No matter what real estate market we find ourselves in, we all know that it's never easy to sell a home. In the last several years, a new trend has emerged in the real estate arena that is said to help homeowners sell their houses or apartments faster and for more money. This practice - known as "home staging" - is widely recommended by real estate agents all over the nation.
The idea behind home staging is essentially this: living in your home and trying to sell it are two different things. Staging is the practice of making sure every physical aspect of your home is ready to show to potential buyers - and hopefully get them thinking about making your home their own. This could include de-cluttering, editing and rearranging furniture, painting and doing repairs, removing personal items, cleaning and a myriad of other possible tasks.
Creation of an Industry
The home staging industry first emerged in 1972 when realtor Barb Schwarz began helping California clients market their homes. After her realization that a nicely staged home sold faster and for more money, she formalized her method and began teaching classes on the topic. In 1985, she began touring the country, sharing her ideas with realtors at conventions.
Soon after, she realized that realtors don't always have the time both to carry out their duties as realtors and to perform the tasks required in staging a home for sale. So she began training others to do it in 2000. Today, more than 10,000 students have earned the designation of Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) through her program - and since then, many others have begun training organizations of their own.
"The way you live in your home and the way [home stagers] market and sell your house - your product - are two different things," Schwarz says. "Staging is not decorating. Decorating is personalizing - staging is de-personalizing. When it's time to market your home, you must neutralize it for a wider group of buyers," she adds.