If you’re thinking about selling your house, here’s something you need to know:
Staging isn’t optional anymore. It’s the new normal in this HGTV-watching, home-improvement-savvy world we live in now.
The average house hunter only sees what’s in front of them when they walk into a house.
And that means they can’t visualize what your house has the “potential” to be when all they see is an awkward layout and a long to-list of things that need to be replaced, repaired or upgraded.
But what they can visualize is themselves living the lifestyle of their dreams—in your home—but only if you’ve painted a beautiful picture that appeals to their taste and satisfies their wish list.
That’s the power of home staging.
And that’s what the National Association of Realtors revealed in their recent 2019 Profile of Home Staging. Over two thousand active Realtors® weighed in on the state of home staging in the real estate industry, and their responses confirm the importance of staging as part of the home selling process.
Now, if you don’t have time to read the entire report for yourself, you’re in luck, because I’ve summed up the key takeaways right here:
Staging Helps Buyers See Their Vision
When asked how home staging impacts a buyer’s view of a home, 83% of the survey respondents agreed that home staging helps buyers visualize a property as their future home.
Survey results also indicate that home staging plays a significant role in buyers’ view of a home and positively impacts their perceived value of a house if it’s staged to their taste.
What that means for sellers is that you need to know what buyers are looking for so you can make your house appealing to them. If you’re unsure of how to stage on your own, consult with your agent or a home stager for advice on the trends in your local market.
And if you’re taking the DIY staging route, be sure to grab my free resource guide.
Staging Doesn’t Have to Cost an Arm and a Leg
Many homeowners skip staging and try to sell their homes as-is because they assume staging is expensive. But that’s not always the case.
There are affordable, budget-friendly ways to stage without decking out your house like you’re auditioning for a spot on a luxury homes tour.
According to active Realtors®, the average cost of home staging is $400, and that investment can increase your sale price by 1% to 5% compared to competing homes on the market that are not staged.
So, what can you get in the $400 price range? It depends on your home and your market, but in most cases, you can get a staging consultation, where a stager comes into your home and gives you a comprehensive plan on everything you need to do to get your house market ready.
A stager can also give you hands-on help with arranging your furnishings and shopping for finishing touches so you can present your house in its best light.
And for an even more affordable option, you can get virtual staging advice if you have some DIY skills and you’re willing to implement the stager’s recommendations on your own.
Buyers Expect YOU to Tackle Your To-Do List
I know, I know…when you’re trying to sell your house, the last thing you want to do is a ton of work. I hear you, and I get it. But here’s the thing: buyers don’t want to buy a long list of things to do; most of them want a turnkey property.
So that means you should take care of some improvements and repairs yourself so you can sell your house as quickly as possible.
According to survey respondents, these are the most common home improvements that agents recommend to sellers—and check out how many agents make these suggestions:
· Decluttering – 95%
· Entire home cleaning – 89%
· Removing pets during showings – 83%
· Carpet cleaning – 78%
· Minor repairs – 77%
· Depersonalizing the home – 70%
· Landscaping the outdoor area – 67%
· Painting walls – 66%
· Paint touch-ups – 63%
That’s quite a list, right? But fret not. If you start early and follow a plan, you can spiff up your house without losing your sanity or running out of time before you have to get it on the market.
If you need help identifying which tasks are critical and which ones can move to the bottom of your list, consult with your agent or a home stager to get clarity on how to move forward.
Focus on the Hot Spots
While it’s important that your entire house looks great, some rooms are more important to stage than others.
Why? Because that dream lifestyle in buyers’ heads tends to play out in a few key areas of the house, so those are the rooms that you need to dress to impress.
If you’re short on time (or funds), focus on the areas that survey respondents said are the most important rooms for buyers to see staged: the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen.
And if you can’t do all three, make sure you knock ‘em dead with the living room, because that’s usually the first area buyers see.
by Jennifer Westbrook | Main Stage Home Staging & Organizing
To get expert home staging advice in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, contact Jennifer at Main Stage Home Staging & Organizing, 240-324-8280, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’re outside the Washington, DC metro area, check out our Virtual Staging Consultations for online home staging advice.