Listing Tip — The Importance of Staging a Home
When listing a home for sale, the topic of staging comes up a lot. You may have already seen the drop-dead gorgeous homes on the West Elm website, or HGTV. Sellers, let’s face it, professional staging is neither cheap nor convenient. Does your listing need that in order to sell? Before we go that far, I want to answer what exactly is staging? And discuss how that affects the sale of your home.
Staging, in essence, is preparing your home to launch on the market in the best possible light. Adding decor, rearranging furniture, and dressing up the home to make it look stunning for marketing photos and walkthroughs.
Staging, in essence, is preparing your home to launch on the market in the best possible light.
When staging, I highly recommend a staging professional. Staging, in my opinion, is not an easy business. It involves a lot of labor, storage costs for furniture, and U-Haul rental costs; it is back-breaking, hard work. A good stager, who has a collection of beautiful furniture, and who has a great artistic taste, is not easy to come by. Ask your local real estate experts for a recommendation.
When selling, if you live in your home, cleaning and decluttering are step one. Declutter your home, box up any items you have laying on flat surfaces: your countertop, kitchen island, desks, bar top, etc. have to be removed. Even though clutter can work well for everyday living, it can accidentally send the wrong message to buyers: that your home does not have enough space! Clean, clean again, and again until you cannot clean anymore. You want your home to look brand new, and it is not limited to only visual; you don’t want the home to smell either! Candles or incense can help mask a smell.
[Clutter] can accidentally send the wrong message to buyers: that your home does not have enough space!
Let the home speak to your buyers. Your home may speak to you (duh!) and you may be proud to have a collection of Beanie Babies. But that does not necessarily speak to buyers! The goal of staging is for your home to speak for itself, and to appeal to most potential buyers so that they can envision themselves living there. A well-done staging will allow buyers to visualize the space and layout of the home and that is critical! I have personally witnessed many buyers react indifferently to homes without staging.
Limit art that excludes certain demographic. You want any art to accentuate the features of the home, while not taking away the focus. Any decorations should be neutral and appeal to a broad market. Your self-portrait or any sensitive decorations should be kept to a minimum. For example, if you have a lot of hunting trophies mounted, you may accidentally exclude an animal lover who would otherwise pay top-dollar for the home.
Any decorations should be neutral and appeal to a broad market.
Period staging can be a fun way to showcase a home if your home falls under a particular architectural period. This is typically much more specialized. With the right stager, who has the right pieces, you can take a buyer back-in-time or tell a compelling story.
Lastly, try not to take staging personally. Don’t get mad at the stager if they suggest putting your beloved grand-clock in storage. It is hard to bring objectivity in something so personal, but a fresh set of eyes from a skilled stager can often create a transformation. In my experience, sellers more often than not will reap the return on their investment of their staging cost.
Try not to take staging personally!
As a side note, if your listing is vacant, virtual staging is an option! It is a cheaper option that involves a talented photoshop team. Of course, virtual staging helps showcase marketing photos, but does not help showcase an in-person walkthrough.
About the Author
Danny Lau has set up several successful small businesses, he is a top real estate sales professional, and he shares real estate investment advices through his YouTube Channel.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. You should consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.