To increase the chances of your home selling quickly and for more money, consider staging your home. Staging makes your home more appealing, it's easier for buyers to envision themselves living in your home, and it might lead to receiving multiple offers. You can stage your home yourself, and save a considerable amount of money, or hire a professional stager. Taking advantage of a stager's expertise and their interior design talent may be worth the price.
- Easier for buyers to picture their furniture in your home
- Easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there
- Fewer days on market
- Larger returns
Whether you stage your home or hire a professional, start by decluttering your home. Decluttering will not only make your home more appealing, it will allow for better traffic flow. To make it easier for buyers to envision their furniture in the space, you'll need to remove worn and unnecessary furniture and knick-knacks and consider the following:
- Remove the majority of books and trinkets from shelves and furniture
- Keep the most appealing furniture and put the rest in storage
- Remove area rugs
- Clean out and organize closets
- Pare down pantry contents
- Remove family photos
What to avoid: What to aim for:
- Have your wall-to-wall carpets professionally cleaned
- Clean off the top of your fridge (items and grime) and remove magnets and photos
- Clean the floor under appliances
- Dust chandeliers and other light fixtures
- Dust framed art and clean glass
- Touch up any paint damage
Once your home is staged, you'll want to have professional photos taken. When your online photos reflect a well-pulled-together home with little clutter, buyers will be more compelled to want to see the house in person and make an offer. If a real estate agent is selling your home they will typically hire a photographer. If you're selling your home yourself, ask friends for references.
Finding a Professional Stager
If you decide to hire a professional stager, start by conducting a simple online search for certified home stagers in your area. Various sites, including this one and this one, provide a good starting point. Look for the title of accredited staging professional (ASP), although other credentials exist.
Interview the stager, ask for examples of their staging projects and ask for references. Your real estate agent might have recommendations for stagers too. If your agent has worked with stagers in the past, they will be able to explain the process, provide pricing, and share before and after photos. Also, talk to friends who have used stagers to help sell their homes. When interviewing a stager, consider asking the following questions:
- What are your certification credentials and what training have you received?
- Do you have business insurance (in case they cause damage to your home)?
- What is your typical price range and how is it determined?
- Will I be charged a one-time fee, a monthly fee or both?
- Could I see examples of homes you've recently staged? References?
- When are you available and how long will the staging process take?
- How many rooms do you stage?
A professional stager can be the most efficient and effective option when it comes to staging your home. They have the experience, an eye for interior design, and can quickly get your house in order and looking fantastic. Although you will have to pay to hire a stager, once you see the return on your investment, the cost may seem minute. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 and up into the thousands, depending on the size of your home. The price will vary depending on whether you have an empty house or if the stager can use some of your furniture and accessories. If you want to save money but still invest in a stager, ask if you can hire them for a consultation ($150+) and use their advice to do the staging yourself. Again, the quicker you can get your home staged and on the market, the higher the likelihood of getting it sold in a short period of time.
Virtual staging is a great way to furnish your vacant home affordably, without actually hauling in furniture. Photos are taken of vacant rooms and then furniture is superimposed seamlessly over the photos. Much of the time, it's difficult to tell the difference between real staging and virtual staging. Virtual staging is much more affordable then hiring a professional stager to bring in furniture and can be completed quickly. Talk to your agent about virtual staging to help save time and money and sell your home fast.
When selling your home, you want to attract as much attention as possible and sell for the highest price -- that's where staging comes into play, real or virtual. Staging your home will make it much more appealing to potential buyers, and most likely bring higher returns and fewer days on market. We hope you'll take advantage of the practical staging tips we've provided -- start packing up the clutter, organizing your closets, removing personal photos, and letting some sunshine in. Keep your house clean and organized so you'll be ready for an open house or last minute showing. Soon you'll have an under contract sign in the yard. We wish you a quick sale!