Staging and Design Market the Bespoke Luxury Lifestyle

In 1623, Shakespeare declared “All the world’s a stage.” Fast forward to 1985. Barb Schwarz pioneered the “staging” concept, and real estate turned Shakespeare’s metaphor into an operative phrase. 

With artistic flair, discerning creativity and impeccable taste, Bellevue doesn’t have a style of home—it boasts homes with style. A lakefront lot comes with a masterpiece backdrop of snowcapped mountains, sun-kissed hillsides and breathtaking water views.

Inspired homeowners are personally invested in the masterpiece, and these dwellings are artfully designed, built and decorated to reflect their heart and soul. It’s an artisan dream and a decorator’s career pinnacle.

And then, the homeowner decides to sell. 

The right buyer must be enticed, and staging a home to appeal to the best fit and glean the most amount of money is not deemed a plus—it’s nonnegotiable.

“Staging should be done for every house at every price point,” Monte Burris, founder of Trust Realty Group, says. “It’s not simply about replacing existing furniture, nor is it about contemporizing a space; it’s a much larger issue. Staging is about hitting the correct demographic for who is buying. This can have a dramatic effect for even entry-level houses or condominiums.” 

The goal is to highlight a home’s beautiful assets without overpowering it. Furniture, architectural lighting, televisions, sound systems, artwork, area rugs, accessories and more should create wide enough appeal to seduce, so when the buyer walks in, they fall in love. 

“The elements of design are a powerful selling tool because they have the ability to affect emotion,” Michelle Upshaw, founder of Ready Set Staging, says. “When designing a property for sale, we have two goals: increase perceived value and create a space the buyer connects with.”

According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 77 percent of agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, 62 percent agree staging a home decreased market time and 49 percent say staging increased the dollar value offered.

“Staging is about curating the most positive emotional response through optimal presentation of space and lifestyle,” Travis Groome, founder of The ONE Realty Group, Keller Williams Bellevue, says. “Highlighting room dimension, light and flexibility of space is most successful when the buyer is not distracted by the current owner’s things and their history of living in the home. Allowing the buyer to see themselves in the space, aspire to build their memories and continue their story of home has an emotional value well beyond the price that is paid for staging.”

We all know you never have a second chance to make a first impression and in today’s digital age, the first impression is likely online. 

“Buyers thoroughly examine a property online before they even consider the time investment of visiting a property,” Monte says. “If you don’t capture their attention from the get-go, you don’t stand a chance of a record-setting sale price. You have to wow them from the start.”

Hiring the right team to get your property ready for market is critical. It’s imperative the stager knows design, project management, demographics and has a special understanding of how to show rooms and features to their fullest potential.

“Staging should incorporate decluttering, handyman work, painting, landscaping, even cars,” Monte says. “To show off the dramatic ‘bat cave’ garage built under the backyard of a luxury home listing, my stager filled it with collector vehicles and my team threw an elaborate launch party open house in the evening with Champagne and caviar, and served it in the garage between the Maserati and the vintage Austin Healy.”   

Eastside homes are masterpieces, and staging design inspires buyers to see the idyllic setting from a personal perspective and envision their life in the home. It’s an emotional experience, buying the dream, and staging creates the ambiance that is the Bellevue lifestyle.