The other day, I told a new acquaintance I was a home stager and heard a horror story: their friend had hired a stager who insisted that they buy new furniture for every room! I don’t know about you, but moving is stressful enough without having to contemplate a complete overhaul of some of the most expensive items in your home, only then to face moving or disposing of them.
Staging Tells a Story
The thing is, creating a furniture showroom is not what staging is. Simply put, staging is about marketing your house to the group of people most likely to want it. That means anticipating the desires of that group of people, and presenting your house as the answer to those desires.
Staging tells a story to an audience about what kind of life they can live in this home. It’s as simple as that.
You don’t have to buy all new furniture to tell a good story. You don’t necessarily have to buy anything at all. What you need to do is figure out your audience, figure out your story, and then use your space to tell that story.
A Good Stager Helps You Craft Your Story
Our living spaces tell stories about who we are. These stories can be very personal, like when you go to a friend’s house and see their family photographs displayed with love, or their prized collection of vintage glass, or their floor-to-ceiling shelves of board games. You get a sense of what they love and value, and what they are like, from their space.
The stories we want to tell when staging are more general. They are the story not of who lives here, specifically, but of what kind of people live here: family, couple, single; young or old; starting out in life or well-established. This story is one that will speak to a particular audience and say this is a house for people like you. You are the kind of people who live here.
So as you can imagine, there are some scenarios where new furniture might be in order. A very high-end, fashionable home in a competitive market might do well to eliminate out-of-date styles and display a certain amount of opulence. On the other hand, that sort of styling might be off-putting to young couples looking for a starter home that they plan to furnish with carefully planned trips to Ikea.
There are many sorts of stories to tell when you’re staging a home for sale and there’s no one approach that’s right for all of them. But, it’s a rare circumstance that an occupied home is going to be so out-of-touch with its target market that a complete overhaul of furniture is required. No matter what your situation, a good stager should be able to address your problems and concerns in ways that make sense to you. If they don’t, it’s time for a second opinion.
Learn more in our Fundamentals of Staging series:
What is staging? (you are here)
Fundamentals of Staging part 1: Decluttering
Fundamentals of Staging part 2: Deep Cleaning
Fundamentals of Staging part 3: Depersonalizing
Have you read all of the Fundamentals of Staging and still want more? You can check out our staging tag, or Contact Lenore for a personalized staging plan that makes sure you spend your time and effort on the most effective ways to create a story for your target market, and sell your home.