Do you want your home to appeal to as many people as possible and sell quickly? Not sure which improvements you should make before putting your house on the market? You need a professional home stager. Getting a high return on your investment is the name of the game with staging. Let’s take a look at why staging your home is important when selling your home.
It may feel a bit scary to have a stager survey your home and suggest changes. I get it. As I sit at my desk and admire my photos and scattered notebooks, I can’t imagine everything being stripped away for a more minimalist look. At the same time, if my priority is to sell my house for top dollar, throwing everything in a box so a potential buyer can envision themselves in my home is worth the sacrifice. Feels a bit empowering actually.
Before Listing Your Home
Your real estate agent can give you an idea of what your house could be worth, with and without staging, but you'll want to consult with a professional home stager to learn which improvements can bring you the biggest return. Ask your agent for a list of preferred stagers then set up an appointment. Deep clean before your appointment and consider decluttering and removing family photos. Don’t worry about tackling any fixes or small remodeling projects -- leave it to your stager and agent to determine what will give you the greatest return when staging your home.
- You don’t want your home to look outdated
- Odors need to be eliminated
- Deep cleaning is a must
- When buyers see MLS photos showing personal items, it’s a turnoff
- Make it easier for potential buyers to image living in the home
Meeting With the Stager
When you meet with the stager, they will discuss everything from curb appeal to the first impression buyers get when they walk through the front door. Although it may feel a bit overwhelming to hear all of their ideas (totally normal!), remember the stager’s goal is to help you get the biggest return possible on your investment. Sit back and listen to their staging suggestions with an open mind.
You might feel a bit emotional when the stager tells you to replace your great aunt’s quilt with a new, crisp white duvet. Or when you're told that the toaster, coffee maker, and cutting board are going to have to be placed in a cabinet. Don’t take any of these suggestions personally. Your home is now a product. Trust your stager, they know what it takes to put your home on top of the home buyer’s short list.
Once the stager has walked through your home and evaluated what needs to be done, a design will be prepared outlining inventory that needs to be brought into the house and the overall price for staging your home. The price will take into consideration the size of the home, number of rooms that will be staged, furniture to be rented, etc. If necessary, they will also include the cost for painting and repairs. The contract will most likely run for 3 months, but your staged home could sell faster!
You will be asked to take care of some of the tasks on your own, like decluttering, depersonalizing and painting but you can utilize professionals for all of it (ex. organizer; painter; handyperson). Before you tackle projects yourself, ask your stager and agent if they have references for professionals. Their painter may cost you a lot less than seeking out and hiring your own.
Once you’ve agreed to the contract, the staging of your home will begin. This usually takes place weeks before your house goes on the market because of the amount of prep and setup involved. Every room may not be staged, but the living room and master bedroom are usually top priority because buyers tend to gravitate toward them the most.
Don’t be surprised if, by the time the stager’s done staging, your house looks completely different. A tall piece of art may be strategically placed to cover a corner pipe. Your shelves, previously covered in trinkets, may now hold a few well placed books and art with clean lines. Your home will feel less cluttered, light and airy, and ready for a new owner. Stagers know what it takes to make your home shine and look great in photographs so be prepared to be wowed!
Great staging leads to great photographs which, in turn, bring the greatest return on your investment. Photos of staged homes not only make a good first impression, but helps propel your house to the top of the buyer’s short list. Because of the staging and great photos, it’s more likely buyers will want to schedule a walk-through and make an offer. Professional photos will be entered in the MLS when your home gets listed for sale.
Stay or Leave
When it comes to staging and selling a house, take into consideration whether you should stay in the house or temporarily stay with a friend. If you have the means to move out, it will make it easier to stage and sell the home. If you occupy the home after it's been staged, you must keep it spotless. Showings can happen at any time and it’s best to be prepared for them by keeping your house show-ready. Also, since you’ve pared down the items in your home, you may find yourself living with the bare essentials. Talk to your agent about whether or not you should stay in your home while it’s staged and on the market.
Although staging your home may feel a bit overwhelming, it will typically help you sell your house faster and for more money. Remember, once your home has been staged it becomes a product. Depersonalizing your home makes it more appealing and enables the buyer to picture themselves living there. Don’t be the house that sits on the market forever. Instead, stage your home and enjoy the possibility of multiple offers and a quick sale!