Home Staging Tips

What’s the big deal about home staging ? Does it really make that much of a difference when you’re trying to sell your house? And how come no one ever used to do it? I clearly remember people selling homes way back before any little baby stagers were even born! What do we need ’em for?

Well, truth is, staging a home really does help to sell it.

Recent statistics gathered by Stagedhomes.com show that 94 percent of homes staged by a professional stager sold in 29 days or less. This, compared to an average of 145 days for unstaged homes.

Why? Apparently, it’s because most people are not good at visualizing the potential of a space. If you are one of the estimated 10 percent of people who can visualize what a cute little cottage that ramshackle shed could be, then it’s probably hard for you to understand the 90 percent who only… well, see what they see.

Another stat: staged homes sell three percent higher than unstaged homes . That would be $9,000 more on a $300,000 home. Also 91 percent of realtors recommend staging.

Okay, enough statistics! Bring on the tips! (And yes, The Betty Brigade does stage homes, but it’s not always necessary to hire a professional stager.) Keep these points in mind:

  • Buyers respond to space. They want to walk in and feel like there’s more than enough space for their stuff. Declutter! Then declutter again and then again! Have enough furniture there to define the purpose of each room, but not much more than that. Your mantra is, ” When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Buyers want to envision themselves in this home. Therefore, take out personal items like photos, kids’ pictures on the fridge, etc. Imagine these possible buyers: an old lady; a young couple expecting a baby; a nerdy guy. You get the idea!
  • This follows from the previous point. Appeal to the largest possible group . Therefore, although your home will be staged and attractive, it should seem somewhat “generic” for staging purposes. Keep it simple. Plainer is better , with a very few well-chosen accessories.
  • Buyers want to know that the home has enough storage, built-in . So any storage unit, such as a bookcase or shelving unit that isn’t selling with the house should be sparsely “populated.” Buyers will interpret crammed shelves as meaning there’s not enough storage in the house. It’s best to remove bookcases, shelving units, etc., if they won’t be sold with the home. If you need to leave them while showing your home, try to keep them 50 percent empty.

And about that question up at the top, why did no one ever used to stage their homes? We probably did, but instead of calling it staging, we called it, “Making the house look nice.” Life was so uncomplicated back then!

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