Staging Tips for Historic Charleston Homes

Posted By Marshall Walker @ Aug 24th 2016 3:30pm In: Historic Charleston

Whether the home you're ready to list is a turnkey pied-à-terre South of Broad, or a charming single house in Ansonborough with stunning piazzas, staging your home could be a smart investment. Even with the influx of new residents who are making their way to Charleston, historic homes can be a challenge to market. Taxes and maintenance are expected by historic home buyers - but these same buyers can be stumped when it comes to how they'll place furniture and make use of the space on a daily basis. Help them picture themselves in the home by doing some smart staging that addresses some of the reservations buyers might have about purchasing a historic home.

3 Ways Staging Your Historic Charleston Home Can Put Buyer’s Minds at Ease

Buyer Reservation 1: "We'll need antiques."

Most television programs and magazines about home design feature oversized furniture in open expanses, and it can be difficult for prospective buyers to visualize tasteful furnishings that fit perfectly in homes with nooks and crannies - homes that have stood the test of time. Some buyers will mistakenly think they must ditch all their furnishings and rack up a large tab at the nearest antiques dealer. A skillful staging can help allay these fears by using a smart mix of period and modern furnishings. Charleston has quite a few house museums - we don't need another! 

Buyer Reservation 2: "We don't have enough furnishings."

Most historic homes are more compartmentalized that new homes with open floor plans. Rooms once had specific functions in the daily routines of the families who spent their lives in them. A favorite of many historic homeowners is being able to host a party without all the preparations in the kitchen being in plain view! With more rooms, some buyers will think they need more furnishings than they do. Stagers can show buyers how to fill a room without cramming belongings all the way to the four walls - and without the space looking bare or cluttered. 

Buyer Reservation 3: "We have too many furnishings."

Nearly any real estate agent will tell you that an empty house looks and feels smaller. When your buyers may also be looking at properties with open floor plans, this can sabotage your sale. Buyers will be relieved to see that a stager hasn't shied away from using large pieces. Not to mention what a stager can do to enhance the look of - and attract attention to - the enviably high ceilings in most historic properties. 

Staging may sting a bit for the seller, especially if the stager recommends removing wallpaper or changing light fixtures, but the trade off can be well worth it. Many stagers can use the seller's furniture, if it's available, which will provide some savings. If you're wondering if there's a tangible benefit to staging, the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) in Valley Springs, California, performed a study in 2013 which provided compelling data. RESA looked at approximately 170 staged homes (valued from $300,000 to $499,000), and found that the staged homes were sold in 22 days, compared with an average of 125 days for homes without staging. Of course, staging only enhances a home's natural beauty, it doesn't repair trim work or patch nail holes. If you're serious about selling your historic Charleston home in this red hot market, you'll have to make sure the home is in tip-top shape - both structurally and aesthetically. 

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