Is Home Staging Worth It?
When it comes time to sell your home, you want to attract a buyer who loves it as much as you have for all the years you lived there. But they’re probably not going to fall in love with walls and appliances that look well used by your family.
You need to give your space a new, fresh feel that allows anyone to walk in and see the potential of the property. This is where home staging enters the selling process.
What Is Staging a Home?
When potential buyers come to view your home, you want them to see themselves living there—to feel at home and not as if they’re in someone else’s house. Too many personal items around the house can be distracting, but completely bare rooms can also come off as cold and impersonal. Home staging can be the solution.
Staging a home means preparing a property for sale by temporarily furnishing and decorating—and sometimes, renovating—various rooms to make it more attractive. It’s possible to stage a home yourself. However, you can also work with home staging companies that take care of it for you. If you decide to go through a home staging company, your real estate agent may be able to offer a recommendation or a list of referrals to you.
How Much Does Home Staging Cost?
According to HomeAdvisor, many homeowners pay between $631 and $2,304 to have their homes professionally staged. However, full furniture rentals for extended periods can cost $6,000 or more. The national average home staging cost is $1,426.
The cost of staging a home is free for all Savvy Enterprises clients, we take care of the staging as a part of working with our team.
Tips for Staging
If you’re thinking about having your home staged, here are a few tips for getting it done right:
- 1. Get a consultation first. If you have a tight budget and want some ideas on how to stage your home, book a consultation with a professional stager. For a few hundred dollars, the stager will perform a walk-through of the home, work with the agent to understand the local market, and then detail how each room is better staged. You’re not under any obligation to hire the stager, and you can pick any of their suggestions.
- 2. Do a deep clean. The last thing you want is for grimy baseboards and dirty bathrooms to detract from a beautiful staging job. Before you move in the staging items, have your home deep cleaned so that it’s move-in ready. You might want to hire a professional cleaning service to handle this step.
- 3. Do a smell test. People easily get used to the smell of their own home and don’t notice a difference until they’ve left the house for a while and walk back in and sometimes, something smells off. This can be a deterrent to a prospective homebuyer walking in for the first time. It’s also why real estate agents will bake cookies or use cookie-scented candles when staging empty homes, to make it feel more homely.
- 4. Choose one or two key rooms. Staging an entire house can get expensive, especially if you end up renting furniture for a few months. But you don’t necessarily need to stage every room. Instead, focus on a couple of key rooms, such as the living room and kitchen, so prospective buyers can get a sense of what it would be like to live there.
- 5. Stage according to budget and lifestyle. If you’re selling a cozy beach cottage, it wouldn’t make sense to stage it with luxury leather furniture and expensive art pieces. Similarly, if you’re trying to sell a modern condo near downtown, a shabby-chic look probably isn’t going to inspire buyers. Think about the general budget of prospective buyers and what their ideal living space would look like.
- 6. Keep it minimal. You don’t need to fully furnish rooms as you would if someone were actually going to be living there. Instead, you want to provide the property with a certain aesthetic and general feel of hominess. Keep the number of items in each room to a minimum, and place them away from walls. Decorate the walls and shelves sparingly. If you do paint the walls, use light, simple colors to help open up the space.
Benefits of Staging a Home Though it can be a bit pricey, having your home staged for sale is worth considering. There are a number of benefits to staging, including:
- Help your listing stand out online. With so much competition, your home can easily get lost in the sea of listings across the web. It’s important to do everything you can to stand out. Professionally staged homes are eye-catching and can encourage more buyers to consider your property, even before they see it in person.
- Make your home feel aspirational. It’s important that the home shopper falls in love with the property they ultimately choose to buy. You can help create that emotional connection between a buyer and your home by staging it. Professional color combinations, smart layouts and unexpected pieces help the buyer develop positive feelings about the space and imagine living in it.
- Show ways to use extra rooms and funky floor plans. When a room is completely empty, it can be tough to envision how it might be used. That’s especially true if there’s an unusual layout or dated features. Staging can help buyers see the potential of a room and how to get the most value out of it. Plus, empty rooms can actually look smaller than they really are; staging can help them appear larger.
- Increase the selling price. If your home has been sitting on the market for a while and you’ve been considering cutting the price to help move it, you might want to try staging it instead. Staging not only tends to help move properties faster, you could end up selling for higher than expected.
Drawbacks of Staging While home staging might help you sell your house faster, it requires a significant upfront cost. And if your home ends up sitting longer on the market than anticipated, the cost of rental furniture can grow beyond your planned budget.
Keep in mind you will also need to store your belongings somewhere else if you don’t have another place lined up yet. That means additional storage fees on top of the staging, and maybe rent payments, too.
Aside from the financial cost, home staging is also a time-consuming process, especially if you plan to do it yourself. Your staging may be as simple as swapping out a few pieces throughout the home. However, it could involve some significant renovations. Hopefully, the time and effort will pay off in the end with a higher selling price, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case. It’s a bit of a gamble.
Is Staging Worth It For Me? Home staging requires an upfront investment that may or may not pay off, but it often does.
More than 80% of real estate agents representing buyers said staging made it easier for their buyers to see themselves in the home, according to a 2021 survey by the NAR. And 23% of agents said that home staging led to increased offers between 1% and 5% compared to similar homes that weren’t staged.
Staging can get your home sold faster, too. According to HomeAdvisor, homes that have been staged spend between 33% and 50% less time on the market. That not only means getting the proceeds of a home sale faster but also spending less money on added expenses such as a rental or storage unit while you wait for the sale to happen.
Other Options to Consider If you don’t want to invest the time and money in staging your home but still want to improve your odds of a successful sale, there are some other steps to consider.
- Focus on decluttering. A good decluttering session can go a long way toward selling your home faster. This can understandably be difficult to keep up when there are kids or pets in the house, so consider hiring a cleaning help temporarily. Focus on high-traffic areas like the entryway, living room and kitchen. Donate items you don’t want to keep and organize everything else into drawers and closets.
- Give your home a facelift. Rather than a full staging, focus on relatively quick and easy ways to brighten up your home. For example, give the walls and baseboards a fresh coat of paint; change out the backsplash in your kitchen; upgrade the cabinet hardware in your bathrooms.
- Opt for a virtual staging. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of physically staging your home, you can also have it virtually staged. This involves having a graphic designer take photos of empty rooms in your home and then create realistic images of fully staged rooms. Virtual staging costs anywhere from $39 to $199 per room, depending on the company, your location and how much design is involved.
- Don’t forget curb appeal. Making your home look a little nicer from the outside can also help entice buyers. Try repainting the front door and trimming hedges; plant a few flowers; pressure wash the driveway and garage door.
There are many ways to stage a home that will likely help you sell it faster and at a better price. But whatever step you take, keep in mind that you’re doing so to make the visitor feel at home.