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Professional Organizing Services & Home Staging Services
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Streamline U. Home Staging
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is home staging?

Home staging is a term used to describe the process of preparing a home for the real estate market. It includes everything from a detailed cleaning and de-cluttering, to furniture arrangement, wall colors, lighting, accessories, and more. The goal is to highlight the home's best features and eliminate distractions, so potential buyers can envision themselves in the home.

Why should I do it?

The main reason is the bottom line: the National Association of REALTORS has found that a staging investment of 1 to 3% of the home's list price typically yields a return of 8 to 10%. StagedHomes and other real estate experts find staged properties consistently sell faster than their unstaged counterparts. Either way, that's more money in the bank for you! When you prep your home properly you are expanding the pool of potential buyers. On the flip side, if you haven't prepped your home, you're giving potential buyers reasons *not* to seriously consider buying your home. In a market with lots of inventory, as we have now in the Hudson Valley, it's more important than ever to be sure your home will stand out, not be ruled out! And an investment in staging is always less than the first price reduction.

Staging is critical to creating the vital positive first impression - that's why staging begins outside your house in fact. Home buying is an emotional process, home staging acknowledges that fact, and makes the most of it. Recent findings from neurology confirm it: decision-making is more emotional than rational.  This is not to say all our decisions are impulsive or ill-informed. It's simply a fact that our emotional brain has been evolving much longer than the rational brain, and therefore has more power, more speed, and fewer "bugs." You have less than a minute to get folks to say 'yes, I like this..." and start picturing themselves in the house. Without home staging you're missing a vital opportunity.

But I'm selling a vacant home - isn't that the best way to show a house?

Once again, the answer is opposite what you might expect... truth is, vacant homes can be some of the toughest to sell, especially if they are not just-built. In fact, staging a vacant home is so important, I wrote up a whole additional page of reasons why you should stage a vacant house.

Why get help staging your home?

An outside eye (and nose!) is essential when you're getting ready to sell your home. You've lived in your house for a while no doubt, and it's human nature to simply "not see" those things that need attention -- from the various clutter around the house. to the wall colors, to the furniture arrangements. Viewing your home for the first time, I will see those potential pitfalls quickly. All of the changes I propose are designed to showcase your home, so buyers can see what a great place you're offering.

I hired an interior decorator when I moved in, isn't that the same thing?

Actually, it's very different. Staging is about appealing to the most people --the most buyers. Decorating is about showcasing your style. It could be that much of the decorating is great, but some might be too unique to you, like the animal print rug or the elaborate window treatments. You've heard it before, and it's true: sometimes less is more. Whether you've had decorating help or not, HGTV's Designed to Sell says it best: "The single biggest mistake home sellers make it is to think they need to do nothing. They’ll think ‘it’s been good enough for me all this time, why isn’t it good enough for somebody else?’"

Just like my organizing, staging is not about being critical -- it's about working with you to transform your space. With organizing the goal might be efficiency....with staging, the goal is selling. It's time for you to move from dweller to seller, Streamline U. can help you do just that.

What are some of the things I might have to change?

There are some changes you must make, and some that will be optional. In my opinion, the top seven selling no-nos, in no particular order, are:

  • Overflowing Closets, Cabinets & Media Centers
  • Dirt & Smells
  • Jarring Wall Color & Busy Patterns
  • Family & Personal Photos
  • Wallpaper & Paneling
  • Room Confusion
  • Tchotchkes & Collections

Most of these are self-explanatory; each has a good "what buyers want" reason behind them. We know everyone wants a clean house, but did you know that too-full closets, bookcases, etc., signal to a buyer that the house doesn't have enough storage space?
Room confusion refers to spaces that don't have a clear purpose, or are trying to accomplish two purposes not so well. For example, a living room chock full of toys says "playroom." For buyers, make sure each room's use is clear. Yes, this may interfere with your usual day-to-day living, but remember, you've decided to be a seller, not a dweller!
There are more elements to staging than these seven items, of course, including creating curb appeal and furniture arrangement and editing, but this gives you some idea of what not to do!

When should I do home staging?

As soon as you know you're going to sell. Even if it's a year off, that's more time to complete those projects around the house that will add dollars to the eventual offers. You should consider staging even before you have your real estate salesperson visit to prepare your listing and a price. Just like anyone else, your agent will need to "deduct" from the asking price for those tasks that clearly need doing, such as painting, cosmetic repairs, etc.

Contact Streamline U. today – staging your home for the market is just a call or e-mail away.

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