It can be difficult to sell your home these days as buyers have become more and more specific. Unfortunately, buyers aren't particularly interested in how much time and money you spent creating your space just the way you like it. They need to see each room as a fresh opportunity where they can utilize their personal touch. This is why staging is crucial.
Staging originally became popular in the luxury home market, then became common with vacant homes, and now is being utilized throughout the market as a whole. As a result, many agents are requesting sellers to stage their homes prior to listing regardless of the condition, price, or style. The ultimate goal being to make it easier for potential buyers to visualize the space and get the highest price possible for the property. The amount of home staging companies has exponentially increased in recent years. According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Profile of Home Staging report, 28% of listed homes are being staged prior to hitting the market.
Staging first came about in the 1970s as a method to declutter, make some repairs, and add/rearrange furniture. Currently, staging is used to completely makeover individual rooms, and oftentimes, the entire home. The goal of staging is to maximize space, neutralize palettes, and create comfort/desire. It does the thinking for the buyer. Additionally, staging can go further by including clothing, luxury handbags, designer shoes, and even high end cars to truly develop a lifestyle.
When considering the most important room to stage, NAR's staging report suggests that buyers rank the following in order of importance: the living room, followed by the master bedroom, followed by the kitchen. The idea is to create a space that appeals to the widest audience. In order to accomplish this, there needs to be neutral colored walls, along with, a few pieces of contemporary or modern furniture. Adding furniture will help buyers gain perspective on what the room might be used for and how it will lay out. Hardwood flooring with some area rugs and cleared/clean countertops should also be considered. A pop of color can add personality to a space, while plants or greenery will give it warmth/life.
What Can You Expect to Spend on Staging
When considering the investment of staging, it typically depends on the overall size of the home and how many rooms will be staged. The costs range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for average size and condition homes. Large empty properties will cost much more than smaller homes with less rooms. These costs can go into the tens of thousands depending on the market, but sellers can usually expect a solid return on their investment. According to a NAR report, the average return was around 5%. Some listing agents will also offer their time in assisting sellers to prepare their homes for the market as part of their services. This usually includes walking through the home and offering suggestions, as well as, rearranging furniture and helping with the organizing and decluttering process.
It's important to work closely with your agent and determine the best approach when it comes to staging. You can interview multiple stagers and ask questions to see if they would be a good fit. You can also see what has worked for other sellers by asking if they know of a good stager in the area. Top agents will typically have worked with the most prominent stagers in the area, so most of the time your agent has a relationship in place and can make the introduction.