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In the twenty-first century, property owners and real estate firms need to consider a range of strategies to make their homes sell. To this end, home staging has become an indispensable selling tactic. To better understand the Portland real estate market and the importance of home staging, I talked to Justin Riordan, the founder of Spade and Archer. We discussed what to look for in home staging, as well as why Spade & Archer is a good choice for Portland-area sellers.


The Current Landscape for Portland Real Estate

According to Riordan, the best word to describe the current Portland real estate market is “volatile.” He continued, “For the last three years, we have had a consistently 85% hot market. This means that 85% of the homes that were listed sold right away for at or over asking price, while the other 15% sat and languished for moths at a time because they were either priced wrong or ill prepared, or both.” However, noting the recent market shift, Riordan continued, “For the first time in three years,” he said, “we have started seeing houses selling for at, or below, the asking price on a consistent basis. This has been happening for the past three months.” This is important to know for those looking to sell a home in the Portland area. Competition is fierce, and you may end up settling for less money than your home is worth. Staging is an effective strategy to combat this issue.


Why Should You Stage?

Because of the amount of competition, Riordan argues that staging is more important now than ever before. He explained that savvy sellers understand that they will get the largest return on investment if they stage. Riordan also noted that, if you’re having trouble selling a home, you should consider staging. He explained that staging is an effective way to combat inconvenient or unusual housing characteristics: “It sat on the market for too long, it is going to be priced higher than comparable properties, it is on a busy street, or the bedroom layout is confusing and out of the ordinary.”


What to Look for in Portland Home Staging

Home staging is about more than just making a room look nice. Prospective buyers need to see themselves living in the space. Per Riordan, good staging comes down to three factors, all of which help potential buyers gauge whether a home fits their desired lifestyle.

  • Strategic staging will demonstrate the use of each room. “Living rooms have couches and chairs, dining rooms have a table with chairs, bedrooms have beds. If you are confused as to how a room is to be used, staging will answer that question before you even knew it was a question.”
  • Good staging shows scale. “If you walk into a bedroom and it has a king-sized bed in it with a real mattress and box spring, you know for a fact that a king-sized bed will fit in that bedroom. If the dining room has a table with ten chairs, you know immediately that you can serve a dinner party for ten in that room.”
  • A well-staged home adds light. “Darkness is the number one reason people do not buy homes. The more light you can have in a house, the better it will look and, even more importantly, feel. Every lamp in every house we stage is plugged in and put on a timer to turn on at 8AM and turn off again at 8PM every day of the entire showing period. Every person that walks into one of our houses walks into a light-filled, bright, comfortable home.”

What to Expect during the Staging Process

For Spade & Archer, home staging is an easy, hands-off experience for sellers. They offer staging services with absolutely no work on the client’s end. Riordan says, “A vast majority of clients do not participate in any way during the design and installation process. If a client has a question, we gladly address the question and make sure any concerns are quickly resolved.” Additionally, clients don’t have to worry about quality: Spade & Archer’s Design Managers all have degrees in design and undergo a rigorous application process, resulting in consistent, quality results.

As for continuing to live in the house through the staging process? Riordan says that about ninety percent of Spade & Archer’s projects are vacant. However, if the client does not have the ability to move out, Spade & Archer will work with the items available to make the home look as good as possible. Riordan says, “In this situation we can perform a rearrange using just their items, or an enhancement using a combination of the seller’s items and our inventory.”


Getting Started and Preparing for Portland Home Staging

If you have some home furnishings that don’t fit with the design concept or you need to create more open space in your home as part of the staging, you might want to consider a storage unit for the duration of the selling period. If this is the case, our Portland storage center is here to help. Closetbox offers a pickup service that will alleviate some of the stress that comes with selling a home. Plus, our exact-space storage quotes ensure you get a great price for your project.

If you’re looking to stage a home in the Portland area, consider Spade and Archer. As Riordan says, “We understand good design cannot exist in the absence of good service.” This business works locally, supplies its own inventory, trucks, and movers, and brings a higher return on investment with less time on the market.