Your Question: I've Heard of Home Staging... But Does It Really Make Much of a Difference?
Professor Tate Answers:
What a professional home stager really does is looks at a home through the eyes of a highly-critical potential buyer and makes recommendations that will create the best first impression for a real potential buyer. Investing in a stager’s services will allow a home to stand out from the multitude of other homes in the area, benefiting both the seller and the real estate agent. Working with a stager on your homes can make the difference between those homes sitting with For Sale signs on the lawn for months on end, or selling like crazy. And when prospective sellers see Sold signs with your name on them, they’re going to keep you in mind as a possible listing agent for their own property.
As most realtors know, and as any stager will tell you, every property, regardless of size or asking price, will benefit from removing clutter and personal items. A HomeGain Home Improvement Survey found that cleaning and decluttering are the DIY activities with the biggest potential return, adding upwards of $2,000 to the final sales price. So why stop there?
Staging creates a vision of a home’s true potential, and since buyers are looking for a home that will fit the life they’re hoping to live there, staging can be an invaluable resource. The trick is to create a spacious, inviting, welcoming look, without going so far as to make it appear staged or phony. Professional home stagers recommend supersized centerpieces and furnishings to display just how much a space can accommodate, but be mindful of the scale of the room. Again, clutter is bad. Displaying multifunctionality is also recommended. A makeup mirror on the bathroom vanity, or a desk in the living room to sit at while paying bills or doing homework, can give a buyer ideas about their own life in the home. Neutral color palettes with accessories that pop can make a home seem fresh and modern. And a sophisticated, elegant master bedroom that looks almost like a fancy hotel suite, or a spa-like bathroom with fluffy towels and high-end soaps, will give a home a luxurious feel.
Stagers can take over the task of getting a home ready to be shown, and they can do it in time to leave you worry-free.
Home owners that are selling their home should expect to pay for home staging services, in the same way that they are expected to pay for a real estate lawyer, home inspector or appraiser. In the end, the homeowner will realize the value of the home stager’s recommendations when they see the increased interest in their home when it is shown and as studies suggest a faster sale with a higher price.
Home staging makes a huge difference in the presentation of a home and can be the difference between a home selling or not, and can even increase the sales price.
You asked, now you know!
-Professor Reel S. Tate