When you’ve gone to as many open houses as we have, you can tell pretty much right away when a seller has taken extra measures to make her home stand out above the rest. From the pristine sofas to the carefully curated selection of throw pillows, everything looks inviting, comfortable, and absolutely beautiful.
In many cases this interior design wizardry is the work of a professional home stager – someone with expertise in choosing colors, fabrics, and furniture that combine to make each room aesthetically pleasing. Expensive? Perhaps. But having your home professionally staged won’t cost nearly as much as your first price reduction. What’s more, it shouldn’t require a lot of work on your part, besides the obvious cleaning and de-cluttering, which you’ll have to do anyway when you move out.
So yes, staging makes a home look and feel more desirable to potential homebuyers, but is it really worth the effort and investment? We’re pretty convinced it is. Here are five reasons why you should stage your home before you put it on the market:
First impressions are everything. With so many houses on the market, your home is likely one of many that potential homebuyers will view the same day or week. Staging leaves buyers with a great – and memorable – first impression.
Imagination not required. When you stage your home, you’re able to show buyers the potential of each room without forcing them to use their imagination. Staging makes it easier for buyers to understand how they could function in the space.
Your home may sell faster. According to the Association of Property Scene Designers, staged homes sell 43 percent more quickly than un-staged homes. Even if you’re not on a strict deadline to sell your home, we’re pretty sure you’ll consider the quicker sell a good thing.
Your home could sell for a higher price. According to the National Association of Realtors®, it costs between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s asking price to stage a home. This is a small price to pay considering it typically generates a return of 8 to 10 percent.
A fresh perspective. By looking at your home from the viewpoint of a buyer, you can more easily highlight the strengths of your house while minimizing anything it lacks. Who knows? You may even discover some areas for improvement throughout the process.
Photography: Alan Weintraub/Arcaid/Corbis