When it comes to selling your home, having a savvy Realtor and the right sales price have always been considered a key factor.
Home stagers who help create the right vibe inside the home believe you should add their services to that equation.
“You only have 30 seconds for the buyer to decide if they love it or don’t,” says stager Joan Inglis, an interior designer and real estate agent who backed into home staging to boost her sales. “As soon as they walk in that house, they need to have an emotional attachment and say, ‘I feel comfortable here; I could live here.’”
Inglis is president of the 9-year-old, 18-member Charlotte regional chapter of the International Association of the Home Staging Professionals. This week she claimed one of four prizes at the chapter’s first awards program, judged independently by members in other regions. She won one of two prizes for members certified as staging masters.
The chapter is small but opportunities for members, certified by StagedHomes.com, are abundant, Inglis said. Her clients include homeowners, investors, homebuilders and Realtors. Those customers pay Inglis 1 to 3 percent of the home’s list price. She says that fee is lower than the loss from reducing the sale price after a home sits on the market for too long.
“It’s very satisfying to me to help my customers sell their homes,” she said. “Some of my clients have health problems or financial problems and they need to sell their homes.”
Stagers declutter a home and add just enough furniture and accessories to help visitors imagine a property as their home. They also push property owners to make improvements, when necessary.
“It’s just like if you were going to buy a box of cereal,” she said. “If one box is crushed and damaged, you reach for another one. You definitely want an atmosphere of homeyness.”
Inglis has a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Belmont stacked with dozens of sofas, dining tables, side tables, ottomans and rugs. She’s also got lamps, candlesticks, towels, canisters, shower curtains and centerpieces stashed there.
She uses those pieces not to fill or completely decorate a room. Her room arrangements suggest the size of furniture that will work in a room and where in the room to put it.
When she has done her job well, she has seen offers come in before she can leave the property.
“We finished staging it in the morning,” she recalls of a particular job. “Within two days it was sold to one of the first buyers that saw it after staging.”
2014 award winners
Awards given by the Charlotte regional chapter of the International Association of the Home Staging Professionals:
▪ Tanya Denchfield, Carolina Spaces LLC, Best Occupied Staged Property by an accredited staging professional.
▪ Jamie McNeilis, Centerpiece Home Staging LLC, Best Vacant Staged Property by an accredited staging professional.
▪ Karen Mendenhall, Stage It! Inc., Best Occupied Staged Property by an accredited staging professional master.
▪ Joan Inglis, Carolina Spaces LLC, Best Vacant Staged Property by an accredited staging professional master.