Thanks to popular home improvement shows like “House Hunters” and “Flip Or Flop,” potential buyers today expect homes to look professionally decorated. Staged homes sell faster and for more money than homes that aren’t staged. Read on for everything you need to know about home staging and why it’s important.
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Why Stage Your Home?
In its 2017 Profile of Home Staging, the National Association of Realtors reported that 58 percent of agents say staging increased sale prices by anywhere from 1% to 20%. That’s a lot of money!
Plus, a recent survey by the Real Estate Staging Association revealed that staged homes spend 73% less time on the market than their unstaged counterparts. That’s a big difference!
If you’re talented in design, you may be able to. But, keep in mind that professional home stages have skills that combine real estate marketing with interior design. Stagers also have resources and connections for sourcing furniture and accessories.
How Much Does Home Staging Cost?
The cost of home staging will vary based on your location and the size of your home. It can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000. Empty homes are more expensive to stage, since the stager will need to bring in all of the furniture and accessories.
This is important, because empty rooms appear smaller. Staged rooms help home buyers see a vision for what can be done with the space. If the home is lived in, staging is typically more affordable. The stager will work to clean up your home’s design around your existing furniture.
They may throw a stylish sheepskin throw on your bedspread or switch out your living room rug. The result will be a neat, high-end home that buyers will feel has more value.
If you’re suffering from shock about how much this can cost, don’t worry. There are a few key ways to make it more affordable. First, ask the company if they can pay for the staging at closing.
This way you can wrap staging into your closing costs instead of paying out of pocket. Also, if you’re working with a vacant home, you don’t need to stage every room. Focus on key areas like common spaces and the master bedroom.
Or, just add some rugs and artwork to make the home feel a bit more warm and welcoming. If the cost still seems too overwhelming, you can opt for a staging consultation and do the work yourself. Your stager will offer suggestions about what can improve the space.
You’ll need to hide old knickknacks, family photos, and children’s artwork. I know it sounds harsh, but these kinds of items make it hard for a potential buyer to envision their life in your home. Declutter and clean. You may be lucky that your home is already magazine-worthy and staging isn’t required.
Responsible home staging companies will be honest and tell you if your home is already up to par. Some real estate agents offer professional home staging services, so this can be another way to save money.
Benefits of Home Staging
While home staging may cost a few thousand dollars, it’s proven to make your that money back and more in return. Some real estate agents report getting as much as 20% more for staged homes.
The Real Estate Staging Association reports that unstaged homes were on the market for an average of 143 days. Once they were staged, they sold in an average of 40 days.
Many sellers agree that staged homes sell for an average of 10% more than staged homes. This is because home stagers work like interior designers to make your home look professionally designed.
Staging Tips from Professional Home Stagers
While it’s definitely smart to hire a real estate professional, there are some things home sellers can do themselves to elevate your home. Melanie Smith with Smith & Associates does a great job breaking down some basic things you can do before listing your home.
If you’re seeking even more things to consider, follow these tips from professional stagers to make your home more appealing. If you have a bit of design sense, you may not need any additional help!
Cut down on clutter
Decluttering your home is the most important. Crowded bookcases, windowsills crammed with knickknacks, and refrigerators plastered with family photos aren’t appealing to prospective buyers.
Sell a dream
Make it easy for them to picture their life in your home by cutting down on signs of you. Your dining room table should be clear of anything. Add a bowl of fresh lemons or apples in the center or a vase of fresh flowers.
Stage important rooms
If your home is vacant, consider furniture rental for a few key rooms. You won’t want the living room, master bedroom, and dining room to be empty. Add a sofa, ottoman, and coffee table in the main living space. Otherwise, it’s easy for buyers to think the space is less square feet than it is.
Brighten the space
Buyers love natural light. Even if you prefer your room darkening curtains for sleep, trade them out for a light valence so that buyers can see how bright your space is.
Give rooms a purpose
For example, if you have a finished basement, stage it as an entertainment room or home office. This will help buyers see the home as larger. This isn’t just storage space!
Replace wallpaper with paint
Wallpaper is tricky to remove, and it will be an immediate eye roll for potential buyers. Do the work yourself and paint the room in a neutral beige.
Clean and remove odors
This might sound self explanatory, but your home needs to be squeaky clean. Make sure flooring and carpeting is free of stains. Cover any odors with candles or the always classic fresh-baked cookies.
Why Buy Staging Goods from Home Depot?
Perhaps the best part of shopping at the big orange store is that you can shop right from your computer. All items are eligible for home shipping along with curbside pickup. Thousands of items are eligible for free 2 day shipping, even even the ones online.
Often times, the website has special deals on unique products only found online. However, those are subject to availability. So if you see something you like, buy it the same day because it likely won’t be there tomorrow. Don’t like the product? The return policy is second to none.
Stage Your Home Before Marketing It
Whether you hire a professional stager or take steps to improve your home yourself, it’s important to stage your home before putting it up on the market. Staged homes sell faster and for higher asking prices than unstaged homes.
If you don’t have the money to front, ask the home staging company if you can pay the majority of costs after the sale. Chances are, you’ll cover the costs and then some and won’t need to front anything yourself.
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