It’s not a coincidence that the same word is used in both dramatic undertakings and North Jersey residential real estate preparation. Both describe preparations that seek to establish a feeling within the beholder. Of course, staging for Morris County home showings differs fundamentally from its theatrical homonym. With our kind of staging, the presentation is real—not make-believe.
That’s not to say we can’t borrow an idea or two from the theater. Some stage directors begin first rehearsals by encouraging the actors to overdo their readings; to “make it big—really big!” The idea is that later on, after they’ve rehearsed the same scene dozens of times, it will be harder to think creatively about interpreting their characters. There will be plenty of time to tone down wildly overdone acting, but after many days of rehearsing, overfamiliarity with the play will make it harder to come up with creative ideas to improve performances.
There can be some value in applying the same kind of thinking when you approach the staging of your North Jersey home—at least in the sense of thinking outside the box. One way Morris County’s staging professionals have the advantage over homeowners who do it themselves is that they arrive on the scene without preconceptions. They get to see a home with fresh eyes. That’s pretty much impossible for someone who has lived in the place for years. The pros have also developed a good deal of expertise in imagining basics, like how the placement of furniture can improve the “flow” of a home: how visitors naturally move from room to room.
When actors perform that first rehearsal, making their reading “bigger” than it will wind up being on opening night, there is an apt analogy for staging a home.
It’s about the all-important staging rudiment: the de-cluttering.
Essentially, the ideal would be to clear everything out.
Of course, unless it’s a pack-up-and-move situation, that’s usually not practical. But what can be accomplished is to progress through the house, room by room, slightly overdoing the de-cluttering. Walking through a living room that you’ve made comfortable through the years, it is really hard to think of doing much other than clearing surfaces or rearranging an item or two. But when you evacuate almost everything from a space (which is possible if you’re only moving it into an adjoining room), it’s suddenly easy to see what really needs to be moved back. And new ideas pop up for where lamps, tables, chairs might be more appealingly placed…and most important, which things aren’t really necessary at all!
Come opening night (that is, the first showing or the first open house), the results from a serious home staging effort can often earn the kind of critical results that translate into a “sold” sign in the front yard.
For more ideas that can speed your Morris County property’s move into the sold column, I hope you’ll give me a call!