The Top 4 Levels of Staging


Due to the huge explosion of the staging concept, most people are aware of the term. What I have found, however, is that the home seller and many realtors are still confused with what staging actually entails. And while popular television shows have boosted the staging value and awareness, oftentimes, they leave the viewer with a distorted view of how to stage the “average” home.

Many of the shows are staging very high end homes and using furnishings and accessories that are very expensive. The stagers have access to unlimited inventory and open ended budgets. While still other programs are showcasing major remodeling of bathrooms and kitchens while still coming in under a set budget of only several thousand dollars!

Staging the average home lies well within the middle of these two described scenarios.
Hopefully the following will bring a more realistic understanding to what value staging brings to the table. In addition, to help simplify awareness of the 4 major staging levels available, that fits the average home, lifestyle and budget.

Level One – Full Staging for the Vacant Home

This would be the vacant home that the seller is willing to fully stage. In other words, to make the empty home appear as if someone is actually living there. The effect is comparable to a new home display model. The stager can either work from their own inventory to furnish the home or select these items from a furniture rental company. Or it could also be a combination of using the stager’s inventory and additional rented pieces from the rental store. Bottom line, the stager will install the selections which will include delivery and pick/up fees plus a monthly rental charge for the furnishings and accessories. Fees will vary according to your stager and geographic area; however, most do charge a 3 month minimum.

Level Two – Full Staging for the Owner Occupied Property

In this case, your stager can help you stage your home using your existing furnishings and accessories. You pay for the consultation and the actual staging and then it is up to you to keep it that way!Your initial consultation will include tips and advice on how to enhance your property to its fullest potential. They can guide you with suggestions of what to remove from each room and what can be used to showcase and give your home that “Wow” factor!

The professional stager will be able to help you choose appropriate neutral updates or changes you might wish to implement. A good stager can also assist you in understanding how to create conversation areas, where to clear up traffic flow issues, where to hang artwork, how to make the best impact with accessories and where to place your lighting.

Your stager is usually an invaluable resource for products and services that you might need to prepare your home for sell. Very much like, redesigners, stagers offer a friendly, less intimidating, and much more cost effective service than traditional design consults.

There are many variables with this Level Two option. You can choose to implement your stager’s ideas or hire them to professionally stage the entire home or only one room. Oftentimes, the stager will include a “Courtesy Shopping List”. This could consist of inexpensive purchases that could give huge enhancing benefits to your home.

Again, you can choose to ignore the list, shop for these items yourself or hire your stager to make these purchases for you. With so many variables you will understand why fees vary depending on what you choose to do yourself or what you choose to hire done.

Level Three – Vignette Staging

This level can be implemented very inexpensively and done in the vacant home or for the owner occupied home that has an empty room or two.

A properly placed vignette does not need to be elaborate in order to take the cold edge off of an empty room. A very popular vignette would consist of a chair, a side table, lighting and rug to set it all on. Add a plant for life and the right accessory and voila!

Or place an ottoman near the fireplace with a tray holding (empty) wine bottle and 2 glasses.
A vignette staging is versatile, can be placed in one or many rooms and is very easy to set up and maintain for you or your stager.

Level Four – Highlight Staging

Recently one of my former students asked me to help her understand how she could incorporate this staging style as one of her offered services. Basically, I told her that “highlights” are whatever she could take to the property in one or two laundry baskets!

Highlighting can be done with the addition of a few books, plants and accessories placed on any built-ins. Accessorizing spaces such as a fireplace mantle or built-ins showcases the architectural elements of the home. Adding bright spots of color with tea towels, decorative plates on stands, small lamp and plant on counter tops brings the kitchen to life. Adding decorative soaps, hand towels and fresh, new shower curtain in bathrooms instantly eliminates that cold, clinical feel. . Use a tray or basket to hold spa items and place on or near the Jacuzzi.

Highlighting inventory and ideas are endless and best of all give a huge impact for very little money or effort.

Victoria Palmer is the director and founder of National Redesign Institute which gives career training in Interior Redesign, Home Staging and Interior Decorating. Most recently she has launched the more cost-effective long distant programs for her student’s pocketbooks and convenience. Victoria also strives to offer members of the National Redesign Institute ongoing opportunities to grow their businesses through related resources, newsletters, conferences and professional listings. Victoria is also the owner of Urbane-Interiors, a full service design firm servicing the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. She has recently been invited by the Kansas City Home Builder’s Association to speak at the annual Fall Home Show, Bartle Hall, KCMo.

Visit Victoria at [] or []

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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