226-5300. I would love to share more information with you!

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