To Stage or Not to Stage…

“So why would I stage my house when my neighbor’s house sold a few months ago without doing anything?” This is a common question that I’m sure most people have when they’re approached about staging their home prior to listing. I get it because I’m sure at one point I would have asked the same question. Let’s be real, you can sell a house without staging. I’m not going to write a post telling you anything different. I am, however, going to write a post telling you what you can expect from staging your house answering the more important question, “What do I get out of staging my house?”.

Let’s start with the basics, what is home staging? Audra Slinkey, President of the Home Staging Resource, states that home staging is the practice of using limited funds, practical creativity, objectivity, market demographic knowledge, real estate knowledge and extraordinary expertise to professionally prepare a home to sell. To add a bit more to this definition, Barb Schwarz, known as the creator of home staging, says “Staging creates feelings that truly elevate the buyers’ experience of a house, so they feel the real emotions of it being their home”. You are basically depersonalizing the space to an extent so that when a potential buyer views photos or walks through your home, they can imagine themselves living there.

IF THEY LIKE IT, THEY WILL COME – Now that you have a good idea of what home staging means, let’s get to how it can benefit you. A NAR (National Association of Realtors) study found that 95% of homebuyers are ONLINE first looking at photos of the homes, before they decide to drive by and visit. What does that mean to you? Have you ever taken a photo of something in your house and realized that it didn’t quite look as good in the picture as it does in person or you take a picture, post it on Facebook , then realize your home looks a bit cluttered or dated? A little straightening and dusting then simply having someone come in to quickly take photos of your home “as is” will not be enough to make your home stand out to buyers searching online. The number one action taken after viewing a home online was to schedule a showing! If you want to get people to look at your home you must have it properly staged and have great photos posted online to ensure you get interested buyers through the door.

LET’S MAKE ‘EM FALL IN LOVE – So now that you know that you have to get the home looking good so people viewing it online will actually come and see it, what’s next? You want to convert those walking through your home to a BUYER and in the shortest amount of time possible! Remember that definition of home staging we talked about in the beginning? Here’s where it really comes into play. You want that buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. You want to create an environment and emotional connection points throughout the home that makes them say “YES! I can see myself sitting in this home with perfect makeup, great hair, a fabulous outfit, sipping champagne while my personal chef whips up a delicious meal”. Well… maybe not that exact thought but you basically want them to envision what their lifestyle could be if they purchased your beautiful home. Another NAR survey found that 77% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. What does this mean for you? You sell your home as quickly as possible. The longer a home sits on the market, the further the price will drop. In addition, each month your home is on the market and it’s not selling, you’re still most likely paying the mortgage, utilities and other costs associated with owning a home. You’re losing a lot every day your home isn’t sold.

SHOW ME THE MONEY – Don’t worry…I’m not leaving you you completely depressed and anxious from the last paragraph. I have good news! Staging your home can help you sell it for more! Benjamins, Bread, Coins, Bucks, Bills, Dough, Moola, Stacks…however you want to say it, if you want to get more out of it- STAGE YOUR HOME! In a 2018 HSR survey of more than 4,200 homes, 85% of the homes surveyed sold for 6-25% more than their un-staged neighbor. Another study of over 3,500 homes professionally staged, showed that the average staging investment that is between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s asking price will generate a return of 8 to 10 percent in the sale price of the home. A small investment of staging can lead to a huge return in the sales price of your home.

So now that we went through all of that, let’s get back to that original question. “So why would I stage my house when my neighbor’s house sold a few months ago without doing anything?” If you aren’t concerned with enticing people to come and see your home, you’re ok with letting it sit on the market for longer and reducing the price a bit, and you’re not concerned with getting a better price than that neighbor who sold a few months ago or the other neighbor across the street with the same FOR SALE sign that’s getting ready to sit in your yard, don’t give staging a second thought. But…if you’re ready to get people to come to see your home, you want to get started in your new home as quickly as possible and you want to get the best price, start researching a professional home staging company today to get your home SOLD!

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