This was the condition of the living room when I arrived to conduct a home staging consultation. I’m standing on the stairs for a bird’s eye view of the scene for you.
By the way, that’s a great home staging portfolio photo tip for you. You can get stronger before and after photos to showcase your work if you stand on the stairs and shoot down on the scene (with a wide angle lens of course).
I have to admit just looking at all the baby paraphernalia took me back to my own first year as a new parent. It’s really incredible how one tiny baby (who isn’t yet holding up her head) can take over an entire living space!
So what do you do when you have to provide home staging advice to a new parent?
Here are some home staging tips to keep in mind:
Your client is overwhelmed as a new parent and the prospect of selling their home and moving is probably enough to put them “over the edge.”
There are severe limits on how many changes you can request of them. After all, a quiet and happy baby comes first (in their minds), not a perfectly staged home.
They hired a home stager because they recognize they need help, so don’t be afraid to provide it.
Keep your advice to the point. There is limited quiet time, energy and focus to devote to you, so don’t beat around the bush.
Be direct, but deliver your staging recommendations with kindness.
Organize/do whatever you can for your clients in this first visit, so they aren’t left with an overwhelming “to do” list after your home staging consultation. If you’ve taken the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, you know that a home staging consultation should usually also be a working session and how that affects your income and how much staging you will do.
Help your client figure out which baby items can be put away until after the house sells and which ones are immediate must-have’s. In this one room I spotted a bouncy seat, playpen, swing and car seat! Not all 4 are necessary every single day. By the way, where did our own mothers put us down before all these contraptions were invented?
Few parents have the time/energy to run upstairs every time the baby needs changing. Work out a method to keep what they need hidden away on every level of the home. For example, a decorative and covered basket can hold baby wipes, clean diapers, etc. so they are always handy but aren’t spread all over the coffee table.
Eliminate unnecessary furniture when you can’t eliminate baby stuff. For example, in this room I recommended putting the tall wine rack with glasses in storage and pushing the playpen over if that was a “must keep” item. The tall shelf looks terrible where it is, regardless of the baby situation. It competes with the fireplace and looks awkward from all angles.
Home stagers, what other advice would you provide for those of us doing home staging consultations for new parents? Please share your comments below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. Debra bought, staged and sold 6 homes as a single parent, while her child was aged 14 months to 12 years.