If you’re getting ready to sell your home there are lots of factors to consider in preparation for listing it on the market. Hopefully, you’ll be using an agent, which is truly the way to go since it’s the only way to have your home listed in the MLS, which is how the majority of people shop for homes! That being said, staging is the second most important factor, followed by good photography. Below are 5 reasons to stage your home, followed by tips to do it yourself on a budget!
- IT WILL SELL FASTER
A survey done by Coldwell Banker showed that staged homes sold in half the time and for more than 6% above asking price. Since 90% of buyers start their search on the internet, homes with beautiful photographs with proper staging are more likely to be noticed by potential buyers during their search. When a buyer likes what they see online, they are more likely to want to tour the property in person. A staged home spends an average of four months on the market, compared to a non staged home, which spends around 6 months on the market.
- IT WILL PAY FOR ITSELF
Staging can cost anywhere from 1-3% of the list price. If you chose to use a professional staging company, it can seem like a large chunk of change. Consider however that most price reductions are $2,500-$10,000. If staging cost $2,000 and makes your property more appealing to buyers, it might attract someone before you’re forced to do a price drop. Also, since staged homes sell faster, there are fewer mortgage and utility payments to make before closing.
- IT HELPS THE BUYER
If a home is properly staged, it allows potential buyers to envision the space easier. While some people are imaginative enough to see the potential in an empty home, not everyone can picture where furniture will fit best, design options, etc.
- IT CAN HELP OVERCOME FLAWS
Have an outdated bathroom? Kitchen needs a sprucing up? Staging helps mask these issues. Buyers are often intrigued by cool furniture pieces or beautiful artwork and might not pay as much attention to the lime green guest room! If your bathroom is somewhat outdated for example, dressing it up with plush towels, a new shower curtain, a rug and fresh paint, might be just the thing to help the buyer envision a more updated space.
- IT WILL DRAW MORE TRAFFIC
Although there are buyers out there looking for a fixer upper or a project, many buyers are busy and want a home that is ready to go. When buyers see a well appointed home online and are able to have a better vision of what the home looks like, size and shape of the rooms, they are more likely to schedule a showing to see the property in person. In a study done by the National Realtor’s Association, agents feel that buyers are 46% more likely to request showings at a staged property instead of a vacant, or poorly staged home.
ALL OF THAT BEING SAID, HERE IS MY OPINION. If your home is going to be vacant and you no longer live nearby, hire a staging company. Find one that offers some unique pieces, ask for plenty of samples of other homes they’ve staged and be sure to discuss your vision for the space with them. If you are able to though, stage it yourself. For the cost of a staging company, pick up a used couch, end table, dining table, etc. and use some of your furniture that you love. Buy some super colorful and cute items from Target, Home Goods, Bed Bath Beyond, etc. and dress up your used items. Hang colorful paintings or prints on the walls, add bath towels to each bathroom, soap dispensers, rugs, etc. Spending $500 at Target can get you a long way and is cheaper than staging. Consider doing some simple paint updates before listing as well, especially in rooms that have bold colors that were a personal preference. If you will still be living in the space, keep it clean, declutter immediately, add colorful throw pillows or new bed linens to spruce it up. Clear your kitchen counters and leave just a few essential items that are modern, clean, and appealing. Potential buyers will miss a lot of things on their first visit, but those who return and are serious will open drawers, closets, refrigerators, etc. so make sure you’ve decluttered and cleaned those spaces as well.
Below are some before and after photos of homes that were not staged, hadn’t sold, and then were staged. The images speak for themselves.