Does Staging a Home For Sale Really Make a Difference?

Again over the weekend I met with a seller that asked me if staging a home for sale really makes a difference.  Their question is completely understandable.  The market is HOT and there is very little inventory.  The best homes priced right and presented well are going under contract quickly.  Keep in mind that the quality of homes for sale in today’s market has surely increased.  Homes are inspected, repaired, and updated in a major way.  Your competition are the flippers that have completely remodeled their homes.  In the greater Seattle area, we seldom see homes for sale that are not totally prepared and staged. The reason for preparation and staging is three fold.  First to allow the buyer to continue their experience from their online first impression to walking in the front door.  Second is to make it easier for the buyer to create an emotional attachment to the home generating higher offers. The third is the necessity simply because your competition is doing it.

94% of the buyer’s get their all important first impression on the internet.  What will they see?  How will the visuals of your home and the listed price compare to the other homes on the market?  After reading this posting, go online with the mindset of a buyer and look at the pictures of homes for sale in your area. What was your first impression of these homes and why?   Notice that the homes you are initially attracted to are staged and in HD photography.  Staging a home for sale is more than having a clean home.  A professional stager will discuss how to prepare the home for the photographer in order to make your pictures shine online.  Staging will attract the buyers through their online experience before they get to the home.  Ultimately, the staging will highlight the homes features in a way that generates a higher SOLD price.

Does your price point make a difference in the need for staging?  No!  Obviously, the more homes on the market in a particular price point or area will mean that you have to make a greater effort to get top dollar.   A property that is not prepared properly for the listed price may get a few offers where as a property inspected, repaired, staged and priced right could easily have 15 offers on the table.  Why is this?  Buyers, on the most part, have little or no imagination.  Without updating and staging, they may not be able to visualize how a room will work for them.  If the room is cluttered, most buyers just think there is too little room for their stuff, and move on.  If there is needed work to be completed they will either offer much less for the home or again just walk.  In either case the result is not what you want.

A good measure of needed preparation is to visit a completed remodel in the area or a new construction site.  Why are these homes always staged?  I’m sure I don’t have to answer this for you.  But, take note.  The efforts that a builder or investor takes in preparing homes for sale is simply to earn the most money from the sale.  They are interested only in the bottom line.  They won’t spend unnecessary money on staging or anything else.  They understand that staging highlights the best features of the home and also can cover up deficiencies in the floor plan such as flow and low light.  The lack of preparation can result in higher than average market times and lower SOLD prices.

Is staging expensive?  This is a great question.  Professional stagers may charge $300 to $500 for the initial consultation and the finished product for the average vacant home can cost $2,000 to $3,500 dollars, more or less.  This is depending on the number of rooms and the quality of furniture.  Stagers can also stage your home with your furniture while you still live in the home.  This is sometimes more difficult for the stager but well worth it for you.  You may be asked to remove some furniture and start your packing because most of us have too much furniture and way too much stuff in our homes.  Also, the colors and textures of the items we have collected over the years may not mix well.  But, keep in mind, whether you still live in the home of it is vacant, you may lose much more than the price of staging your home because of lower offers.

Even if your strapped for cash and feel that you just can’t afford to stage the home, go online and find a few sites that show you how to stage a home.  Here’s one you may like. Basically, you will be asked to de-personalize the home by removing your personal photos, collections and trophies.  De-clutter and reduce the amount of furniture you have in the home.  Take 1/3 of the stuff out of every closet, cabinet, shelf and drawer.  Clear the counters in your kitchen.  Clean, paint and repair to make the home shine!  Place your furniture in a way that invites the buyer into the room and still allows them the freedom to imagine their things in place of the staging.  Use color, texture and themes to quietly complete each room.  This may not be a simple as you think.  Professional stagers are trained, experienced and blessed with the creative gene to see what most of us can’t.  The relationship of space, furniture, color and texture.

I trust Valerie Lawrence of 1 Day Design to turn your house from a home to a money maker.  Most sellers are amazed at the transformation.  Buyers, while noticing the utility of space will be able to see past the staging and emotionally move in which brings higher offering prices.   Contact Valerie Directly

Staging the home is just one of the important factors to net top dollar from the sale of your home.  Check out “Selling a Home for Top Dollar is by Design.”

Tom has more than 20 years of full time real estate experience with sellers and buyers.  His Seller and Buyer Systems are pro-active and effective and can be seen on his website  Contact Tom today 206-713-2538 to schedule an appointment.

Send Tom Perry an email … Realty Executives Brio … Bellevue Washington

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