Saturday, August 11, 2007

How do You Stage an Empty House?

There are some home staging companies out there that will try to convince you that you need to bring in truckloads of furniture to stage an empty house, but I don't think that's necessary, and it may even be counterproductive. After all, the whole idea is to encourage home buyers to envision their own furnishings in your home when they walk in. On the other hand, you don't want someone to walk in and get a feeling of coldness and sterility, either.

When I have an empty house to stage for sale, I begin by putting up window coverings to lend a feeling of softness to a room, because fabric adds texture, which the mind translates as added softness. By window coverings, I'm not talking about blinds. I'm talking about soft fabrics. Blinds can add an even greater feeling of sterility to a room. Keep the coverings pulled back, though, to allow as much light and air into a room as possible. That will make the room feel larger and more friendly.

You can also add inexpensive panels to a room, either plain or lacy, depending upon the style of home and the actual room you're staging. For instance, if you're doing a bedroom, where privacy is important, you don't want the panel too sheer. The same applies if there's a view you want to block out. Use something that is less transparent, but not so solid that it doesn't let light through. The worst thing you can do is make a room feel dark and closed in. Always strive for warmth and airiness when you're staging a room.

The next thing I'd recommend is to put a round table in a breakfast room or kitchen, and sometimes even in a dining room. I also add an absolutely gorgeous fabric skirt that reaches all the way to the floor, surrounded by four chairs, even if they're garden chairs.

I also space a few chairs around the house, in case buyers want to sit and talk. The longer I can keep them in a house, the better my chances of selling it, and people are most comfortable sitting around a round table. Psychologically, sitting at a round table means that no one can be at the head of the table. Everyone is equal and will be more open to expressing themselves openly and honestly.

There are lots of other staging ideas, of course, but these are my favorites, and I've had a great deal of success with them--without having to spend very much money!

Read more about staging our Faux Flip featured on Flip That House for Habitat for Humanity

Copyright © 2007 Jeanette J. Fisher