Some parts of decorating and home staging are similar, but there’s probably no more divergent point than “collections.”
Being surrounded by possessions that make you happy is a beautiful thing. You’re living in your home, and it’s called decorating. When you’re selling, your home becomes a commodity, and staging gets your property the most inviting it can be to the other 99.9999% of the population, to sell quickly, and well.
Reducing the amount of things and lowering the level of personalization is the first step in home staging… but it’s nothing personal!
The science is that the eye can not *NOT* see changes in color or light. A basic survival skill that protected our early ancestors from being dinosaur dinner, but collections work against sellers in two ways:
- Collections engage I mean DISTRACT-buyers from seeing a space. If they are busy looking at your things, they will pay less attention to the space. Yes, that big expensive thing they are actually thinking about buying.
- The split seconds it takes the eye to refocuses while moving from one item to another visually reduce the perceived size and value of a space.
And pedigree doesn’t matter! Beer cans to bugs; action figures and comic books; shoes, exotic pets, chubby-cheeked figurines, books, wall art or dolls: Human beings are curious/nosy, buyers even more so.
Reality is YES more stuff you have out, they more they will stop to look. YES they’ll read your certificates, and peruse your bookshelves. Wonder if your kids were on the same soccer team as yours were. They’ll form opinions about your taste in music or movies. Be intrigued-where’d you get those shoes, what you’re going to do with all that yarn, or how much you spent on all those comic books.
Collections give buyers and their agents insight into seller circumstances that will be used to negotiate to their advantage at best, and could be harmful to sellers at worst.
Some collections like teapots or those chubby-cheeked figurines are real time-stamps, giving clues to a sellers age. But a lot of people see listing photos, and not all of them are buyers. For example, professional-grade collections of carefully curated wall art or sculpture, or stuffed animal heads and camo gear tell the world what else may be in the house.
Listing photos are your first and best shot to engage buyers. They need to show your space to its best advantage. It’s not the opportunity to showcase your treasures, or validate your vision/diligence/passions to the world.
Trust this Westchester County Home Stager: No matter what it is, if it’s what will be most remembered, pack it away before photos!!
Come and learn more about what it really takes to get a property ready for sale in one of my upcoming workshops: Monday night July 10th in Tarrytown’s Warner Library, and *JUST SCHEDULED* Sat morning July 22nd at the Mamaroneck Public Library.