I’ve written previously about how staging is a form of theater. Instead of setting a scene in which actors animate a story, stagers set a scene in which buyers can imagine living their lives.
It’s about contextualizing rooms, enhancing good design, downplaying flaws and heightening the effectiveness of photography. But it’s primarily about evoking a mood and creating a positive subliminal response.
Staging, however, doesn’t solve everything. Properties often need a few subtle (or funny) tweaks that only an agent can think of and handle.
- Moving the cat box out of the powder room and into the garage during an open house.
- Spraying lavender mist to mask the odor of last night’s salmon.
- Turning up the heat and closing all the windows.
- Turning off the heat and opening all the windows.
- Neatening the shoes stacked outside a neighboring condo’s door.
- Cleaning up dog poo from a carpet.
- Lighting candles.
- Asking a homeless person to please nap elsewhere.
- Roasting an onion.
- Emptying or taking out the trash.
- Angling shutters for optimum lighting.
- Sweeping up leaves and street detritus blown into an entry.
- Asking teenagers on their school lunch break to smoke somewhere else.
- Sorting mail for saving or recycling.
- Emptying a diaper pail.
- Windexing the fingerprints left by kid visitors on windows, doors, coffee tables.
- Freshening the fruit bowl.
- Unclogging a toilet used by an open house looker.
- Hiding the toilet paper to discourage future use.
- Carefully removing used syringes from a planter box.
- Shooing away (without success) those little flies that love the dead air in an entry.
- Guarding neighbors’ driveways and garages.
- Plucking dried orchid blooms from a dining centerpiece.
- Double-checking that nobody has spelled dirty words using the stagers’ Scrabble set.
- Making sure people don’t hurt themselves or damage the property.
- Putting the paper towels, knife block, toaster and dish drainer under the sink.
- Holding babies, watching strollers, minding dogs, stowing latte cups, monitoring double-parked cars.
- Gently relocating a spider to the exterior.
- And – perhaps the most fun and funny task ever – spraying the moss displayed in a sculptural bowl upon every visit to a property.
All seemingly insignificant details that make a difference and all part of my role as a professional real estate agent!