October 26, 2016

Home Staging Evolves

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Home Staging Evolves

In the age of HGTV, real estate professionals say home staging is growing in importance and becoming more sophisticated, according to a recent article in The New York Times, which highlighted the value of home staging.

“It always makes a difference, and is essential in this market,” says Richard Balzano, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Balzano says he frequently refers his clients to stagers and will often pay for the preliminary consultations.

Stagers are taking on full transformations of homes that show off contemporary design and offer an aspirational package, The New York Times reports. Today’s home buyers want “sheer or linen curtains, and they don’t want the home packed. They want a cleaner, simpler lifestyle. And more flair and fun,” says Meredith Baer, a Los Angeles-based home stager. She and her team recently transformed a formal dining room into a casual family room, painted the walls (from cream walls to all white), and brought in white sofas and chairs with clean lines.

Sid Pinkerton, owner of Manhattan Staging, says he’s doing more accent walls, such as individual panels in dark brown lacquer, bursts of coral or aqua paint and patterned wallpaper with a rainbow of color. “People are looking for more personality,” Pinkerton told The New York Times. “It used to be more innocuous, where you didn’t really want to convey a sense of style. Now, it’s gotten a lot more modern.”

Some stagers are also adding more personal photographs, no longer advising clients to rid the home of all photos. “If a photo shows the family on vacation, maybe someplace warm and nice, that ties into a lifestyle a buyer might want to emulate,” says Donna Dazzo, the president of Designed to Appeal.

But stagers also try to keep it real. “When I see a tray on a bed, with a coffee cup, I think, ‘Oh, come on,’ ” says Anne Kenney, the president of Anne Kenney Associates, a New York staging company. “Does anybody really live that way? Today’s buyer is more sophisticated, so they don’t want to see phony.”

Source: “The Art of Home Staging,” The New York Times (Jan. 22, 2016)