Home Staging beneficial, yet misunderstood concept in real estate industry
Irmo, SC (James Bowers) - When prospective buyers look at a home, they examine how the various rooms and spaces would accommodate their needs and design tastes. There is now a new practice in the real estate industry that helps give them a better idea. Home staging is the art of placing furniture, appliances and other items such as lighting fixtures to demonstrate what type of design and organization works for a given space—and what doesn’t. This enables the prospective homeowner to envision what they can do with the abode, and whether or not it would be a fit for them.
“People can’t always see if their current furniture will fit into the new space. Home staging allows them to see how that furniture would fit,” said Kimber Braswell, owner of Sweetgrass Home Staging out of Irmo. The process is similar to “flipping a house” with home staging focusing more on aesthetic modifications as opposed to the functional changes made by house flippers.
Home staging is done with the goal of making properties appeal to as many people as possible, usually neutral paint colors and contemporary furniture and fixtures are utilized as opposed to more exotic décor. The endgame is to make the home feel inviting. Braswell says that it is important to put aside sentimental and personal preferences and attempt to create a property that fits what buyers in the market are looking for. “Your taste may not be everyone’s taste,” Braswell noted.
Braswell says that there are no formal regulations or requirements to be a home stager, but most come from a background in interior design or real estate. Home staging benefits both the seller and the buyer. The seller can sell their house more easily if they can demonstrate it fits to buyers, while the buyer will be able to feel more comfortable with their decision as the staging gives the relative certainty that the house will fit their needs.
Most staging operations, like Sweetgrass, consist of furniture and décor being physically placed inside spaces, using a collection of items owned by the company itself. However, virtual staging, which as the name implies, includes computer simulation of furniture and paint placement. Braswell says that her company will begin offering this service in the near future. Virtual staging is expected to be a billion dollar industry by the year 2025.