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The Ins and Outs of Home Staging: An Interview with Michelle Schaffel of Inspired By Design

By Michelle Schaffel

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I am the owner of an Interior decorating firm called Inspired By Design. As a creative person, I enjoy decorating spaces and having moved a lot in my adult life, it was always important for my house to feel like home. Four years ago I turned this passion into a career and have been very fortunate to have worked with so many great clients. I offer decorating consultations, shopping trips, one-day redesign makeovers, Home Staging, Feng Shui consultations, and a lot more. Each job is very personal to the client. I put my heart into every space I work on, whether it's one room or a whole house.

What exactly is Home Staging?

Home Staging is basically "staging a house" to look like a place where you would want to live. It's creating the vision that a lot of people aren't able to do on their own. It's important to keep the space looking warm but neutral. When I stage, I remove the personal items but not the "personality" of a home. There are a lot of different styles and tastes out there, so if you just try to reach a certain type of buyer, you're limiting yourself.

On the other hand, it's important to know what type of home you're trying to sell and who your target audience might be (i.e., a 2-bedroom 1-bath wouldn't likely appeal to a family of 4). I've had a lot of success with Staging--best job--a house I staged sold in 24 hours.

What are some the ways homeowners can prepare for this process?

If you want to sell your home, the first thing to do is de-clutter. Before even having a Stager come over, getting rid of clutter can really make a huge difference. Another one of my top recommendations is to clean the house. If it looks clean and well kept, buyers will think the house is in good condition, which means less work for them.

How long does this process typically take?

The process of Staging really varies depending on how much "stuff" you have and what condition it is in. Some homes might just need a fresh coat of paint in a few rooms, while others might need to be completely de-cluttered, furniture removed, boxes put in storage, and more.

What are some of the benefits of Home Staging?

I think Staging is so important because it's having an unbiased person take a look at your house and what the perception will be. You've lived there so you're likely attached to it and don't see the little things like a couch blocking a walkway or a crack in the wall. It's also something that Realtors often do, but I think the Realtor should focus on the marketing and selling of your home, while the Stager can focus on creating the best possible visual representation of it. It's a very competitive market out there; and if you want your house to stand out, possibly sell for a higher price and sell faster, Staging gives you an edge.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

I am best reached via cell phone or email (267-909-4003 or michelle@inspiredbydesign.info). I have a Facebook page where I post decorating tips weekly, which also shares projects I am currently working on and have been in the past few years. www.facebook.com/inspiredbydesignllc. My website is being updated this month but has all the basic information about my services as well.

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About The Author

Michelle Schaffel is the Principal Redesigner and Owner of Inspired By Design, LLC....

Phone: 267-909-4003

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