With the popularity of today’s home staging television shows, many are fooled into thinking they know all about home staging principles, that it is as easy as downloading an app to your SmartPhone. Unfortunately, there are a lot of well-intentioned homeowners who have been greatly misled!
While the general public has received their home staging training in one-hour television increments via HGTV, it doesn’t mean they know how to stage a home. There is so much more that goes into preparing a house for sale than what is shown on television. So let’s set the record straight.
MYTH: I can stage my own house.
FACT: Perhaps, but it is so very difficult for homeowners to look at their own home objectively. When you live in your home, you become accustomed to its sights, sounds and smells to the point where you no longer “see” or notice anything amiss. Asking a professional stager to evaluate your home with trained “buyer’s eyes” will allow you to get a sneak peek at what buyers will be focusing on — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
MYTH: Home staging costs too much.
FACT: Of course home staging isn’t free, but did you know it can keep your money in your pocket where it belongs? The average cost of a complete staging project is always much less than a price reduction. In fact, statistically speaking, homes that have been properly prepared for the market usually sell before a price reduction is needed. Can it get any better than that? Oh yes it can! On average, the rate of return for a staging project is around 300%. That means if you invest say $500 – $1,000 in staging, you could receive $1,500 – $3,000 in return when your house is sold! Statistics also show that staged homes sell in half the time and for 6-17% more money than comparable unstaged homes. Staging is an investment for the homeowner and the agent to realize a higher selling price. And here’s the beauty of your staging investment, it can be adapted to any budget! Sometimes the least expensive changes make the biggest difference.
FACT: Decorating is done to incorporate the existing home owner’s tastes and styles into the house in order to make it their own. Staging does just the opposite by taking specific tastes and styles out of the house, so the decor is neutral and appealing to the most buyers possible. While your home may be decorated quite nicely … it is done so in YOUR taste and style. It is quite likely your style/decor will not appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. Buyers’ tastes are so varied it is best to give them a more neutral palette to begin with.
MYTH: I will save time and money if I list my house first and then stage it if it doesn’t sell.
FACT: Whenever possible, it is always best to stage first, list second. The greatest buzz about a house is generated when it first hits the market — think of the importance of first impressions! Referring again to real estate statistics, homes that have been staged first, then listed, sell quicker than homes that were listed first, then staged.
MYTH: It’s better to sell my house vacant because it will look roomier to buyers.
FACT: Empty homes can actually confuse buyers because they have difficulty visualizing how the home will look with furniture…“Will my sofa fit here?” “Is my bedroom furniture too big for this space?” It’s difficult to get a proper sense of size when a room is vacant. Erase all doubt from their minds… demonstrate to buyers how easily furnishings will fit in a home and in the process actually end up making rooms appear bigger!
MYTH: Home staging is just a fad.
FACT: While many people were unfamiliar with the term home staging until the recent influx of staging shows on TV, it has been around since the 1970’s. In fact in some areas of the country, specifically the west coast region, staging is considered a no-brainer that is routinely and intuitively done in order to get homes sold. The rest of the country is finally beginning to wise up to the benefits and value of staging and therefore, sellers are starting to reap the same rewards as those of their west coast counterparts. And not because it is trendy, but because it works! Home staging is becoming one of the fastest growing industries because people are beginning to realize that they are throwing away money they’ve invested in their home by not presenting it properly when they sell.
So after more than four successful decades of helping homeowners sell their properties, I think it’s safe to say that home staging is here for the long run and not just a passing fad, but a highly effective tool savvy sellers are using to get their homes sold faster and for the most money possible!