Stage It or List It!

Author: Tricia Tomlinson, Founder of SDN

Love It or List It! What a great show on HGTV! I love when people actually choose to keep their homes! I think there should be a new REALITY show called “Stage It or List It” all about the impacts of staging.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a home staged where the homeowner wished they hadn’t signed the listing agreement already. This begs the question, why don’t more homeowners stage first and then list? It’s worth considering when you understand how much of a difference staging can genuinely make, not to mention the wealth of talent within the staging community. Stagers don’t always just place the furniture; they often change the wall color, choose new carpet, have a wall removed, update fixtures, and more! I remember a home that I staged during the economy’s downturn when the lights seemed to be out in the city of Redmond. The house was in the foreclosure process. Luckily BECU happened to be the lender, and they were willing to give us the time needed to transform the home into something that could work financially for both the sellers and the bank. With this particular couple, the husband had cancer, and he could not perform any work at home. His wife was focused on him because there was no cure. I received a call from a friend asking if I could help.

When I walked through the home, I could see it had great bones but needed a lot of updating. It was a waterfront home, which was a huge positive. After meeting with the bank and securing the time we needed, I created a plan. This wasn’t just about updating furnishings; that would have been easy. This was a total transformation without removing any walls.

Our focus was to make the home feel comfortable and inviting, showing how much the owners truly loved this home for as many homebuyers as possible. So, the first thing we did was paint the outside and tidy up the landscaping by removing bushes that blocked windows or no longer looked like they could be manicured. This allowed more light into the home. Next, we replaced most of the light fixtures with something simpler and more current. The laminate countertops were replaced with beautiful granite, and the entire interior was repainted with a neutral color. These changes alone transformed the home. Then we brought in new furnishings, and believe me, we heard many “oohs” and “awes” as people walked through the before and after. We were thrilled to see the home sell immediately, over the asking price, during a time when it had been on the market for over a year.

Many things can be done to a home that can transform the consideration of selling to an absolutely, “I want to stay!”

Many times, after the home is staged, home sellers now realize they want to hire the stager for two houses, the one they are selling and the one they plan to buy. It’s just factored into their purchase price. So, what do you think? Stage It or List It? Would you watch it?

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