Portland Home Staging Works

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Real estate agents and home stagers have a lot in common. We love working with people and houses, and our goal is to get homes sold at the best possible value! That’s why I offer free professional home staging consultation for all of the homes I list.

Yes, Staging Works

Here’s the bottom line: Homes sell faster when they’re staged than when they’re not. “Staging” means one of two things. First, it could mean bringing in complete furniture sets and accessories into vacant homes or second, it means re-arranging, removing, and generally organizing your home’s current furniture and accessories in a way that ultimately will bring a better value for the home. We offer to help with the bid to stage a vacant home, or we pay for a professional consultation from a stager to walk through an occupied home for two hours and make room to room recommendations. Staging is a powerful marketing tool in your Portland real estate agent’s toolbox. If it’s missing, you should look for an agent that does offer free staging consultation as part of their listing package! Here’s why:

  • Homes sell online. 92% of home buyers look online first, and what they see there are pictures and videos of the home. If your home isn’t showing up well in those pictures, you could miss out on 92% of potential buyers!
  • According to Room Solutions Staging, which tracks the homes they stage, in the first six months of 2015, staged homes sold in an average of just 8 days in Portland! The average days on market for all Portland-area homes in the same time period was 59 days.
  • According to the National Association of Realtors, only 34% of sellers’ agents stage all homes they represent. Another 13% stage “difficult homes to sell”, which means they only stage the home after it has been sitting on the market and already lost potential value.
  • Staging pays off: 37% of sellers agents surveyed by the NAR reported that staging a home impacted the sales price by between 1 and 10%. If you sell at $350,000 home for 1% more, that translates to an extra $3500!

Every House a Stage

Before we get to the juicy tips from our Portland professional home designers and stagers, let’s get one thing clear: Homes can be staged whether they’re occupied or vacant, small or large, old or new!
Most people think of vacant homes as being the ones in need of staging. It’s true — buyers have been scientifically proven to have difficulty picturing what to do with all that empty space! But occupied homes are just as ready to benefit from professional staging. When you live in a place, you personalize it, which means that buyers might not be able to imagine themselves living there.

Before listing your home for sale, you should de-clutter, clean thoroughly, and correct any major issues with the house, but don’t forget the home staging! It’s what turns your house into the buyer’s dream house, and the way it works can seem like pure magic.

The Pro Tips

Lucky for us, some of the top real estate staging and design firms in Portland were willing to share their hottest tips for staging a home to sell. If you want to believe in magic, stop right here. If you are looking for some DIY advice, or just curious what to expect, read on!

1. Keep color neutral.

This is a big part of de-personalizing the space, and while it might sound boring, a quick look at the pictures on Portland’s Spade and Archer Design Agency website will convince you otherwise. They stick to a color scheme of black, cream, gray, brown, white, all to an attractive effect that does the opposite of boring. The color scheme accents the space rather than occupying it by being the loudest thing in the room!

2. Think bigger, not more.

When it comes to decorating a home, writes Pacific Northwest home stager OnStage Home Design, one large item like an area rug can do the job of several smaller accent rugs. The same goes for wall decor — the purpose is to move the buyers eye toward the space, not so much to small, detailed paintings or photographs. Eliminating visual clutter is OnStage’s approach to staging homes, and real estate agents and home sellers agree that it works!

3. Create subtle hints.

We just said that details are distracting — but sometimes distracting is good. Room Solutions Staging of Portland says that “lifestyle scenes” are important for telling the story of the room. For example, create a spa-like mood in the bathroom with bottled bath salts and a handheld massager. A clean, well-lit kitchen is enhanced with the subtle placement of a cookbook and a bottle of wine to hint at the family meals that could transpire there. This is where having the right accessories is key — and accessories happen to be what the professional home stagers have at their fingertips.

4. I know your type!

Is your home a traditional craftsman, modern, Northwest contemporary, mid-century modern, or eclectic architectural style? Portland’s Synergy Home Staging says that the answer to this question will inform your home staging, but not limit it to one particular style. Help buyers connect to the particular era that your home is from by adding subtle historical touches – a typewriter, an old map of Portland, or a stylish lamp. Then keep it modern by not going overboard and adding furnishings that people can see themselves actually using! In today’s busy world, simplicity will help home buyers feel relaxed and confident.

5. A glimpse into the future?

Spade and Archer Design has another great tip: Mirrors. Put one up in the entry way and buyers will literally see themselves in the home as soon as they walk in it. Narcissism sells! Mirrors not only create the illusion of more space and more light, they also reflect most people’s favorite image — themselves. Just be sure the mirrors you use are framed, clean, and not “antiqued” with cracks and corrosion.

6. Now you see stuff, now you don’t

There are two ways to show off your home’s stage. One is to be sure that items that should be stored — exercise equipment, vacuum cleaners, small kitchen appliances — are. If they’re out, writes Room Solutions Staging, the buyer will walk away feeling like there isn’t any space in the garage, basement, etc. to put them! The other way is to not leave shelves, open cupboards, etc. empty but to actually place an attractive item there to draw the eye toward it. When you look at “before” and “after” pictures of staged homes, they one thing that pops out is a shelf you didn’t know was there, or a cupboard that blended into the wall before a vase with flowers was placed on it!

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