Imagine moving to San Diego and making your house look pretty in one day. Pretty terrifying, right?
For Lisa Vasey of Staged Today Sold Tomorrow (STST), this is every day at work. As one of San Diego County’s premier home staging professionals, Lisa has helped a great number of people quickly, cost effectively stage their homes, leading to faster home sales at higher prices and ease of mind.
Lisa began STST four years ago after buying and renovating a number of homes for personal use. With the support and encouragement of her husband, Lisa became certified by the Real Estate Staging Association and set out as an independent home staging professional.
“Like starting any new business, it’s had its challenges, but it’s been really, really, great.” Lisa said. “One of the things I like about it is that it is very focused and very creative. It’s not sitting in an office every day.”
One of the most important aspects of home staging is the speed with which everything needs to happen for a staging to be successful. Because of this, Lisa says there is a lot of planning and logistics involved in any staging. By using self storage to keep her inventory and equipment organized, Lisa is able to plan each staging efficiently and effectively before even arriving at the site.
StaxUP Storage is proud to support entrepreneurs like Lisa by providing self storage solutions that are high quality, convenient, and cost effective.
“One of my biggest challenges is inventory management,” Lisa said. “Having the space for everything, that’s why I keep adding units. Right now I have four. Sometimes I need five and it really just depends on how much furniture I have out at any given time. Also, you do shop a lot and you never stop shopping and sometimes you don’t really want to shop anymore!”
Don’t think home staging is just for those looking to sell their homes. Lisa has helped individuals and businesses stage for events and parties. If you’re looking to create a specific atmosphere or look, a staging professional can be great to work with to achieve this goal. Lisa’s college experience includes a background in theater design, so more specialized looks are not outside of her expertise.
Even after a home is sold, Lisa’s design services can still be a great asset to any homeowner. There have been many times Lisa has been contacted by people who have enjoyed her staging aesthetic requesting help furnishing their new home. Homeowners who have been in the same house for years have also contacted Lisa wanting to do something new.
“Every house has its own challenges. I don’t just stage vacant homes. I also stage homes that are occupied,” Lisa said. “Even a brand new, empty house that looks like a great blank space can have an odd shaped room or something feels really small, so you need to define it, so that people can envision themselves living in the room. That’s really the concept behind home staging. It’s not really about decorating.It’s about creating a lifestyle that people are going to aspire to, because when people are shopping for a home, almost everyone who buys says ‘It felt like home.’ and it’s really hard for a house to feel like home if it’s littered with someone’s personal belongings or highly personalized or completely empty.”
Big life events like moving from being a renter to being a homeowner, moving from a starter home to a bigger home, and downsizing after children leave the nest are all times when home staging and design become essential. While Lisa is based in San Diego, she has also worked in Calrsbad and Chula Vista.
“Even though everyone thinks we are in a sellers market right now, every home can benefit from home staging. Remember that you want to outshine your competition and you only get one chance to make a first impression,” Lisa said. “It’s the greatest short term investment a seller can make, because the statistics show that investing 1-2% of the selling price can yield 8-10% in the final sale price.”
Say you have a $500,000 house and you do some minor repairs, painting and all together the cost for a basic staging is around $5,000. If those steps are not taken, the house may sit on the market for a great deal longer than it would otherwise. The average market price reduction for a home that has sat for longer than the seller’s comfortable with is about $10,000. Home staging as a short term investment just makes good business sense according to Lisa.
Looking at the other end of the home staging spectrum, Lisa has staged many homes that then experienced multiple buyers engaged in a bidding war over the aesthetically perfect property.
“I had one property that sold for $35,000 over asking and got their first offer 8 hours after it was on the market, because it presented well,” Lisa said. “Like I said, it’s the greatest short term investment. They spent the $5,000 and in about six weeks turned that $5,000 into $35,000.”
The key is the quality of traffic that home staging brings to the selling process. Potential home buyers who feel at home in a staged residence can see themselves moving in tomorrow are likely to pull the trigger. Even seemingly minor issues can influence a buyer’s subconscious and cause them not to buy what would otherwise be a great fit.
At this point, home staging probably sounds like a no-brainer, but Lisa wants everyone to know that not all home stagers are created equal.
“When you’re entrusting what is probably the biggest asset in your portfolio to someone, you want to make sure that you are working with a reputable business and that you have seen their other work and you’ve asked for references and that you’ve asked them what their average days on market are,” Lisa said.
While the home staging industry is still fairly new, it still abides by the same rules as any other business. You get what you pay for and by staging based solely on price alone, you are not doing what is best for what is possibly your biggest investment. Lisa has found the same to be true when it comes to self storage.
“When I was looking for a [storage] facility, I was certainly looking for something that was convenient for me, but I was also looking for a professionally run, clean facility that was secure and I found all of that with the Hill Street location. Mike is awesome. I love him to death. Josh before him was awesome, the assistant managers who have been there, everyone has been so fabulous,” Lisa said. “I thought it was super clean, because, when I first moved in, they had just renovated and I thought that in a little while it would run down hill. It hasn’t. I mean, I have my inventory there. That’s what my business is worth. I need to know it’s secure. I could find cheaper facilities, not by a lot, but not worth moving to a place where I don’t feel safe at night.”
If you’re using self storage in San Diego County and are in need of a professional home stager, contact Lisa at 619-335-8550 to schedule a consultation.