Ask a staging professional: 5 questions with Kat Troulinos of Ta Da Staging by Kat

Part of selling a home is creating an attractive presentation for the property, said staging professional Kat Troulinos, whose The Woodlands-based business, Ta Da Staging by Kat, works with clients to give their homes aesthetic appeal. Staging professionals use furniture placement and color to work with homeowners to determine appropriate improvements for the property, which Troulinos said can help sellers make a better deal on the home.

How important is staging in the sale of a home?
Staging is the art of preparing a home to sell fast and for top dollar. It must look its best online, which is the first showing, through proper furniture placement, optimal scale, decluttering, cleaning as well as a “wow” factor that will appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. We remind our clients and Realtor partners that your listing or home is after all in a competition. Don’t let your unstaged property be the reason they didn’t buy your house.

At what stage in the sale of a home should someone consider consulting a staging expert?
Once you have ... completed your contractor’s work if doing a rehab or refurbish is best. All other situations—first thing. You want plenty of time to organize any repairs, painting, etc., and your professional can even assist with proper paint color if trained and [with making] needed repairs that will aid in a fast sale.

What are some current popular trends people should be aware of when trying to give their homes visual appeal?
Look at model homes—this is typically what you are competing with. Buyers want updated,  “on trend” furnishings which are most appealing. [Having a ] clean, clutter-free [home] and color are all important.

How much time is needed to prepare?
A week or two is optimal unless there is more work needed for repairs. Your Realtor or staging company can provide window cleaners, power washers, painting companies, etc., to do the heavy lifting for you. During the busy selling times, 30 days would be optimal to make sure you can get on everyone’s calendar and meet your time requirements.

Can successful staging affect the sale price and length of time it takes to make a sale?
Absolutely—studies prove that a staged home will sell faster and for 5% to 17% more than [a home that was not staged], according to the National Association of Realtors. Costs increase as a home languishes on the market. The perceived value of the home goes down with added days on [the] market.

By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.