At Heidi Ross Design, our team has over seventeen years of experience staging homes to help clients in the Greater Memphis area and the mid-South get their best sale terms for their luxury homes. Home staging is an important part of the sale process, and has been for quite some time—in fact, we’re part of a decades-long industry that helps homeowners in a competitive real estate market.
How did home staging become so important in the sale process of a home? Here, we’ll break down how our industry came to be—and how we work to fill a need in the Metro-Memphis area of Germantown, Collierville, and Arlington.
Barbara Schwarz and the 1970s
Home stage design is sometimes described as “setting the stage” for potential buyers. It might also be described as a performance—like a job interview—that helps buyers see the best features of a home. These metaphors actually connect back to home staging’s history in 1972, when Barbara Schwarz, an interior designer and real estate agent with a background in theater productions, developed a new way of thinking about showing a home for sale.
At the time, many sellers cut the grass and kept their homes neat and clean, but didn’t “stage” the property as many people do today. Ms. Schwarz used her background in theater to create a way to help buyers envision themselves in the space and to help them form an emotional connection to a home. These techniques—like arranging bedrooms to show how they can fit a comfortable armchair, or displaying how a small alcove can become a breakfast nook—help buyers to imagine the possibilities of a home.
Ms. Schwarz began to teach home staging by developing a professional course and by establishing the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, which provides resources for stagers or those hoping to become certified. Other associations began to develop—like the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA)—and in time the field grew exponentially.
The Rise of the Internet
During the 2000s and the era of the great recession, the real estate market became a buyer’s market. That means that the supply of houses for sale exceeded the demand—a combination of factors that usually drives home prices down. Staging, which had become important for sellers, became even more important as homeowners attempted to get theirs sold and make their homes stand out from their competitors, and demonstrate why they were worth the asking or listed price.
The rise of the internet also meant that buyers were able to view houses online before touring. Amature or DIY staging and cell phone photographs can easily make a house look smaller and darker than it really is—and those photos can easily turn a buyer off and stop them from even seeing the house further. The combination of increased internet culture and a buyer’s market made professional staging more important than ever.
When homes that were staged caught buyers attention and then in turn, got better prices than homes that weren’t staged, staging became even more important. As a result, sellers wanted to give their home that edge, particularly in keeping up with trends in the market and adding or highlighting features that would attract the fresh buying market.
With the economic ups and downs of the past years, and with how important staging has become over the past decades, there are many options for those looking to work with professional and accredited stagers today. Industry experience has taught these professionals what buyers look for in a space. While Barbara Schwarz originally focused on decluttering, arranging, and making repairs, potential buyers today expect more as the home sales field and market expectations have grown.
In home staging, living room areas are the most important, followed by bedrooms and lastly kitchens. Neutral paint colors, modern furniture, smart appliances, and a pop of tasteful art can help appeal to clients from a range of backgrounds. But nothing can replace a professional stager who knows the local target market of a home.
I’m ready to start staging my house for sale—what are my next steps?
At Heidi Ross Design, we put our experience to work for clients in Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, and the Memphis Metro Area. Our professional staging approach helps our clients get the best sale terms for their luxury homes. Our services are more than just arranging the space—our marketing package and client education help to make your staging experience quick and seamless.
What could be even better? We offer a FREE quote that is commitment-free. Our free quote will show you the value of our services and ensure that you have value added information as you begin to work with your Real Estate Professional. Our commitment free package provides all the information you will need to understand our services and staging prices. Use our online tool or give us a call at (901) 361-7419 to get started today. For more free value added information visit our online website articles.
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