The secret to selling homes faster at a premium price.
Home staging for years was a well-kept secret of the most successful realtors. Ask any realtor today and they will tell you that professional home staging will help you sell your home faster while commanding the best possible price.
What is home staging?
The concept of home staging, or real estate staging, is very simple. Done correctly, staging a home for sale is a very effective way to minimize time on the market, maximize selling price and reduce owner carrying costs. Staging is the use of beautiful furniture, artwork and accessories to ‘stage’ the rooms of a vacant home so buyers can visualize themselves living in your home.
What home stagers do
The way we live in our homes, and the way we should present our homes on the real estate market are two different things. Staging is not decorating. Staging is de-personalizing and preparing the house for the unknown buyer. Staging requires an objective and professional assessment of a house’s strengths and challenge areas, and the solutions necessary to help buyers fall in love with what they see. The home becomes a house and, in turn, the house becomes a product. A stager will present the house as the best product it can be, and place that product in the most attractive wrapper.
Most buyers only know what they see, and not what a house can potentially be. Staging a vacant property with the right furniture and accessories, shows buyers the home in its most favorable light. A professional home stager will make suggestions on how a seller can use existing items by putting the focus on the house, and not simply the things that occupy it.
Staging is an investment. An investment in getting a house sold is always less than a price reduction. In many cases, the cost of home staging can be tax deductable. Please check with your accountant as to whether this may apply to you.
More specifically, here’s what a stager might do to get your house ready for sale:
- Examine your home from top to bottom, and explain — ideally in a written report — what should be done to get it ready. Together, you and the stager can review the recommendations and costs, and develop a plan of action.
- Identify specific ways to highlight your home’s best features and compensate for its shortcomings. For example, the stager might recommend removing curtains from a window that has a great view; or, in a small bedroom, replacing the double bed with a twin or even a baby’s crib, in order to make the space look larger.
- Recommend which items of your furniture and household possessions should stay in the house and which should be removed before an open house or showing. Be prepared to have to either move or place into storage the majority of your possessions, so as to de-clutter and depersonalize your house. This will, of course, be much easier if you’ve already moved into your next abode.
- Help you arrange for recommended repairs or other major work on your home — by lining up contractors, carpenters, painters, and landscapers, and overseeing their work. (You’ll normally pay their bills separately, however.)
- Bring in furniture, art work, curtains, carpets, pillows, and even artful-yet-homey objects like a bowl of oranges (either real or high-quality fakes!), potted orchids, and a welcoming doormat. Many stagers keep warehouses of this stuff, all carefully matched and chosen to make your house feel like a place where people can live their dream life.
- Add finishing touches before an open house or major showing. For example, the stager might add fresh flowers, or put a pie in the oven on low heat in order to waft delicious aromas through the house.