How staging helps your home sell for more
A lot of sellers think home staging is a bunch of nonsense. Reality proves otherwise. Staging can actually net up to a 586% return on investment, often resulting in a home selling for more than it would if it was unstaged.
People sometimes confuse decorating with staging, but the two are vastly different. Decorating focuses on styling a home to the homeowner’s lifestyle and personal tastes. Staging, on the other hand, focuses on what is appealing to potential buyers. Using statistical research, a good stager helps emphasize a home’s livability and special features to increase interest in the property.
To help de-mystify the home staging process, we sat down with our friend Lynne Rhea of MomBo Interiors to give us an insider’s perspective on what staging is all about. If you’re thinking of selling your home, listen in.
WHAT IS STAGING?
For starters, staging goes way beyond decorating.
Staging is an essential component of marketing a home for sale so that it reaches its best potential sales price. While decorating is centered on the owner’s personal preferences, staging relies on statistical data to make a home most appealing to buyers.
Over time we’ve become big believers in the value of staging. It’s been our experience that using an experienced stager can help your home sell for top dollar. That’s why when you list your home for sale with Homesville Realty Group we provide a complimentary consultation with a staging expert.
HOW DOES STAGING WORK WITH AN OCCUPIED HOME?
90% of Lynne’s consultations are for occupied homes. If you plan on living in your home during the sales process, a stager can help you figure out how to optimize the use, look and feel of every room in your home so that it is attractive to potential buyers.
And let’s face it. Not everyone shares the same taste or style in decorating. You’ve likely walked into a friend or family member’s home and thought some of their decorating choices were odd or even distasteful. A stager offers a neutral perspective on what adjustments to make to your space so that it has broader mass appeal. All of these adjustments help a potential buyer envision what it is like to live in the home.
For example, stagers help you determine if any furniture should be stored or re-arranged to showcase your home at its best. Some stagers even offer hands-on services like purging closets, decluttering, and packing for the move. Lynne also offers sellers the opportunity to rent items if needed so that buyers focus on the architecture of the house and not the stuff in it.
HOW DOES STAGING WORK WITH A VACANT HOME?
Staging is also important if your home will be vacant while it is on the market. Empty rooms and blank walls are unlikely to catch the attention of a potential buyer who is scrolling through hundreds of home photos online. Staging helps create attention-getting photos that encourage the buyer to stop and look more thoughtfully at the features of your home.
Plus, not everyone can imagine what an empty room would look like filled with furniture. Staging bridges the gap for many buyers by helping them see how spaces can be used.
Homeowners often assume staging is all or nothing, but that’s simply not the case. There are many different ways you can work with a home stager to properly prepare a vacant home for sale. Some sellers may just need some advice or an action plan to follow, while others want the stager to actually complete the work. Your staging plan can be customized to your personal needs and preferences.
HOW DOES STAGING HELP A HOME SELL?
Let’s start with photos. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers look at online photos before ever visiting the property. That means we need attention-getting photos to grab the buyer’s attention online. From furniture arrangement to curb appeal, a certified home stager can influence the way a home presents online so that it appeals to the most buyers. Put bluntly, staged homes photograph better, and better photographs mean you attract more potential buyers.
Next, we have to win buyers’ hearts as soon as they walk in the door. Buyers often decide within 15 seconds of walking into a home whether it’s for them. Some don’t even get out of the car because the home lacks curb appeal. Home staging helps make the most of that first impression.
Staging also helps buyers see the potential of a home and envision their potential life there. Here are four ways staging helps engage buyers:
➤ Increase perceived size
Staging can help with furniture layout to create an increase in the perceived interior space. Everything from purging closets to reducing the amount of bulky furniture can help a home seem larger.
➤ Enhance perceived condition
Dirty air vents, broken switch plates, leaky faucets—all these make the buyers wonder what else is wrong. Your Realtor or a certified home stager can give you valuable insight into small adjustments you can make to demonstrate that the home is in top working order.
➤ Envision the future
Serious buyers are dreaming of the future and want to image their life will be better in a new house. A well-staged home gives buyers that chance. At Homesville we take the visualization one step further; we build on that potential by also showcasing the neighborhood and community aspects of the property as well.
➤ Reduce perceived negatives
Oftentimes, a home might have an awkward space that seems unusable. Confused buyers might wonder what to do with the space and walk away from a purchase. Staging can eliminate that confusion by giving these awkward spaces a sense of purpose.
BUT DOES STAGING TRANSLATE INTO MORE MONEY FOR THE SELLER?
Studies show that buyers tend to pay more for staged homes. According to Bankrate.com, the return on investment for staging is 586%! That means for every dollar spent on staging, there is a $5.83 return! This impressive data. Plus, the cost of staging is almost always less than the cost of a price reduction.
WHAT KIND OF COST SHOULD A SELLER EXPECT FOR STAGING?
Every stager has a slightly different fee arrangement. If you enter into a contract with a professional home stager, expect to pay a few thousand dollars for services (a bit less if some of your own furniture is usable).
Because it is so valuable to have someone with “fresh eyes” provide guidance on making your home more attractive to buyers, we offer our clients a free two-hour consultation with a professional stager – usually a $250 value. You can learn more about how we invest in selling your home HERE.
WE BELIEVE IN THE IMPACT OF STAGING
We believe staging is one of the most cost-effective ways to create a positive first impression that increases a buyer’s emotional connection to your home. To learn more about other ways you can maximize your sale, explore HERE.
If you have questions about selling your home, reach out. We're happy to answer your questions. For specific staging questions you can also reach out to Lynne Rhea at MomBo Interiors.