Staging more Prevalent in New York Real Estate


Thanks to realty TV shows that have convinced us that aesthetics is paramount when selling a home, stagers have become visible part of the New York City real estate scene.  And they don’t come cheap.  Most charge a consultation fee of a few hundred dollars then hundreds to thousands to follow through with the vision they created. 

Stagers see their job as stripping apartments of anything that might distract a buyer; strong paint colors, distracting artwork, family photographs and personal items.  Then they add small touches to win over buyers.  Mostly the job is to show buyers how a space can be used; creating a vision of what life could be like in a particular apartment.

Usually brought in by brokers, stagers are  paid by owners, to hopefully sell apartments for more than they could have or more quickly than if they had not set the stage.  They have to be part best friend, part worst enemy, and tread carefully around sometimes fragile egos.  Who wants to hear their decorating taste isn’t up to the challenge?  Sometimes a stager’s advice is unwelcome, even completely disregarded, causing the loss of a listing because the seller is offended.  Occasionally, the seller falls back in love with their apartment after staging, and decides to stay, taking the apartment off the market.

In New York City, stagers have the added challenge of dealing with co-op rules, freight elevators and superintendents.  Their costs include overhead, storage units for the furniture, artwork and linens, labor, paint, and the little touches that most people can’t even imagine.

Sellers don’t need to go overboard with the staging.  In most cases buyers aren’t interested in buying what’s there.  They just need to see the space in a positive light.  Whether the seller runs with the advice from the initial consultation, or goes for the full package, staging can help the buyer see the possibility of their family in the space.

When prepping your home for buyers, some areas need special cleaning efforts.

Lose the clutter:  It distracts buyers. 

First Impressions:  The entry sets the first impression for any potential buyer.  Make sure it shines.   Lose the clutter, polish the furniture, vacuum the rug, and clean the floor.

Kitchen:  Make sure the dishes are done, and the counters are clear, clean and sparkling.  While on the market, try to avoid making or serving meals that give off strong odors that linger for hours.

Bathrooms:  Make sure the tile and grout are sparkling clean.  Mildew is a big turn-off.  Clear out the personal paraphernalia and make sure your medicines are locked up and out of sight.

Everywhere else:  Spotless is the way to go.  Clean the windowsills, picture frames, light fixtures, baseboards, cabinets and shelves (yes people will look in your medicine and kitchen cabinets!).  Wipe the doors around the doorknobs, the walls around the switch plates, and the front of appliances.   Make your bed with fresh linens.  If time is an issue, occasionally skip the upper shelves and tops of cabinets.


Inspired by New York Times article and New York Times article.

Categories : Manhattan, Selling, Staging

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