Home Staging 101
Have you ever watched HGTV and wondered how every home always looks put together? The answer to this is staging. Home staging goes beyond just cleaning and decorating your home. Staging is the process of adding decor, arranging furniture, and prepping your home to look perfect for listing photos, listing appointments, and open houses. With a home is staging, potential buyers see precisely where furniture should go and how each room lays out. Without staging, prospective buyers are only focusing on the visible issues the home may have.
Not only does staging make your home look like an HGTV dream or like it belongs on Pottery Barn's homepage, but it can speed up the sale of your property.
- 83% of buyers’ agents said a staged home helped buyers visualize the property as a future home, according to NAR
- 25% of buyers’ agents said potential buyers increased their offer between 1 and 5% on a staged home, according to NAR
- 85% of houses surveyed sold for 6-25% more than unstaged homes, according to HSR Certified Professional Home Stagers
So now that you know the importance of staging, what’s next? Do you hire a stager? Do you do it yourself? Will your real estate agent help? Do you stage virtually? It depends. Every option has its benefits, and some require more time or more money.
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, it may be best to stage your home yourself.
First, you’ll want to start with cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing, which is also a great excuse to finally get around to that annual cleaning from earlier in the year that you’ve put off. Each room should only have what is necessary. Throw out anything you don’t need or keep things tucked away in a bin during open houses and showings. You’ll also want to remove any personal photos or decor around your home, including anything religious or political. The less personal your home is, the more a potential buyer will imagine themselves living in your space.
Once everything is clean, you’ll want to start staging the essential rooms first. The kitchen, living room, and master bedroom are what sell your home. Focus on these rooms, and then you can work your way through the additional living spaces.
Hiring a Professional Stager
If you do have more money to spend or don't know anything when it comes to home decor, it’s probably best to hire a professional. Selling your home is an emotional process, so viewing your home objectively when staging can be a difficult task.
As you already know, staging your home can help speed up the sale and potentially get you higher offers. If you outweigh the costs with the benefits, you’ll find hiring a professional won’t be as expensive as you think. The average cost for the initial design consultation with a stager can be between $300 and $600. The average price per month per staged room can be between $500 and $600. It’s important to know that some professionals require a contract of 3 months minimum, even if you sell your home within a few days. Most times, you can work with the decor and artwork you already have, but if your home is empty, this can start to add up quickly.
To save some money when working with a professional stager, you can opt to hire them for just the main rooms - the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. If your walls need fresh paint, you can save money here by painting them yourself. You can also gather tips and advice during an initial consultation but still decide to conquer some of these tasks yourself.
When it comes to marketing, staging makes your home more attractive to buyers. Home staging can be an expensive undertaking, but virtual staging services help buyers see what your vacant property might look like online, complete with furnishings and decor. Virtual staging helps get buyers interested and in the door without the expense of physically staging your property.
Virtual Staging Gets Buyers Interested and in the Door
Virtual staging allows you to rearrange furniture, add decor, and still make your home look attractive to buyers, but everything is online — and cheaper. Because virtual staging is done on the web or with staging software, you don’t have to spend funds on new furniture, decor, or spend time rearranging everything. This method saves you time and money while still getting the same results as traditional staging. The only required cost is digital software, and most services charge a flat fee per room staged.
What do real estate agents do?
All agents are different. Our focus is on virtual staging, which is cost-effective and puts your house where buyers begin their search- online. Other agents may offer physical staging services or refer you to a trusted professional or company, and some will offer advice, while others don’t provide any resources for staging. If an experienced real estate agent has your success in mind, they will give honest feedback when it comes to home staging advisement.
If you’re selling your home soon, staging is something you need to consider. Depending on the current state of your home, some of these options may be better suited for you. Ask a trusted friend for their thoughts on which path you should take. And remember, we’re here to help too.
Schedule a call to learn more about how we help home sellers on the Treasure Coast.
Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.
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