By Jennie Morris, International Association of Home Staging Professionals
In the beginning, home staging was mostly focused on sprucing up vacant properties. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, when staging first started to gain traction, stagers and real estate professionals tended to have limited furniture resources and focus on “vignette staging.”
Vignette staging is where small groupings of furniture and décor are used for adding some visual appeal and in helping to define the purpose and size of a room. It was a technique widely used at the time. But in today’s staging world, vignette staging does not work.
Photo credit: IAHSP
A vignette lacks proper size and scale of furniture that give buyers an idea of how large (or small) a room is. It makes it difficult for a buyer to visualize when furniture items aren’t used or only surface décor or art is in the space. A buyer viewing images of the property online will not have a sense of the true size or the purpose of the room.
Buyers nowadays expect more from their property search experience and are more sophisticated as a result of watching programs on HGTV and TDN. Vignette staging cheapens the look and feel of the house.
Today’s professional home stager follows industry trends for furniture styles, colors, and understand the demographics of the buyer they are working to attract with their staging results. They do not rely on old furniture in a property. They carefully curate an overall cohesive look that will resonate with buyers online and in person.
Stagers help create the potential for a buyer, often highlighting a lifestyle with the selections of furniture, artwork, and décor.
Just as real estate professional services have evolved to include higher quality marketing, photographs, and processes that help best market a home, home staging has progressed as well.
The idea of just putting a few towels in a bathroom, placing greenery on counters, and leaning a piece of art on a mantel and calling it a “staged” property is about the same as a seller thinking FSBO is the same as using the services of a professional REALTOR®. They are not the same. Not by a long shot!
Which property do you think a buyer will want to purchase?