First Impressions: effective ‘staging’ can help separate your property from the pack | Guest Column

Kathryn Farron

by Kathryn Farron

Quite simply, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

This is especially true in real estate and, even more so in the islands where so many of the potential buyers may only be here for a limited amount of time.

Island buyers have high expectations. Within moments of entering a home, buyers know if this is the property that will not only fit their lifestyle, but meet their dreams of a home that will embrace, nurture, delight, and inspire.

Residential staging is the art of preparing a private residence for the real estate marketplace. Creating a “stage” will leave buyers with a lasting impression of the home, allowing it to stand out above the competition.

The objective is to transform the space to achieve a timely and more profitable sale. In today’s competitive market, home staging can be the essential element needed to capture the attention of the buyers.

Most buyers are visual and need a point of reference to relate to a new environment. Defining space to better understand the size of a room, scale is key in showcasing a vacant home’s capabilities.

While enhancing the strong selling points and minimizing those that are less desirable, staging helps buyers to visually move into the property. Home staging pieces give the buyers a vision from which to begin.

With an occupied home, staging is essentially de-personalizing. Working with existing furnishings, distractions are removed to enable potential buyers to focus on the space rather than what is in the space.

The goal is for buyers to imagine themselves living in the home, not necessarily in your home. You want a buyer to remember the space rather than your beautiful things.

Often referred to as a “mainland thing,” staging is now being embraced by savvy island sellers with surprising results. Big or small, vacant or occupied, every home benefits from staging.

Whether you hire a professional or opt to objectively tackle it yourself, residential staging creates an immediate emotional impact. This first visual experience is a one-time opportunity.

First impressions are everything.

— Kathryn Farron is an independent, San Juan Island-based staging consultant