Staging Turns a House into a Home
Do you remember that feeling when you first walked into the place you now call home?
You knew it was different, didn’t you?
There was just something about it that felt right and that’s what staging does when you’re trying to sell a house. It may seem like an extra effort after all the time and energy you spent on rehabbing, but it adds a whole new dimension to the experience of showing a house.
You can do it yourself and build up an inventory of staging items or you could hire a professional, which will cost about $2,000. Your time and budget will determine which way you want to go, but once you decide, here’s why it makes sense to explore the possibilities of staging:
- More Money! According to Forbes magazine, staging a home increases the value by an average of 17% over a non-staged house. In fact, the National Association of Realtors discovered that, for every $100 you invest in staging, you’ll see a return of $400!
- Faster Sale. Again, Forbes tells us that 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That means that they go 87% faster than the unstaged ones, giving you more time to get started on your next project.
- Lets You Target Specific Buyers. For example, if it’s located in a neighborhood of young families, you could stage the home to reflect children living there.
- Encourages the Buyers to Imagine Themselves at Home. The key to staging is to make the house feel lived in without the mess and clutter of living. That’s why large developers create show homes; they know the new houses are too sterile when unadorned.
- Creates Focus for Features you Want to Highlight. Use staging to draw attention to the positive and away from the negative. Think of it as dressing for success – you can distract people from your generous behind with a killer hat!
- Adds Personality. Exercise your creativity by adding artwork, fresh flowers or a piece that sparks conversation.
To do the best job for the least amount, consider these tips:
- Thrift Stores. They have many hidden gems that can be dusted off and repurposed. Not to mention what you, family or friends may have lurking in cupboards, attics and basements.
- Enlist Help. My mom, dad, brother and a friend staged our last project. They loved being involved and did a fantastic job – the photo above is their handiwork, great, right?
- Apply a Light Touch. Accentuate, don’t clutter. The more you add, the less space the buyer may perceive.
- Smell Like Home. Scents are very important and can make a huge impression. Aromas of freshly baked cookies or bread in the kitchen and candles and soap in the bathroom will go a long way to seducing buyers.
We learned the hard way that staging is worth it. We didn’t stage our first rehab and paid for it in the time it took to sell and the price we eventually sold at. From that point forward, we decided to always stage before inviting buyers in and now factor it into our overall schedule and budget.
Get out there and have fun!
All the best,