When selling a home, buyers may notice a difference between a staged home and an unstaged home. But is the process actually worth it? Does staging yield any actual (read: monetary) results?
The short answer is yes! We think staging makes a significant difference when selling your home, as it has the potential to decrease the amount of time your home spends on the market and can result in a higher offer.
There are several ways to stage a home, from hiring a professional staging company to staging your home virtually. Or you might stage your home yourself, utilizing your own or borrowed furniture and depersonalizing your space as much as possible. However you plan to stage, know that your efforts are not in vain!
And if you’re on the fence, here are just a few benefits of staging that might convince you.
This is perhaps the most often-used reasoning in the argument for staging a home — and for good reason. A staged home helps potential buyers visualize themselves in your space, as they can get a glimpse of how they might use each of the different rooms, from the office to the playroom and living room to the finished basement. In fact, a 2019 National Association of Realtors study on home staging reported that 83 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. This piece is why it’s important to de-personalize your space, removing family photos and other personal items. Plus, a staging company will often add neutral furniture and décor that appeals to the masses, steering clear of an obscure style that limits your buyer options.
Sure, staging is not free — and in some cases, not exactly cheap. But when you crunch the numbers and consider the chance for a higher offer, the answer is simple: staging has the potential to help increase the value of your home. In that same study done by NAR in 2019, 22 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of 1-5 percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, compared to similar unstaged homes. And 17 percent of respondents said that staging a home actually increased the dollar value by 6–10 percent. Numbers like 5 percent may not feel like a lot, until you realize that 5 percent of a $500,000 home is $25,000.
These days, especially in the wake of a pandemic, online presence is everything when it comes to real estate marketing. Simply put, a staged home is undeniably more photogenic than an unstaged one. And in the age of Instagram and online searching, photos make a first impression before a potential buyer even has the opportunity to step through the front door. If you’re relying heavily on photos to sell your home, you might consider staging your home virtually. Virtual staging allows you to completely customize the furniture palette — without a staging company having to step foot in your home! With no furniture to move in and out, this makes for an especially smooth transition.
In addition to the potential for an increased offer, staging has the potential to shorten the length of time your home spends on the market. And if you think about it, that’s money saved, too! A study from the Real Estate Staging Association found that staged homes spend 72% less time on the market. Buyers are just more likely to make a quick offer on a home that looks attractive and feels ready for move-in. Plus, the longer a home stays on the market, the more the price drops — either with an actual price decrease or with lower offers.
Regardless of how you personally used a space, staging has the power to offer a glimpse of potential for potential buyers. For example, maybe you used a fourth bedroom as a storage area or a space with gym equipment, electronics or other unattractive gear. Consider transforming it into a guest bedroom through staging, which will help prospects imagine their friends and family staying there when they visit. Or turn it into a playroom to inspire those with young children. Staging helps create meaning out of otherwise empty rooms.
Believe it or not, a room with furniture can feel larger than an empty room. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true! An empty room provides no spatial context, whereas a furnished room allows potential buyers to understand the dimensions of furniture in relation to the room size. It’s hard for people to imagine how much room a king-sized bed might take up, and they may think they’ll need a much larger bedroom than they actually do. Similarly, they can compare the size of a dining room table or sofa in relation to their own furniture to make sure it will all fit nicely.
This is a minor detail, but worth noting. You’ll need to pack up your home whether or not you decide to stage your home, so why not do it sooner rather than later? Before a staging company brings in their furniture, you’ll need to have the entire home cleared of furniture, décor and other personal belongings. This streamlines your process and makes it easier on moving day, as most of the packing will already be done!
Declutter. Remove as much clutter as possible from your home, including trophies, books, signage, collections and other knickknacks on your counters, tables, shelves and walls. The simpler and cleaner the space, the better.
Deep clean. Take some time — or hire someone — to deep clean your home from top to bottom to make it shine! Dust fan blades and light fixtures, wipe down walls and baseboards, vacuum behind furniture, mop the floors, and thoroughly clean each bathroom.
Depersonalize. This is one of the most important elements when it comes to staging. It can be difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in your home if it is filled with family photos, signage with your last name, and other personal mementos.
Make repairs. You know that squeaky door you always ignored? And that loose door handle? How about that leaky faucet? Now’s the time to make those minor repairs you’ve been putting off.
Stage where it counts. You don’t need to stage every room. In fact, the most important rooms when it comes to staging are the living room, primary bedroom and kitchen. Focus on those spaces and consider staging the other bedrooms and bathrooms if necessary.
Stay neutral. While we all love some bold color, the more neutral, the better when it comes to staging. Choose furniture and décor that appeals to a wide range of tastes — or trust your staging company to go neutral and stay on trend.
Improve curb appeal. The front yard and exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see upon arrival. Make a good first impression by planting some new flowers or shrubs, updating your mailbox and house numbers, or even touching up paint or trim.
Increase light. Bright, light-filled homes tend to appear more inviting and cheerful. Increase natural light by removing heavy curtains and opening up blinds. Replace any bulbs that are out and consider painting any dark rooms a brighter neutral color.
Eliminate bad odors. Scent is one element of staging and home selling that many forget about. This is one of the most powerful of the five senses, as a foul-smelling home can be a deterrent. Replace air duct filters, deep clean rugs and carpets, and clean walls and baseboard to eliminate any lingering odors from pets or everyday life. You might consider hiring a professional to remove more intense odors.
All that’s left is to list your home! We can help with that, too. Contact us if you’re looking to sell your home in Northern Colorado.