Home Staging Hits the Island
By Lisa Lewis - Alameda Magazine May / June 2005
When you get ready to put your house on the market, you want it to compete, says Sophie Azouaou, whose staging business, Sophisticate Interiors, is in Alameda. "It's a product," she explains." "It must be priced right, and it must look better than the other houses on the market."
Unlike decorating where the goal is to reflect the owner's taste, the whole point of staging is to depersonalize a house so that "it could be anyone's house" says Azouaou. "You want prospective buyers to imagine that it's their house."
Small touches - opening curtains, making a house brighter and more inviting, turning on music - can create ambience to put lookers in a buying mood, Azouaou says, some homes require more drastic measures.
Azouaou directed the out-of-town owner of a McSherry home to landscape, re-paint, de-clutter and deep clean. She also updated bathrooms with new shower curtains, fresh towels and bath rugs; rearranged furniture; removed personal pictures; and brought in plants, flowers and accessories. The house sold $31,000 over the asking price.
FINDING A STAGER:
As staging has grown in popularity, it's gotten its own professional association, the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. Based in Concord, the group offers training and accreditation to home stagers. To find a local accredited stager, visit www.stagedhomes.com and click on "ASP Directory."
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