Brick-Anew recently caught up with home stager Sharon Tara, owner of Sharon Tara Transformations, and were lucky enough to get her insight into the home staging business as well as some challenging issues she’s had to help her clients solve.
Brick-Anew: What is your definition of a home stager?
Sharon: A stager helps home sellers prepare and present their home for sale. My goal as a home stager is to make a home both visually and emotionally appealing to potential buyers. Staging can be as simple as a two hour consult where sellers are given a to-do list or it can involve the stager providing furnishings and accessories and performing a complete transformation.
BA: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about home staging?
Sharon: One of the biggest misconceptions about staging is that it’s just decorating. It’s not decorating, it’s strategic marketing. It involves highlighting positive features and minimizing negative features. It’s about showing space and function in each room. It’s about creating value.
Another misconception is cost. People think it’s expensive. A two hour consult averages about $200 and results in a home that sells on the average 7 months sooner.
BA: What are the main problems you see in houses that are on the market?
Sharon: The number one problem I see…..lack of maintenance and dated appearance
Sellers think that buyers will look past worn, stained carpet and walls painted mauve and 1980’s window treatments. Sellers who don’t want to invest time and money in painting and replacing carpet usually assume that new owners would prefer to choose their paint colors and choose the new carpet and make the home their own. Today’s buyers don’t have the time or interest in making those decisions. They want a home that is in move-in condition….a home that appears to be well maintained and cared for.
BA: What are the easiest problems to fix and what are some ideas that really have a “Wow” factor?
Sharon: Some easy problems to fix are with paint. Think of paint as liquid equity. Fresh paint results in the biggest bang for your buck. The right color is important….a warm, neutral color throughout the home. Gray tones are very popular right now. Removing all personal items….family photos, religious items, political items and collections. Removing heavy and dated window treatments. Organizing closets and cabinets. Pre-pack things you want to keep but don’t need on a daily basis. Toss or donate the things you no longer want.
A really good cleaning. Bathrooms and kitchens must be spotless.
The biggest impact or wow factor? Buyers are most impressed by space, light and cleanliness. They want a home that not only serves their needs, but one that they feel has been well cared for.
BA: Love that quote…”Think of paint as liquid equity”. Which brings us to our next question. You’ve used our Brick-Anew paint kit in your staging business. What do you think?
Sharon: My clients were very pleased with the product. They said it was easy to apply and the results were quite dramatic. When I first saw the finished product, I was pleasantly surprised. I was so happy that they took the time to get the product and apply it and extremely happy with the transformation it created!
Using Brick Anew absolutely helped them sell their home. No doubt in my mind. It created a much higher perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers.
BA: That’s awesome! What fireplace challenges do you run into?
Sharon: It’s frustrating how many sellers are just not willing to paint the brick. The difference in perceived value of the home is huge if they make this small investment of time and money prior to listing.
BA: What are your top 5 tips for decorating the mantel?
- Don’t clutter the mantel with too much stuff.
- It’s best to stick with objects that share a theme or color.
- Place two or three medium sized objects several inches in from one end and then one larger, similar item several inches in from the other end of the mantle.
- You don’t always have to hang artwork on the wall. Setting it on the mantel and having it lean against the wall is a nice look too.
- When you have two matching items (candlesticks, vases, etc) they look better paired together, rather than one at each end of the mantel.
BA: Thanks, Sharon!! We enjoyed talking with you!