Stories from Home Staging Pros: The Importance of De-personalizing Your Property Listing

Home Staging Stories

In our years of home staging, we’ve come across enough staging projects to have a good collection of stories. Some of these stories come from our own home staging experiences and some come from our industry colleagues in real estate and home renovations… But all really serve to prove why staging a home for sale is always a smart move!

So sit back and read on for some good home staging stories!

Different Strokes for Different Folks

When you put your home on the market, it’s normal to assume that the person who would want to buy it will share the same tastes and preferences that you do. After all, they’ll probably fall in love with the property for the same reasons you did… Right?

Unfortunately, this almost never happens (which is why people hire us!)

As a professional home staging company with many years of practical experience in the Calgary market, we know real estate and we know what buyers are looking for. And here’s a big tip: Buyers are looking for a “blank canvas” where they can imagine themselves living.

In other words, buyers want a place where they can add their own personality and style.

They do not want a place that has all its walls sponge painted orange and pink, for example.

They also don’t want a home with a basement dedicated to the distinctive ambiance that only comes from a vast collection of animal hunting trophies.

Tales of Caution: Why De-personalizing is Crucial!

What follows are just two of the stories we’ve collected throughout the years. Both are good illustrations for why hiring a professional home staging company is a good investment.

One of these stories has a very happy ending where the client was able to sell their property listing quickly after staging and for a handsome price. The other manages to show you (somewhat dramatically!) what even doing the most minimal staging can do to help potential buyers better see the potential of your home.

Story #1: Sponge Paint Problems

A few months back, we were invited to stage a split-level home that had already been on the market for 8 months. It was a charming property with a nice, open floor plan and 30 foot ceilings. For a lot of prospective buyers, it would have been a very desirable listing.

The problem, however, was that all of the walls and ceilings on the main floor’s living areas were sponge painted in a peach/orange colour combo!

The client absolutely loved this paint job and was hoping that we could just stage this house in a way that made it more enticing, but without painting over the orange peel paint job.

While we of course also staged the property’s furnishings and décor, we had to let her know that – in this specific case – painting was perhaps even more important than staging!

The client finally, reluctantly, relented and we were able to paint over this sponge speckled eyesore with a lovely neutral colour.

After doing this and staging the rest of the home, the property sold within 2 weeks for a very strong price.

Story #2: The Basement of Death

A few years ago, one of the realtors we work with listed a cozy bungalow with a finished basement.

When this realtor initially assessed the property, it had been vacated for some significant renovations and upgrades. The owners had put all of their belongings into storage for this renovation, so the realtor had only seen and taken photos of an empty property immediately after this massive renovation.

The renovations finished and the realtor listed the property with the photos he had taken. He also arranged for an open house to take place within a few weeks.

In the meantime, the current owners moved themselves and their stuff back in while they searched for their next home.

The day of the open house arrived and one of the realtor’s colleagues sat the first half of it, with our realtor friend arriving to take over in the afternoon.

He arrived to the open house an parked his car in the back alley, getting out just in time to hear the horrified screams of a small child resonating from the basement and to see a crowd of concerned home shoppers looking around for the source of these piercing shrieks.

The realtor ran straight to the basement, only to find a sobbing little girl being comforted by her poor parents in the middle of a large room filled with taxidermed animals and mounted hunting “trophies”!

Needless to say, he was equally horrified.

Our realtor colleague immediately told the owners that they had to take down these hunting trophies if they ever wanted this house to sell. He had to explain how, for the vast majority of potential homebuyers, a basement filled with stuffed dead animals was a huge turn-off.  He informed them that even if they did nothing else to stage their home, they really had to remove those hunting trophies.

After some argument, the sellers finally put the dead animals back in storage and the house eventually received an acceptable purchase offer.

Staging a property with the buyer in mind

Buyers absolutely need to see the home showcased in a way that brings out its best features and minimizes any design flaws. As professional home stagers, this is our specialty!

Most peoples’ homes have furniture and décor chosen specifically to accommodate the current occupants’ needs and styles, which are almost always highly distinctive and reflective of their own unique personalities. As such, it becomes difficult for potential buyers to see themselves in a property that has a strongly personalized “flair” of its current occupants.

Home staging presents a vision of what could be for others, not what is for the current occupant – this is what effectively markets a property listing to potential buyers.

In other words, a giant sectional that fills up an entire room and blocks traffic flow, an animal trophy room, or orange and peach paint throughout the living areas don’t have a broad appeal. We remedy these presentation problems and optimize the property for maximum salability.

Our goal is to tackle confusing layouts or unusual rooms, making them more functional and beautiful in order to better appeal to prospective buyers.  Our home stagers excel at de-personalizing your home – but without making it feel impersonal.

This is the Transcend advantage, and this is how we help your property listing transcend its competition.  We specialize in giving your property a competitive advantage by making it feel warm and welcoming, creating a vision that motivates buyers to recognize its best strengths and fall in love with it!

Want to know more, or have a home staging project you’d like help with? Then feel free to contact us – we’re here to help and just a click away!