The 6 Steps Of A Successful Staging Consultation

A successful staging consultation is critical to getting the best sales price for your listing. Whether this is followed by professional staging or having the homeowners do it themselves, the right time for this is about one to three weeks from your targeted listing date. The goal is to prioritize what absolutely must be done so that we maximize the sellers' return on investment.  

1. Start with the sellers. 

Every good consultation starts with a conversation: a short, practical overview of how staging works and how it will enhance the home's sales price. To get buy-in from the homeowners, I provide an example and - after asking permission - immediately make a few adjustments to the home to show what a difference small changes can make. 

For example, when you walk into the family room, there is almost always a piece of furniture right in front of the entrance. We'll move the sofa to open up the space and direct the eye to a focal point: often the fireplace or a set of windows with a good view.

Now that there is buy-in and the sellers are engaged, the assessment begins.

2. Check curb appeal.

First impressions count. An experienced stager starts with what's visible when potential buyers pull up to the curb. Recommendations begin with landscaping: cutting the grass, replacing dead shrubs, cleaning the walkway, replacing pavers, and mulching. Then, we move to the home's exterior: evaluating the condition of siding, shutters, windows, outdoor lighting, and the front door and entryway. 

Next, we go inside.

3. Evaluate interior walls and floors.

A good stager will move from room to room, recommending which rooms need paint and which can stay as is. Yes, I have a favorite color to create a neutral background and prefer tried-and-true gloss white paint for the trim so the home appeals to the widest range of potential buyers.

But, I may advise leaving the navy blue walls of the bathroom as is, while absolutely recommending removing the peeling red wallpaper in the dining room. This is also when we'll talk about whether kitchen cabinets will need to be painted or if we can use accessories to change the look of the room.

4. Recommend furniture placement.

Our goal is to open up the home to create space, enhance the flow within and between rooms, and highlight architectural features. I'll list what furniture should go where and show how this will improve flow and draw the eye to the home's unique features.

What naturally follows is a discussion of which pieces to keep, which to repurpose, and which to remove before the home goes on the market.

5. Enhance lighting.

Every potential buyer wants to see a light, bright space. Suggestions will include opening the blinds, removing curtains, changing light bulbs, and adding lamps (white or cream shades only, please!) 

6. Revisit accessories and décor.

Accessories are used to create a consistent color scheme and to hold space. Expect suggestions on how to swap the pillows that come with a patterned sofa with the solid-colored pillows of the seating to visually connect the space. I'll show the homeowner how to choose size-appropriate accessories, swapping a large flower arrangement from a small coffee table with the smaller, beautiful bowl on the large dining table. The navy bathroom can be brightened with sparkling white towels.

Again, we'll discuss which pieces to keep, reuse, or remove.

Every homeowner and every listing is different. What will always be the same: the importance of connecting with the sellers and gaining their trust and buy-in. At the end of a professional staging consultation, sellers will have the information they need to do the staging themselves, if they so choose, and will feel empowered by their ability to make small changes that have significant results. This means happy sellers and a higher sales price that benefits all.

If you'd like to schedule a staging consultation, please contact me. I'd love to help.