Facts About Home Staging
Did you know that the decision on whether or not to stage a home for sale has been shown to have an impact on home sale prices? When home owners spent $500 in staging they have recovered more than 340% in higher final sales price of the home. (source:homegain.com) But it goes well beyond price. How much would it cost you each month to have your vacant home sit on the market for an extra 2 or 3 months versus selling within the first month? $2,000? Maybe $5,000? Once you factor in Mortgage, Taxes and Insurance, not selling your house quickly is just like flushing money down the toilet. Wouldn’t you rather that money go to getting a higher sales price on your home? In a test of two similar homes one staged and one not, the staged home sold in 45 days and the non-staged in 102 days. Time is money.
Home buyers often pride themselves as being able to “envision” their furniture in a home, but research has shown that only about 10% can actually do it. Worse yet, if your furniture is overpowering their senses, that number is sure to decrease. Why not overwhelm them with the positive image of a well staged home with beautiful furniture, hopefully nicer than theirs, so they can see the full potential of the home?
Like painting, the most important aspect of staging is prep. The space must be clean, free of dated wallpaper. Neutral paint colors are ideal. If you don’t want to spend the money on having your home painted, make a weekend project out of it and paint one room a weekend for several months until your house is ready for staging. The staging furniture should be updated, but not excessively modern. It should be simple, light, and there should not be too much of it. A bedroom for example would likely be staged with just a bed, night stands and lights as well as some wall décor. No large dressers. You want the rooms to look large be using minimal furniture to convey the message. Dining Rooms get a table and chairs, lovely table cloth and table adornments, but no hutch, no Buffet. We want there to be nothing to make the room feel cluttered. If the chandelier is dated, replace it. If the floors are dull, refinish them.
For many home owners, it comes down to up-front cost. I have good news on this. There are Real Estate agents that have realized the importance of staging and are beginning to add the service to their listing package. Some offer a number of hours of free staging consultation from a professional stager and others offer the entire staging package including no cost furniture rental, as they own the furniture and freely provide it to their clients to assist in selling their homes. I will attempt to compile a list of these agents but in the meantime the first I’ve come across is in Massachusetts and you can find his Real Estate website here.
The bottom line is that staging is an extra step that will make you money and if you hire the right agent they will pay for themselves with their staging service alone, not to mention the fact that if they are at the point where they are offering this service they are likely experienced enough to be a strong negotiator on your behalf. Smart decisions up front lead to more money for you down the road.