The way light hits the walls, the color of the curtains, the perfect placement of an accent plant – all these things contribute to the feeling one gets when first stepping into a space. When it comes to buying a home, this first impression is everything. Whether someone chooses a home often comes down to the quality of the staging at the time of showing.
“Staging allows a buyer to see what the space would accommodate and gives them a vision of a home’s potential,” said Kathy Bowgren, Office Manager at Century 21 Alliance Group. “Sometimes people don’t know how to think outside the box and expand their ideas of what a space could be, so we try to show what could really happen with the area if approached from different angles.”
All Century 21 Alliance Group agents stage homes on their own, but every month they share knowledge to collectively tackle challenges and support each other.
“If we have a home we think is priced right but is not selling, we’ll take about nine of our agents there to take a look and see if they catch something that the lister isn’t seeing,” Bowgren said. “One time we had a home with a very small living room that had a big piano placed in it. One of our fresh eyes noticed this and once we took the piano out it opened up the room and brought a new awareness to the space’s potential.”
“We’ll walk through a home together and say, ‘Some curtains would do well here,’ or, ‘let’s move this piece over there and see if that works better,’” Bowgren continued. “We make all kinds of suggestions during these sessions and have a lot of fun with it as a group. Then once the staging is altered just slightly, the home usually ends up selling fairly quickly.”
Interior designer and realtor Lyndsye Felsman has been staging homes for years. She started out staging homes for realtors and eventually obtained her real estate license, allowing her to bring her talent of creating beautifully arranged rooms and her keen eye for design to Century 21Alliance Group.
“When I stage a home, I want to create a space that looks and feels its best,” Felsman said. “Usually that means aesthetically pleasing, clean and tidy with a nice focal point, and some added texture that just makes the room feel good.”
“When I talk about a focal point, that’s a means of accentuating the good parts of the home or a certain room. For example, if a home has a fireplace, I’ll make sure to stage that area to look its best and draw notice from viewers,” she said.
A good staging job makes it easy for potential buyers to envision a future in the space they’re viewing, making them feel safe, welcome, and confident in their decision to sign for the keys to the front door.
“What I love to do for a home is create an atmosphere that makes buyers want to be there with their people,” Felsman said. “I want to put people at ease in the space so they can see the memories they’ll make in it and enjoy it for what it’s meant to be: a home.”
According to Felsman, the first step to achieving this effect is to eliminate clutter and quiet the space.
“Take the room down until it’s empty space. Let it breathe, see where the light is, and add elements that accentuate the personality of the home without becoming overwhelming or distracting,” Felsman said. “You want to emphasize texture, life and light through things like glass, lamps, plants, wood, or canvas. When you walk in a room and it just feels good, it’s usually because of one of those things.”
More than anything, a space has to mesh well with the buyer and their lifestyle and serve as a place where they and their loved ones can flourish.
“I love when people can look at a space and think, ‘Yes, I want to spend time here,’” Felsman said. “It’s always a good sign when people leave a viewing feeling that sense of comfort, especially when you know you’ve made the client enjoy the home better because of that extra effort in staging. Home should be a place that makes you so comfortable you don’t want to leave; a place where you and your friends and family can enjoy the best aspects of life.”
To learn more about Century 21 Alliance Group visit https://www.21alliance.com/.
To see more of Lyndsye’s work and get an up-close view of what staging brings to a space, visit the following site for some inspiring before and after photos: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/why-i-combined-open-shelves-and-cabinets-in-my-kitchen-remodel-stsetivw-vs~86001196.