Bonus Question: “What Can You Skip?”
I don’t know that there’s a rule of thumb — or a formula — for determining exactly when a home is (very) well-staged.
The closest I’ve got is this: “A home is well-staged when all of its unique attributes are identified and optimally showcased, and any Achilles’ Heels have either been muted or — ideally — eliminated.”
Which just begs the question, “Exactly what the $%#@&! is THAT??”
It all sort of recalls Justice Potter Stewart’s line about pornography, in an obscenity lawsuit before the Supreme Court.
“I can’t definite it (pornography),” he averred. “But, I know it when I see it.”
“Knowing It When You See It”
At a minimum, a well-staged home should show off the home’s entry; Dining, Living and Family Rooms; Kitchen; and Master Bedroom.
If the home has an actual Owner’s Suite (private master bath), it should show that off as well.
Ditto such features as a Home Office or Exercise Room; lower level Amusement Room; screened Porch; and any backyard deck or Patio.
Staging extends outside, too: painting the front door a new, sharper color; cutting back (usually) or adding (sometimes) landscaping; and adding or repainting window shutters are also cost-effective ways to punch up a home’s curb appeal.
Virtual vs. Analog Staging
So, should the whole house be staged, each and every time?
That’s a judgment call.
If the home is still occupied, and the owner’s furnishings and accents (art, wall hangings, rugs, etc.) are flattering . . . why not?
However, if the home is vacant — meaning it needs either virtual or analog (old-fashioned) staging — my usual advice to clients is to stop short of doing anything redundant.
For example, once Bedroom #2 of a four Bedroom home is staged, there’s not much gained by also staging Bedrooms #3 and #4.
That’s especially true if the other Bedrooms are similar in size and features (windows, ceiling height, etc.).
Bottom line: when a home is truly well-staged, it just “pops.”
Such homes invariably will get compliments (from colleagues, prospective Buyers, their agents, etc.), but more importantly . . . they get offers!