Think back to the last time you went on a first date. How did you prepare for it? Chances are, you spent a fair bit of time and energy doing your hair, choosing the perfect outfit, putting on makeup or shining your shoes. In other words, you made sure to put your best foot forward.
In real estate, that’s called “staging,” and it’s surprising how many people underestimate the value of it. Staging your home before selling is the real estate equivalent of putting your home’s best foot forward on that proverbial “first date” – and it offers many benefits to prospective sellers.
1. Staging allows the buyer to visualize themselves using your space.
If your home has that “lived-in” feel to it, chances are that your belongings are distracting to potential buyers who are trying to determine whether your home is the right fit for their needs.
When you stage your home, it opens up the space and showcases how each space can be used to best effect, making it much easier for buyers to visualize themselves enjoying the home. You’re going for a first impression that is unforgettable from the moment a prospective buyer opens the front door. Staging helps demonstrate how every room in a home has a specific purpose, which helps contributes to that “wow” factor.
2. Highlights positive features and disguises flaws in your home.
Staging a home allows you to highlight your home’s best features while downplaying some of its potential weak points. If your home has a spectacular wet bar in the basement, for example, staging the home can showcase the amazing memories ahead for the buyers who make an offer on the house. If your home has a cozy nook somewhere, staging can transform that space into the perfect reading hangout.
On the other hand, if there is a massive scuff in your hardwood floor, staging a home by putting a beautiful area rug on top of it can help mask the defect and demonstrate how easy it will be to remedy it.
3. Staging your home increases the potential selling price.
This is a big one. According to the National Association of Realtors, staging your home can increase the sale price by $400 for every $100 you invest. When you consider that the average cost of a staged home in the United States is $1,800, that translates to a $7,200 increase in average selling price.
This is especially important in luxury and high-end homes, which are more heavily affected by the emotions buyers feel when they set foot through the front door. Fewer buyers in the market for luxury homes means that it’s even more important in that market to impress every buyer who comes through the door!
4. Staged homes sell faster than non-staged homes.
Another NAR study found that staged homes sell up to 87% faster than non-staged homes. Considering that most buyers are moving from one home to another, this is a big deal. It can be stressful to place an offer on your next home without already having a firm offer in hand on your own. As the days pass by, it can become more and more tempting to reduce your home’s selling price in order to avoid this stress.
By staging your home and increasing the odds of it selling faster, you greatly reduce the risk of finding yourself in a situation where you’re making decisions on emotion rather than logic, potentially leaving thousands of dollars on the table in the process.
When a home is listed on the market for a while and simply isn’t bringing in offers, many would-be sellers rush to decrease their listing price. Often, that money would be better spent investing in professional staging services, which can return well above what they cost in resale value.
If you’re looking to list your home for sale, staging can be a fantastic way to maximize your chances of selling quickly and for a price you’ll love.