Is it worth staging my house for sale?
I think this is a very common question sellers ask themselves and their realtor before listing their home on the market. They may research and read that staging does pay off or that it does get them more money for their house but they want to know is how do they really know if it does. They are usually spending anywhere from $2,000-$20,000 depending on the size of the house or quality of the stager. I will explain why staging does pay off but not to spend tens of thousands on staging. I stress staging because I have seen the difference of staging vs vacant homes. I personally as a Realtor, stage for my clients for me, as I have invested buying staging furniture in my business as a service to my clients because I know the difference it makes for the price they sell it for and also the amount of time the house is on the market.
There are couple ways to stage a home:
- Hire a professional staging company – can be costly but also very effective
- Partial staging – only staging a few key rooms in the home
- Decluttering your home – this is staging. You are staging your home by putting away things you would normally have it.
When you are selling a home, you are not selling a home by showing it as how you live. You are selling a home like a product. If your home is a product you never to present it as one. Just like if you were selling a car. You won’t have the tissue box in the backseat, your child’s carseat strapped in, or your side console full of papers. No you would have that car spick and span, freshly driven through the car wash and ready to go. That is how you need to treat a house for sale if you want to get the most money.
By staging house not only helps you get more money for the house but also saves you time. Vacant homes are hard for people to see their furniture in. Unfortunately not all buyers have a vision, they need examples of where furniture goes in order for them to see their own furniture there. They might not put their furniture in the same place the staging furniture is but they need to see that it is possible.
Good staging is also a neutral palette. The reason for this is because you are trying to attract as many buyers as possible. People are more likely to be ok with a beige or a white then an orange or lime green. They want to feel comforted in a home when they walk in. They want to see flowers, beaches, and waterfalls. My absolutely favorite staging piece is a fake orchid. They bring so much color and warmth into a room, it really makes a difference.
Prime example of why staging works. We had this beautiful home on the market with stunning cherrywood floors. The owner had moved out and did not want any staging in the home because he was worried the furniture would scratch the floor. We tried to convince him but he was admit. We respected his wishes and put the house on the market vacant.
This home had a ton of exposure and multiple showings for the two months and no offers. It was priced right and people had agreed but a lot of buyers just felt this wasn’t the house for them.
This house had a unique layout and had a great room for it’s living space. It was a beautiful open floor plan but no one could see the potential that this room had. It could be a living room and dining room in one. It just needed to be defined.
Instead of staging the home, the seller opted for doing a price reduction. This again brought a flood of buyers to see the home but no offers. We stress to the seller how much staging helps buyers envision spaces that might not be so easy, especially open floor plans. A lot of time these spaces can feel cold and sterile. By staging them it helps warm the place up and can also help buyers envision their furniture or what they would use the room as. It makes one room turn into multiple.
Time continued on and After a couple months with showings every week but no offers, the owner finally gave in to us staging the home. We brought in mirrors, couches, a dining set, canvas pictures, lamps, and more. We staged this great room as two spaces.
Buyers finally were able to envision this beautiful house as a home. After one week of staging the property, we received multiple offers on this so called ‘stale’ listing and sold the house!
If the seller had staged the house earlier, he could have saved on the mortgage payments he was paying while the house sat on the market and would have mostly likely gotten the original price he was listed at.
When buying a home, it is usually an emotion decision and all buyers, even investors, go off how they feel when they step into a house. If the house feels cold you don’t want to be there let alone live there. Staging warms the house and creates a good feelings to buyers. People are visual and if they like what they see they will like the house. It is all psychologic. This is the philosophy we think about when listing a home. Not only with staging but when we market the home. You had to know your audience and the buyer demographic of the home your selling in order to do an effective job. Marketing is going off your target audiences feeling and staging is a part of marketing your home. If you don’t have a lot of money to pay on staging just try and declutter. Take the advice of your realtor. They are the experts and do this for a living, they know what potential buyers are looking for. Do not get offended because they aren’t going off your taste they are going for what will make you the most money.
The most important thing you need to remember is that how you live in your home is not how you are going to sell your home. When you are trying to sell your, you are selling your home as a product and not on how you live in your home. Yes how you have things set up in your is practical but a lot of times it is not practical on selling a home.