In less than a year’s time, the market has shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. With that shift comes more competition for sellers trying to get their homes sold. So how will your home stand up against the competition when it hits the market?
I cannot emphasize this enough. You want to go on the market with your absolute best foot forward. Your home will need a deep cleaning and will need to be kept clean throughout the entire time it’s on the market. The landscaping must also be freshened up which includes trimming bushes, and trees and putting down black or dark brown mulch. Do not ever use red mulch! The next step is to declutter and then finally, stage. When Realtors talk about staging your home, they’re referring to a method of preparing a property for sale on the real estate marketplace. Staging is designed to showcase a home’s best assets, impress buyers, and sell it quickly for the highest possible price. Because not all sellers stage their homes—especially homes in lower price ranges—you’ll be at an advantage if you elect to take the extra step of staging your property.
WHY SHOULD I STAGE?
Staging a home makes it more appealing visually and allows potential homebuyers to envision how the home might look once they move into it, making it look more move-in ready. Having furnishings and wall hangings in place is often more inviting than empty rooms and blank walls.
The goal is to make your home look and feel as much like a model home as it can. Have you ever walked into a model home and wished that you could own that home AND ALL its furnishings? If so, you have been influenced by staging. The purpose of staging is to help buyers visualize a house as their future home and invoke an emotional response in them. Staging gives potential buyers a view of what their lifestyle can become once they purchase the property, thus pushing them to make the purchase.
Home builders stage model homes to compel buyers to not only buy a home but also spend more money on design options. Realtors stage their listings to compel buyers to feel a deep emotional attachment to the home and then ultimately purchase it.
According to the National Association of Realtors:
- Home staging allows the homeowner to retain anywhere from 5-20% more in home equity.
- Staged homes spend 78% less time on the market than homes that are not staged.
- Vacant homes that are not staged sell for 15% less on average.
- 83% of buyer agents say staging a home makes it easier for their buyers to visualize the property as their future home.
- 64% of buyer agents say that staging a home increases the likelihood of offering the full list price or more.
- 53% of seller’s agents say that staging a home decreased the amount of time a home spends on the market.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO STAGE A HOME?
The benefits gained from staging a home far outweigh the cost of staging. Relative to the amount of time and money involved, staging may be one of the most lucrative projects you ever undertake. Potential buyers aren’t just looking for a structure to inhabit—they’re also looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyles. Staging can create a more emotional purchase for the buyer, which ultimately can generate more money for the seller.
In terms of dollars, staging costs anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500, in the first month depending on the number of rooms staged. Subsequent months cost about 20% less. Some Realtors, like me, stage their listings for free for their sellers. So, the actual cost of staging is minimal when compared to the benefits listed above.
WHAT ROOMS DO I STAGE?
The rooms to stage include ALL rooms. However, if you are trying to minimize costs, stage all rooms except the secondary bedrooms. The most important rooms are the living room, the office, the kitchen, the primary bedroom, and the front and back porches. Even if you pay for the staging yourself, not only will you make up for the cost of the staging in a higher net sales price, but your home will also spend a lot less time on the market and shorten the time you are making additional monthly mortgage payments. Realtors and professional home stagers argue that staging is much less expensive and more effective than your first price reduction!
WHEN DO YOU STAGE A HOME?
The short answer is before professional photos are taken. RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association says, “Homes staged prior to going on the market, sell in 90 percent less time.” Staging it correctly before it’s listed is key to drawing in the most potential buyers. Buyers that are looking for a home, start with online shopping which means that your online photos are the FIRST IMPRESSION and are the first step to having a buyer come in person to view your home. More views = more potential offers. More offers = more money in your pocket and better contract terms. Having your home prepared to look like a model home before you list is critical to establish that “Wow” factor and avoiding any missed opportunities. If your home is already on the market and it is not selling, put the listing on “hold” in MLS, and get the home staged. You will need to retake photos, but it will be worth it ultimately in the long run for all the benefits listed previously.
CAN I STAGE MY HOME MYSELF?
Unless you have training in interior design, most likely not. In addition, most people cannot view their home objectively from a buyer’s perspective and thus cannot make the required changes that the home needs for it to appeal to many buyers. Most people also don’t have the right kind of furniture to dress up the home and make it look like a model home. Your home needs to appeal to most buyers while cleverly transforming any perceived “flaws” a buyer may see as an asset of the house. Insist that your realtor hires a professional stager.
Home staging refers to preparing your home to sell so it appeals to the most potential buyers who will pay the highest possible price.
Your home will sell for more money and spend less time on the market if it is staged.
Relative to the amount of time and money involved, staging may be one of the most lucrative projects you’ll ever undertake.
The living room, primary bedroom, kitchen, office, dining rooms, and outdoor living spaces are all important areas to focus on when staging your home.
A few recommended home-staging tips are to freshen up the landscaping, touch up walls with paint, declutter, deep clean, replace or steam clean stained carpet, and remove any personal items such as photos and monogrammed towels.
Dripping Springs Elite Real Estate Professionals is an organization of 25 top-producing real estate agents from different brokerages who live and work in Dripping Springs, Texas, and the surrounding area. When trying to decide who you would like to represent you during your next real estate transaction, consider a Dripping Springs Elite Real Estate Professionals member. They have a proven track record, which is one of the criteria for membership.