Is staging your home worth it?
A lot of sellers think home staging is not worth the trouble. Yet, staging can actually yield a 586% return on investment, often resulting in a home selling for more than it would if it was unstaged. We think that makes staging worth the investment.
If you aren't familiar with staging, here's a quick overview of what you need to know.
WHAT IS STAGING?
People sometimes confuse decorating with staging, but the two are quite different. Decorating focuses on styling a home to the homeowner’s lifestyle and personal tastes and preferences. Staging, on the other hand, uses research and statistical data to make a home most appealing to potential buyers. A well-staged home invites potential buyers to imagine living there and emphasizes special features that are known to attract buyers.
Homeowners often assume staging is all or nothing, but that’s not the case. There are many different ways you can work with your Realtor and home stager to properly prepare your 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.
Your needs and the scope of the staging often vary depending on whether your home will be occupied or vacant at the time of sale.
HOW DOES STAGING WORK WITH AN OCCUPIED HOME?
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.
You’ve probably walked into a friend or family member’s home and thought some of their decorating choices were unusual or even distasteful. Certainly, not everyone shares the same taste or style in decorating. Staging helps buyers focus on the house and not on the stuff in it. The goals is to appeal to the highest number of people.
A stager offers a neutral perspective on what adjustments to make to your space so that it has broader mass appeal. For example, stagers help you determine if any furniture should be stored or re-arranged to show your home in its best light. Some stagers even offer hands-on services like purging closets, decluttering, and packing for the move, while others offer the opportunity to rent smaller accessory items if needed. All of these adjustments help a potential buyer envision what it is like to live in the home.
HOW DOES STAGING WORK WITH A VACANT HOME?
Staging is especially important if your home will be vacant while it is on the market. Sellers sometimes think that a vacant property is the perfect blank slate for buyers. However, 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. Just take a look at these sample before and after photos, and it's easy to see what a difference staging can make.
HOW DOES STAGING HELP A HOME SELL?
Staging helps engage buyers by getting their attention, helping them envision life in the home, and enhancing the condition of the home. Staging can transform the look and feel of a home, and buyers will notice.
➤ Attention-getting photos
According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers look at pictures online before ever visiting the property. When you're competing against thousands of homes online, you have to put your best impression forward. Empty or cluttered rooms don't capture the attention of potential buyers. From furniture arrangement to curb appeal, a certified home stager can influence the way a home looks online so that it appeals to the most buyers.
In short, staged homes photograph better, and better photographs mean you attract more potential buyers.
➤ Keep buyers engaged
Once the staged listing photos convince buyers to view your house in person, we next have to capture their attention as soon as they walk in the door. Buyers often decide within 15 seconds of entering 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.
➤ See the potential and envision the future
Buying a home is a significant milestone, and for many buyers it is the culmination of one of their biggest hopes and dreams. Serious buyers are dreaming of the future and want to image that their life will be better in a new house. A well-staged home gives buyers that chance. Staging helps us win buyers’ hearts.
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.
➤ 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. Working in conjunction with your Realtor, 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.
➤ Reduce perceived negatives
Staging can also help overcome potential buyer objections. Consider, for example, a home that has 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! Impressive data, right? Plus, the cost of staging is almost always less than the cost of a price reduction.
Not only that, according to home advisor staged homes spend 30 - 50 percent less time on the market than non-stage properties. After all, a well-presented home will have a higher perceived value to buyers, and that generally results in a faster sale for more money.
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 can be used for staging).
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.
To help explain 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 Austin home, listen in.
WE BELIEVE STAGING HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE SALE OF YOUR HOME
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.