As part of an overall marketing plan, this client engaged Grand Gables to oversee the interior re-scaping of their décor to achieve maximum market appeal within the constraints of both reaching the market at the optimal time and keeping the staging and presentation efforts within a practical budget. This home was fully furnished and occupied when we started.
As a general statement for ALL Home Staging and Presentation Consulting engagements: Knowing your audience is a critically important element in creating an effective staging presentation. Unlike general interior decorators, as real estate brokers, we experience first hand the reactions that buyers have when viewing a property. We also are presenting to an online audience that will view the property through the lens of the camera before seeing the property in person. If we cannot capture their interest with the lens of the camera, we may never get the chance to present the property to them in person. When we create the design, we do what we can to maintain focus on the lens of the camera. The overall look should appeal to a potential buyer of the property, enabling one to see themselves in the home. If an interior is too much a reflection of the owner’s personal tastes, it can become an obstruction for a buyer to envision themselves living there. Effective staging enables a buyer to see the space and imagine a lifestyle – a well-chosen décor facilitates the imagination as opposed to becoming a stumbling block to seeing beyond the décor and at the intrinsic values of the property and appeal to the buyer.
Specific to this unit: The Black Rock Country Club community has developed a widespread reputation for being a quality country club residential community. It appeals to a wide range of buyers - we anticipated that this home's open concept floor plan, price range and versatile functionality would be extremely appealing to an affluent, empty nesting buyer who enjoys entertaining. Being a spacious unit with three nicely finished levels of living space, it lends itself well in accommodating guests or live-in family as well.
First, we prepared a list of recommended improvements that we felt would enhance the visual presentation of the home – painting, minor repairs, lighting, decluttering, etc. The client hired one of our recommended contractors to oversee and perform the scope of work. The challenge is understanding your client’s working budget and the time the work will take to make it market ready. It’s one thing to get everything done beautifully but if you’re targeting a launch date that is critical to reaching the prime market, you need to prioritize your list and be as realistic as possible when engaging the troops. There are some items we might have suggested but after discussion, the time constraints made them unfeasible and we risked missing the market at the optimal time if we made it a priority to do everything - it's a balancing act in most every client situation. Besides, certain improvements would be better left to the buyer to choose, especially when you’re expecting a buyer that would want to personalize the property to suit their tastes. In this instance, we expected the buyer would have the resources and desire to make some post closing improvements to suit his or her tastes.
Next, working with the client, we compiled a list of the client’s existing furniture which we chose to incorporate into the new look; the rest was either sent to their new home, given to their children, moved to a separate storage facility or donated to a charity. Many of the furniture pieces were moved throughout the home (between rooms or within rooms) to create the optimal placements for showcasing the functionality and aesthetic of each room and the space as a whole. Next, we engaged the team at The Queen’s Garden in Weymouth (purveyors of fine home furnishings and accents) to provide additional furnishings and décor items to augment the client’s selected pieces to create the desired presentation.
Once completed, we brought in our professional aerial photographer and our professional interior photographer to produce the gallery of visuals for our marketing. We had a full price offer from a cash buyer within the week!
Postscript: After the sale, the sellers invited us to help them create the decor in their new home to suit their lifestyle AND advise them on renovations, architectural enhancements and and overall staging presentation suggestions for one of their out of state properties they planned to sell in the year ahead.