The fall home staging / house fluffing market is really heating up. I’m fully booked until October with client projects.
Last year at this time I had three overseas clients. One in Hong Kong, one in Thailand and another in England. After years of having tenants living in their homes while overseas, they decided to sell.
That made my job especially interesting since tenants don’t always take the best care of a place. Repairs and painting are always the first steps, once they move out, followed by a specialized cleaning team.
I love doing empty houses, and when the owner is away I really have complete creative control. I’m starting with an empty shell just waiting for my vision of what the home can be.
I usually stick to a neutral color palette— but not always, as you can see in this bathroom. Here the 1920s tiles and fixtures are set off with a colorful shower curtain, bold towels and a rich gold on the walls.
It creates a “look” instead of saying “this old bathroom has got to go!” As it happens, this bathroom was in a house I staged that sold for $100,000 more than the client thought they would get! But I digress. Back to my three overseas clients…
Once I’ve created the color palette for the home and the whole place is repainted, I have the window coverings added. Then I move in rental furniture and accessories to create the dream home potential buyers can fall in love with.
Home Staging is a very detailed business
Every detail must be attended to and so much has to be planned. After all, once the truck full of furniture arrives is not the time to realize you forgot a chair or a lamp you needed for the corner.
It can be intimidating furnishing an entire house from scratch when you’ve never done it before. It takes me about 3 hours to choose furniture and accessories for a 4 bedroom house. I take lots of measurements ahead of time and draw rough floor plans.
I really pay attention to where walls jut out and exactly how many inches I have to work with in smaller areas. Imagine bringing in a dresser and realizing it doesn’t fit where you thought it would. Or worse, they can’t even get it up the stairs because you forgot to consider the width of the staircase or the sloped ceiling!
I also bring my digital photos of the home for reference when I’m selecting furniture. Sometimes I’m choosing furniture for two or three houses at once and I need to keep them straight. Photos really help bring life to my floor plans and measurements.
Special reporting requirements for out of town clients
Working with a client that is out of town requires additional project management time so it’s important to prepare your client for that cost of your time. You need to keep them in the loop as the project progresses as it requires a huge leap of faith on their part to turn their home over to someone else to decorate to sell in their absence.
I admire their courage and feel a profound obligation to do their home justice while they’re away. It’s not all about measurements, floor plans and scheduling (those these are critical) it’s also about hanging out in the space and understanding and seeing its potential.
In case you’re wondering, on staging day, I usually arrive at the empty house at about 9 AM and by 5 PM the home is showing ready! What a feeling of accomplishment there is at the end of a day like that. To so clearly see the results of your planning, project management and creative vision is very rewarding.
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