Staging sells a home when it is done right
We have all seen the home reality TV shows where the house that is for sale looks glamourous. Every room shines and looks amazing. Of course, because this is marketing. Staging a home is simply another form of marketing to the buyer. Staging that sells a home is focused on creating an impression, not just filling the space. As a matter of fact, filling the space is one of the big no-nos when staging.
Simple rules to follow when staging a house
- Three rooms are essential: living room, dining room, and the kitchen should always be part of a staging plan. Once these are done, then consider ancillary rooms such as the den or bathroom.
- Consider the home layout: if there is a master bedroom adjoining one of the three primary rooms, it is a good idea to stage it. Likewise, if there is a half or full bathroom connected to an essential room. Point is if the rooms are connected help the buyer see their way through the house.
- Avoid over staging: to sell your home with staging you need more than a couch and a lamp, but at the same time – don’t furnish the room as if it was move-in ready. (Unless you plan to sell the furnishing with the house or are renting it as a furnished unit.)
- Use accessories wisely: give each room some added color and dimension with accessories such as cookbook, salt/pepper shaker, table books, plants (fake), candles, etc., but only to give the space some character.
What about the exterior of the house? To sell your home with staging, it can be just as effective to stage the exterior. Some just refer to this as curb appeal, but that’s more about long-term changes (such as plantings or removing a tree). Staging the exterior could be as simple as a well-placed bench to greet people as they approach the home. Or a few patio chairs rather than leaving the patio empty.
Staging does impact the selling price
You will read articles about how selling a home that is staged can see as much as a 5% increase in the sold price. While the price is certainly a key goal, time on the market should be an equally important goal. A vacant or cluttered home takes longer to sell than a clean and well-staged home. Why? Because buyers are attracted to what looks good. A staged home will draw in buyers. A well-staged home will bring buyers through the house, excite them and create the desire to purchase.
Virtual staging services compared to actual furnishings
There are all types of services provided by photographers and companies to create a virtually staged room. These services are as simple as a virtually placed couch to a complete room design. There is a lot to be said for this approach and it works for sellers who need a low cost, quick option. Similar to physical staging, where it is based on a per room fee, virtual staging can be significantly cheaper. And, since it is all digital it is fast and highly suitable for use in real estate apps. You can check out services such as BoxBrownie and PadStyler to get an idea of how it will look.
But what happens when the buyer shows up at the house and it doesn’t look at all like the photos? For many buyers, it creates an immediate feeling of being cheated. As a realtor, I have presented homes to buyers that had virtual staging. Admittedly, a few of my buyers did not care about the empty rooms compared to the photo presentations. But the vast majority walked in and immediately commented on “well, this isn’t what we saw in the listing.” Did it change their desire to buy the house? If it met their other criteria, no. But it did make them question the house and the seller’s authenticity.
Sell your home with or without staging
Ultimately, the plan is to get the house sold. And yes, every house sells at some point. And no, it doesn’t require staging. The speed at which at house sells is based on multiple factors. And staging is a proven method to decrease the days on market and protect the listing price.
For example, we recently listed one of our renovated homes and it had nearly two dozen showings over a few days and went under contract. In every case, the feedback wasn’t just about the renovation, but about how the house showed. Multiple buyers inquired about purchasing the staged furnishings. Ultimately, the house sold above the list price and was off the market in just over 30 days (listing to closed date).
Questions? Let us know. If you are considering selling your home or you are thinking of putting it on the MLS and want to understand how staging will work for you – contact us. We’re happy to provide a consultation.