Staging – is it Worth it?

One of the most difficult things about selling a home is getting a potential buyer to see its potential. Unfortunately, not many homebuyers can look at a space and envision without a little help. If you moved out and your home is empty, or are looking to spruce your home up for showings, then staging might be the best way to motivate buyers to make an offer. According to statistics, homes that are staged not only go quicker, they usually command a higher price. But is it worth it for you to invest in professional staging?

What is Staging?

Staging, in terms of real estate, is a way to use decor to market your home to make it more appealing to potential homebuyers. It is an excellent way to hide flaws or to make awkward spaces appear to be an asset. Staging also helps your home appear better in online photos, which is where a majority of homebuyers begin their search. In studies reported in the NAR Report, 58% of home sellers believed that they received more for their home because it was staged. And only 14% of realtors report feeling as if staging had no impact on the homes they sold.

My Personal Experience

I had a home that sat on the market for over two years without any traction. It had a lot of showings over the years, but no one wanted to pull the trigger. The home was a bit outdated, but it resided in one of the most coveted places in Summerville. And for the price, the land alone should have brought an offer. The problem that I kept seeing over and over is that homebuyers would walk into the vacant home and immediately see all the flaws.

There was nothing to distract the eye or to show the potential of what a little bit of TLC could do. It was overwhelming for people to see all that needed work, so they would walk around counting the amount of money they thought it would take to make it what they wanted. Because there was nothing to focus on but the fact that it needed to be updated, no one wanted to invest the time or the energy.

I finally convinced my seller to give staging a try. He hired a professional and they quickly went to work putting up artwork and using furniture strategically to make spaces look open and airy or quaint and usable. The stager also used carpeting to make it look homier. Within one month, he not only had an offer; it was a full-price, cash offer. The home that no one had wanted went into a bidding war just from making it a bit more appealing.

Why Staging Helps

Homebuyers can sometimes have very little imagination when it comes to seeing a home’s potential. They want to walk in and picture themselves and their family growing roots. But for many, if a home has outdated furniture, or it is vacant, they can’t see it as an empty slate; they see it as a money pit that needs to be completely redone.

Homebuyers want to do very little to make a home theirs. They want to find a home that speaks to them and is ready to move in. The small cost of staging, from my experience, is well worth less time on the market, and your home commanding a better price.

Professional or DIY Staging?

When you hire a professional stager you get the advantage of their design skills and also the fact that they own the furniture. What I see sometimes with DIY staging is that either you kind of miss the mark because you put too much of your own tastes into it, or you spend a lot of money buying things that you don’t need.

A professional staging service rents you the items that will make your home more sellable so there isn't the same investment from you. The whole idea behind staging is that making your home look nice isn’t your problem or your hassle, it becomes someone else’s job to tackle it.

The Take-Away

What I usually tell my home sellers is that selling their home is like selling anything else, it is all about marketing and making things look appealing. If you have outdated furniture that doesn’t enhance your home’s natural beauty, or you don’t have any furniture at all, it might make potential homebuyers focus on flaws instead of possibilities.

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and in terms of home selling, I find a whole lot of sellers can benefit from making their home more appealing for very little cost and effort. Contact Sea Turtle Properties today for a market evaluation, and some sound real estate selling advice.

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