Should I stage my home?

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Do I have to stage my home to sell it? Does a vacant home sell better without furniture? Is staging really worth it, and is it cost effective? These are just some of the questions we hear from our clients when we are preparing to put their home on the market.

First off, what exactly is staging? According to StagedHomes.com: “Home Staging is professionally preparing homes for sale, so that they appeal to the most amount of buyers and generate the highest price in the least amount of time on market.”

Simply put, staging is: cleaning, organizing and preparing your home to attract/appeal to the majority of buyers. This can include: presenting your home in neutral/appealing tones, minimizing personal affects, and helping buyers imagine their furniture in the home. Not everyone will need to stage their home, but in order to appeal to the most buyers, it’s helpful. Staging is also presentation, and not the reality of how you live in your home (hopefully!). As a buyer, going in to 10, 20 or 30 homes can be a tiring experience, but if a home is well prepared for the market and staged, usually it stands out compared to the others.

The basis for staging comes from model homes, where the property is prepared with neutral paint, carpet and décor and also helps buyers envision their “lifestyle” after they have purchased the home. Having furniture and décor in place helps buyers visualize each room, and how their furniture would fit rather than just looking at an empty space. The size of a room can be deceptive and small without furniture to show it to scale.
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Other benefits to staging are to help potential buyers see the important features of your home: hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and large addition out back, rather than be distracted by personal items. While most of us live in our homes, with dishes in the sink, laundry in our bedrooms and kids toys on the floor, these items can be distracting to buyers who should be noticing the wonderful features of your home. Without distractions, buyers can fully appreciate the wonderful upgrades and amenities, which can result in getting a better sales price. According to statistics staged home sell for more than un-staged homes!

Levels of staging can also vary depending on the condition of the home, any upgrades completed and overall budget. Some homes made need a couple of tweaks, while other may require more intensive work. Quality of staging is also important. Similar to upgrades, the quality of staging is objective, and can vary from putting a chair and pillow in the corner of a room, to a complete living room set with artwork, pillows and accessories. Some Realtor’s may advertise that they complete their owner staging, while others hire an Accredited Staging Professional ( ASP), who has gone through training and is skilled at preparing homes for the market. It is critical to understand what type of staging you will be getting for your money.

Overall, staging is a good return on your money. But not every home will need to be staged. It also depends on the market demand, condition and features of your home. If your property has been sitting on the market without showings or offers, generally a price adjustment is needed. Buyers usually respond strongly to $10K increments, and staging is a much more affordable option. Based on the level of work needed, staging can range from $250 (initial consult) to several thousand, if rental furniture is needed. This is still a much more cost effective option to a price drop and more appealing to buyers.

Call us today to learn more staging and preparing your home to go on the market!

Staging information taken from:
http://www.stagedhomes.com/
http://www.frontdoor.com/photos/10-things-that-make-buyers-bite

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