Childhood on the move spurs passion for new home stager
Louise Holland vividly remembers the routine. Over time, it came to define her childhood: Pack, unpack, decorate, repeat.
That scenario played out 15 times, she now recalls. And each time her family moved to a new house in an unfamiliar town, there was much work to be done to make it feel like home.
"Every time we moved, we had to repurpose our furniture because every house is different," she said. "So I got really good at it, setting up my bedroom for the 10th time or helping my mom set up the kitchen for the 10th time."
She describes it now with a hint of wistfulness in her tone because, despite the lack of permanence in her childhood, the routine helped her discover what ultimately became her passion. And six months ago, she turned it into her own business, opening Park City Home Stager, in which she reorganizes homes on the market to maximize their aesthetics, hastening sales and increasing values.
It takes a special perspective, she says, to ensure a house that has served as a home for someone with unique tastes appeals to the majority of home buyers.
"A lot of people think they can just put their house on the market and de-clutter it, and then it’s ready to go on the market," said Holland, who also offers home redesign. "But they don’t always have the right angle. It’s better to get an outside perspective of what their home should look like. It’s getting the perspective of someone who has buyer’s eyes, not seller’s eyes."
Though the service Holland provides is simple, she said it’s one many people underestimate. Homeowners often mistakenly think the way they have decorated their home will appeal to buyers. But in reality, buyers can have a difficult time looking past a home’s décor to see how they could repurpose the space.
"A lot of times (the décor) can be a distraction, instead of something that’s helping to sell the home," Holland said.
"If you have a house that’s so unique to the person who lives there, when you bring a buyer in, they may never be able to see themselves in that home."
It’s also important for homeowners to consider the details. Without realizing it, homeowners can offend a buyer if they display items such as religious decoration or even a book that rubs the buyer the wrong way.
"It can be anything," Holland said. "They might not even consider the house because they don’t like you."
And that’s where Holland comes in. Her job boils down to identifying the focal points of a home and drawing attention to the right places, while minimizing it to the wrong ones. And she has an eye for all the details a buyer might notice.
"I like to think of it as if I were a buyer when I go into a home," Holland said. "What would I like to see or hear or smell?"
While the process can sound cumbersome and expensive, Holland strives to offer customers a positive experience. It can take work — particularly to de-clutter homes — but she allows customers to choose if they want to do it themselves or if they’d rather she did it. And rather than bringing in new pieces to help showcase a home, she works with what clients already own.
All of that allows people to tailor the service to their budgets.
"I think people hear home staging, and they think they have to spend a lot of money to make their home look like something out of a magazine," she said. "That’s where I’m trying to target. I’m not that person. I don’t want to redecorate your house — I just want to make it look the best it can with what you have. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money."
Park City Home Stager
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