If you’re going to sell your house, staging is one way to increase offers.
- Staged homes sell for 1% to 10% more than unstaged homes.
- Staging makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.
Over the past month, my husband and I have been on both sides of the real estate market. We purchased a home in another state and sold our current house. As both buyers and sellers, we’ve been reminded of the importance of staging. Here are five reasons it pays to stage your home if you’re putting it on the market.
1. Staging impacts vital first impressions
Since I stayed in our old home while my husband went ahead to our new town, I was the one who went online to find houses for my husband to tour, and it appears I was in good company. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90% of home buyers search online.
Given how quickly potential buyers scroll through homes, you want yours to stand out. Simply put, a well-staged home photographs well, and it’s those photos that catch the average buyer’s attention.
2. Statistics show that you’re likely to receive a better offer
A report called 2021 Profile of Home Staging, researched and published by the NAR, outlines how much more those who stage their homes are offered. According to real estate agents across the country, staging increases the sales price of a home by 1% to 10%.
To put that in perspective, imagine that you’re selling your property for $392,000 — the median price of a home in 2022. Staging your house is likely to bring in an offer $3,920 to $39,200 higher than if you didn’t stage. Even if you’re on the lower end of that range, nearly $4,000 extra in your pocket is not chump change.
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3. Staging helps meet buyer expectations
In that same report, 71% of real estate agents surveyed said that their business has been impacted by TV programs about house hunting. The major complaint is that such shows give clients unrealistic or increased expectations. Unless it’s a fixer-upper, buyers believe that all houses on the market are spotless and move-in ready.
Every potential buyer who tours your home will make a mental list of changes they would need to make if they bought the house. And even in this red-hot housing market, when a list gets long enough, a buyer will walk.
Your home does not have to be perfect. However, staging allows buyers to focus on the features they love rather than the things they would have to change.
4. Staging helps buyers imagine themselves living there
In yet another survey, 82% of real estate agents said that staging makes it easier for their buyers to visualize themselves living in a home. As I staged my home for the market, I kept reminding myself that it wouldn’t be our house for long; I was preparing it for another family to live in.
If you’re anything like me, it won’t be easy. I love every nook and cranny of our current home, and depersonalizing it so someone else could fall in love with it hurts a little. Still, the fact that we had offers above asking price within hours of the house hitting the market may be due to how easy it was for other people to imagine moving right in.
5. Staging gives you a jump-start
I was surprised by the personal benefits of staging. Room by room, I decluttered, donating anything we don’t need or use. In the process, I saw exactly what we still own. As we collect quotes from moving companies, filling out their inventory sheets is a breeze. I just have to think of each room and can easily remember what’s there. That’s because so much of the extra stuff I accumulated over the years is gone. I consider this a jump-start on our move. The only possessions going with us are the things we regularly use and a few bins of photo albums, baby books, and genealogy material.
How staging is done
Some people hire professional stagers, and I’ve seen enough of their work over the years to know that they are amazing. However, staging is something you can do yourself. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need to do to show your home in the best light:
- Go through each room and get rid of anything that’s broken or you can live without. Donating items that are still in good shape to a local women’s shelter or other nonprofit organization takes the sting out of letting go.
- Remove any extra furniture or items that make a room look smaller.
- Don’t forget any rooms. Garages and basements should be pared down and cleaned, too.
- Depersonalize. This one is tough, but you want buyers to see themselves living in the house, and that’s harder to do if they’re constantly reminded that it’s yours.
- Make repairs. Fill holes in walls and touch them up with a coat of paint. If you have a leaky toilet or light that flickers, have those things repaired. You don’t want minor issues to distract buyers from the great features of your house.
- Deep clean. This one is a biggie because when your home is sparkling clean, potential buyers automatically assume that you have taken great care of the property, including the things they can’t see.
As interest rates rise, it is particularly important to make your house stand out from the crowd. Staging can help you do that.
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