According to the National Association of Realtors, most home buyers will offer more money for a property that is staged, versus one that isn’t staged. An astonishing 81 percent of buyers say that staging a home makes it easier to visualize the place as a home. And that’s what buyers want: a home they can visualize themselves in.
According to the NAR, both buyers and sellers agree that the top five most important rooms to stage are:
- Living Room
- Master bedroom
- Dining room
This was revealed in a 2015 NAR report, titled “Profile of Home Staging.” The report brings home the importance of staging your property, whether by hiring a professional, or by taking the time to do it right yourself.
So why is staging your home, when selling, so important? There are many reasons.
1. Staging a home eliminates traces of the “tired” and “old” look. Great stagers will go out of their way to not only provide a fresh look through furnishing, but also through upgrading or improving carpeting and flooring, including buffing hardwood floors.
2. Staging a home allows home buyers to see the true potential of living there. The key to great staging is to make it avoid the “staged look.” Professional home stagers will tell you this is the greatest compliment they can receive; that the home doesn’t look staged.
As the NAR report shows, staging a home can increase interest in your home, which could help it sell quicker.
Of course, there are two ways to stage your home. One is by doing it yourself, and the other is by hiring a professional staging company. Many luxury home sellers will opt for the latter and allow a staging professional to prep their home for viewing. This is the preferred method for getting it done right. But if you decide to do the home staging yourself, here are a few tips:
- Completely declutter your home. Clutter is a major turnoff to potential home buyers.
- Remove traces of your hobbies from the home. You may, for example, be a train buff and have a room dedicated to your model trains. Most home buyers will not share that same passion. They will better relate to the room if it is transformed into a bedroom for the purpose of staging. That means storing all your train equipment.
- Consider hiring a stager just for their advice. Good home stagers can help identify all the areas and items you need to work on in order to give your home a better appeal to potential buyers. And hiring a stager for only consultation will be more inexpensive than having them do all the work for you.
- The majority of home buyers will look at photos online before viewing a home in person. Keep this in mind when staging. You want potential home buyers to be able to see themselves living there. Your staging isn’t for you, but for the potential buyer. Take photos of your room before you begin your staging work. Show the photos to friends, and ask them what can improve the look and livability of the room. Blank walls may need artwork, baseboards may need to be painted, and perhaps floor lamps will give it a roomier look than end tables. Based on the feedback you obtain, make changes that will make the room “photo perfect” for selling.
- Pack, pack, pack! Start boxing up anything that looks old or like clutter, including old looking furnishings. This is your opportunity to get that head start on moving. But the bigger benefit is that removing old or cluttered items from your home will improve its appeal. Just remember to store the boxes out of sight of any potential home buyer.
When it comes to people viewing your home, you never get a second chance at making a great first impression. That’s why staging is so important. If you’d like to get recommendations on home staging professionals in your area then talk to your real estate agent. Agents generally have good connections to home staging professionals that can improve the look and livability of your home in order to help it sell more quickly.
Darlene Streit is the exclusive agent representing the, Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of her listings here.
Images courtesy of Darlene Streit