Research and experience have convinced us that that staging is a basic step in selling your home because we’ve seen the results time and time again. But in the six years that we have offered this service to our clients, we’ve had questions as well as received them. Here we’ve compiled the following responses to our list of most frequently asked questions.
What is Home Staging?
Staging is the decorative art of editing and arranging furniture and accessories to accent the features of your home and in a way that makes a buyer mentally “move in” to your space. Staging makes your home look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer and more inviting.
- Staging is the first step in marketing your home. It is a marketing tool.
- A “staged home” is vastly different from one that is de-cluttered and cleaned. Staging is what you do after you’ve cleaned, de-cluttered and made repairs.
WHY SHOULD I INVEST MORE MONEY IN MY HOME IN THIS DIFFICULT MARKET?
- The U.S. Housing and Urban Development reports that a staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than an un-staged home. In a 2007 HomeGain survey of 2000 Realtors it was discovered that the typical staging cost of $500 produced an average return of 343%.
- A professional Stager can help you evaluate which improvement projects will actually improve the marketability of your home and which won’t, as well as prioritize the completion of those projects. A Stager can also give you money-saving tips and ideas.
DON’T BUYERS LOOK PAST THE DECOR AND IMAGINE THEIR FURNITURE (OR PAINT OR CARPET) AND SEE THE POTENTIAL OF THE HOME?
- Within 15 seconds each buyer develops an attitude toward your house. Any project that requires the buyer to use their imagination also requires the buyer’s work, time and/or money and ends up making you more unlikely to get top dollar for your home. Buyers are “inspectors” and no matter how many great things there are about your home, their attention is always drawn to negative features first. A Stager’s goal is to neutralize or eliminate those negatives.
- Leaving your home in “as is” condition will help sell the competition
I WATCH HGTV, WHY CAN’T I STAGE MY OWN HOME?
In the past four years I have met very few homeowners who staged their home as well as a professional. We have a strong tendency to see our homes like our children and pets: we don’t see all the flaws. If you can’t see something objectively you are unable to market and package it effectively. Sometimes even if you have impeccable taste and great personal style, your taste and style might hinder your home from appealing to the largest number of potential buyers. In addition, most home sellers don’t “stage” home everyday for a living.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WAITING TO SEE IF THE HOME SELLS QUICKLY AND IF NOT, WE’LL STAGE AT THAT POINT?
The longer your home is on the market, the lower the price will be. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, homes that sold after four weeks on the market sold for 6% less than homes sold within the first four weeks. Also, your home never again draws the internet and MLS interest that is draws during the first 14 days on market. I always tell my clients that “staging is less than your first price reduction”. For me, that puts it in perspective.
WHAT IS OUR STAGING PROCESS?
- Step One is the Consultation. We start at the front porch and tour the home just like a potential buyer to identify those features we want to highlight and those flaws we want to minimize or eliminate. We “brainstorm” alternatives and the Stager answers any questions. We bring my perspective as a Realtor, our Stager and your unique knowledge of your home together to formulate a “game plan” for preparing your home for the market.
- Step two is the Staging Plan. The Stager plans each room and identifies any furniture, accessories or supplies that she will need to purchase or collect from the storeroom.
- Step three is the completion, by the Seller, of those agreed upon “game plan” items that will be completed prior to staging.
- Step four is the day of the staging. The staging team loads all furniture and accessories at the storeroom and arrives, unpacks and begins the staging process. Staging is usually done in the morning while the Seller, children and indoor pets are away from the home. (This makes the finished product a fun surprise for the Seller and makes the process faster for the team.) The normal staging takes all of one day, usually completed by late afternoon. Upon completion, photos are taken for internet marketing.
Copyright Liberty Avenue Properties, Inc., Sondra Apelt 2009