By Kathy McSherry | Ask Kathy
Staging has become an essential element for maximizing the resale value of a home. Why is staging so effective? How much can a seller expect to pay for staging a property and will staging really yield a significantly higher sales price?
You are correct. Staging, which is simply a method of decorating, enables a home to showcase itself in the best light possible in hopes of obtaining the highest price possible and in usually the quickest time frame. In my opinion, staging can be essential when selling your home. It will really depend on the home itself and the current décor that is in the home. With that being said, first impressions do count. And, with 80 to 90 percent of home buyers starting their search online, great staging makes for great photography and great pictures are powerful and essential to good marketing. According to realtor.com, staged homes sell 80 percent faster than non-staged homes and for 20 percent more!
Staging sets the stage for a quicker sale. A professional stager or Realtor understands current trends in the home industry and can advise a Seller what items should stay or go, how to de-clutter your home, and prepare the home to look its best. For example a professional stager might decide to give you a modern TV stand or change something else in your home, depending on the style that you are going for.
Pricing for professional staging varies depending on how much staging you need: Is it an empty home? Is some of the furniture useable? Maybe just artwork is missing; these questions will determine how much the stager needs to do and how much furniture or items will be rented. Some stagers charge for an initial consultation and then separately for the items that you rent. They might also have a minimum monthly rental time frame, typically two or three months. I have had clients spend as little as $600 which got them artwork, small decorating objects and new towels for a bath, which was for a two-month contract. In high-level, multi-million dollar listings, I have seen Sellers spend $190,000 as the home was 12,000 square feet and listed for almost $18 million.
In one of my recent listings, the seller barely lived in the home; and although the home appeared brand new, it did not give off a “homey” or warm feeling. The seller had beautiful artwork and some stored furniture in the garage that he never used due to his heavy travel schedule. I used what he already had and coordinate the new items with his other existing items and décor. Sometimes it just takes an outside eye to rearrange from a neutral perspective.
Buyers want to see themselves living there and imagine themselves in the home. If a home is messy, cluttered, and doesn’t seem to flow, it can turn qualified buyers away.
A great way to save money and costs for staging is to concentrate on only the most important rooms in the home. Where do people spend most of their time? Focus on the living/dining rooms, kitchen and the master bedroom. Here are a few tips:
A home needs to be welcoming. As you approach the front door, is that area clean? When in doubt, less is more. The less items in the home, the more spacious it will appear. There should be a balance between clean and lived in. Declutter and make the home as clean as possible. Clear everything from kitchen countertops, steam carpets and clean floors, use neutral colors in the master bedroom, beware of pet odors, and put away all memorabilia.
According to Proud Home Staging, there are six scents that influence people to where they are more likely to buy — basil, cedar, green tea, vanilla, lemon and pine. Buy a scented candle or room freshener. For bathrooms, nothing screams spa like rolled towels. Declutter closets and hang clothes in a rainbow, grouping all colors together. Set the dining room table and use fresh flowers whenever possible; in a vase or even a new plant by the front door. Your goal is to make your home appear bigger, brighter, cleaner, loving and warm so that buyers will want to purchase it instantly.
Hope this helps Tom. Let me know when you are ready to sell your home!
— Kathy McSherry is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 702-328-9905.