March 12, 2010 11:52:00 AM
The term "home staging" has nothing to do with staging a scene for a play or movie. Instead, it is preparing a private residence for sale on the real estate market.
Ginger Sparkman, a Macon resident who works in Columbus, is just getting started in this new venture, which she is calling Center Staging.
"Staging helps a house appeal to a larger number of potential buyers. By the way staging is not decorating, It may give you that impression, but it is not," she said.
Sparkman said she became interested in home staging through watching "Trading Spaces" and similar television shows.
"I saw this and thought this is something I would like to do," she said.
Sparkman said she and her husband have been renovating their home for more than 10 years.
"It can be quite a challenge working on 70-year-old plaster walls," she said.
Sparkman said an example of home staging is that the current homeowner has a pink bathroom with periwinkle stripes, but when they put it on the market to sell, a potential homebuyer may not like it.
"That is when the bathroom needs to be painted a more neutral color," she said.
Though some homeowners may find that hard to believe, Sparkman said the paint color of an important room of the house such as the bathroom can be a determining factor in how well the house sells.
"I love the color of my bathroom, the walls are red, but if I were trying to sell my home, I would most likely have to make some changes," she said.
Sparkman said 90 percent of home buyers cannot visualize the potential of a home when it comes to trying to sell it.
"This is why staging a home is critical. It can turn a browser into a buyer," she said.
Sparkman said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that a staged home sells for, on average, 17 percent higher than a house that is not staged. She added a staged home compete better with new construction than homes that have not been staged.
"After a home had been staged, a Realtor will often list the home at a higher asking price than if it were not staged," she said.
Sparkman said when a homeowner puts their home up for sale, it is no longer their home.
"It is now known as a home on the market for sale," she said.
Curb appeal is important in the effort to sell a home than having interior work done, Sparkman said.
"Keeping the lawn mowed, planting flowers and trimming hedges can give a home a great first impression," she said.
It is also important to make sure the home''s exterior is also pleasing to the eye of a potential buyer. Sparkman said she was helping a friend in Starkville to sell their home. She said they worked on painting the inside of the house for several days.
"When I drove up, I noticed that the garage door was green, but the rest of the outside trim was gray. When I asked them about it, they said they never noticed it," Sparkman said.
So she spent the afternoon helping them paint the garage trim so it would match the other trim.
"Having a fresh pair of eyes to look at a home if you have been living there for years, as my friends had, can be a help. If you have been living at a home for years and do not notice certain things, such as the paint on the outside trim and garage door match, it can make a difference," Sparkman said.
For more information about home staging, and about Center Staging, call Sparkman at 662-364-7654.
Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch
Clay commented at 3/20/2010 4:47:00 PM:
Proud of ya cousin!
1. Delta crash response: 'A somber, purpose-driven' mood COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Wiggins wins Caledonia by one vote COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Second Baptist feud over construction intensifies STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. House built by and for freed slaves for sale in Columbus COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Two arrested for child endangerment in marijuana bust COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY