Staging your home for sale really means preparing the entire property to look its best, so it will sell quickly and at the highest price. In today’s buyers market, doing everything you can to make it as inviting as possible is the key to capturing those savvy buyers.  A staging professional, unlike an interior decorator, knows how to emphasize the best features of a property, as opposed to furnishing in a style that suits the owner. The homes that are properly staged always seem to have more value, because they look sharper and have more “wow”. When buyers are free to focus on the space, scale, light and features that make a house special, they can more easily imagine themselves living there. Even if it is occupied during the marketing period, a well-tuned house should be free of the unnecessary distractions and negative impressions that a “lived-in” home can sometimes send. Finally, a staged home loves the camera — great photos are an essential marketing tool for the Internet images that reaches over 90% of our buyers — and perfect pictures will convey the message that the property has been well-loved.

Naturally, as a seller you will have to consider your budget and think about where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. A smart Realtor and stager will propose how to turn any negatives into positives (or at least neutrals), as well as transform the positives into jaw-droppers.  For starters, fresh painting and attention to the flooring goes a long way to making a home move-in-ready. Your goal is to reduce the buyers’ mental to-do list when they view your home, so they don’t just think about extra costs. Kitchens and bathrooms are the next areas to look at, and can often be improved with new paint, hardware and lighting with minimal expense. The gardens, as well as the exterior areas must look sharp in order to make the most of that first impression.

To stage, appropriate furnishings and accessories are strategically placed in the home to make it feel spacious, light, attractive, comfortable and inviting.  Sometimes a house will be vacant and fully staged. Other situations call for a “partial stage”, where some of the seller’s furnishings are used. In all cases, less is more. When a buyer feels welcome and easily understandings the style, flow and function of a home, they can more easily picture it as their own. By minimizing the seller’s “presence”, the stager creates an inviting, yet less personal atmosphere that presents the home at its very best and appeals to a majority of buyers.

Here are a few examples of where I’ve help to prepare properties for the market. Along with my team of staging, painting, flooring, lighting, landscape and remodeling professionals, we know that every home and situation is different, so all proposals are sensitive to need, scale and budget. Sometimes all that’s required is a little tweak here and there. In other situations a longer preparation period will pay off in spades. The market demands that in order for your home to sell quickly and at the highest price, it must outshine the competition and look better than ever. Today it takes a pro to get that done.

Enhance light and scale

Soft color and contemporary furnishings enhance the light and scale of this beautiful home, creating a comfortable feeling which harmonizes with the classic grace of this 1920’s Elmwood traditional.

Turn “tired” into “retro”

A new floor and the right paint colors turn this 80’s remodel into a fun ketchup ‘n’ mustard kitchen. The color theme also highlights the existing lovely oak cabinets.

Make yesterday’s trends into today’s classics

A 50’s rancher is transformed with refinished floors, recessed lighting and modern furnishings. The soothing wall colors and bold accents fit right in with the straight architectural lines.

Emphasize beloved traditions

A classic Berkeley Mediterranean calls for traditional treatment to emphasize the warmth and elegance of the vintage wall sconces, cathedral ceiling and period details.

Help buyers imagine their new lifestyle

This cosmopolitan theme, using contemporary colors and modern furnishings, creates drama and excitement in an otherwise basic live/work loft in Jack London Square.

Find the virtue in neglected areas

A few stepping stones and a little TLC transforms this forgotten side yard into an enchanting and welcoming garden, one of the highlights of this magical Berkeley Hills home.