What is home staging? What are its benefits?

How home staging can help sell your house
By David Reibstein
President, Homarc

When selling your home, it’s important to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. That way, you increase your chances of getting multiple bids and a higher price than you might get from a smaller pool of prospects. One highly effective strategy that is often ignored is home staging.

Staging is the process of de-personalizing a home to make it “buyer ready.” It addresses room layouts, paint schemes, traffic flow, focal points, lighting and color accents to highlight a home’s best features. In most cases, you can stage your house using the existing furniture, lighting and artwork – as long as they are arranged to draw the buyer’s eye to the positive aspects of the home.

Staging Assists the Buyer

When a home is staged properly, all excess furniture and personal items have been removed from sight. Family photos are stored away and every room is clean and clutter free. Potential buyers are able to envision their belongings in the space. They can better appreciate the architectural features of the home. In addition, they perceive the house to be well maintained. Ultimately, staging helps buyers “mentally move in” and feel that they will be able to relax when they actually make the move.

Staging Benefits the Seller

Staging has multiple benefits for the seller. The home looks better in photographs and on the Internet, which makes it a great listing tool and provides a marketing advantage. You are likely to sell your house faster when you take the time to stage it. Ninety-three percent of staged homes sell one month sooner (on average) compared to non-staged homes in that same market. Also, staged homes sell for an average price of seven percent more than un-staged homes. This translates to an extra $21,000 on the purchase price of a $300,000 home! As an added bonus, when the SOLD sign goes up and it’s time for you to move out, you will be glad to have already packed away your personal belongings before your house’s sale.

Quick Take-Home Tips for Successful Do-It-Yourself Staging

  • Eliminate unnecessary furniture and anything that clutters the room
  • Finish any home improvement projects and home repairs you started
  • Make sure there are three sources of light in each room: overhead, task and accent lighting
  • Place furniture so that traffic flow is obvious; group chairs into cozy conversational nooks
  • Add a vase of fresh flowers to a table in the living area
  • Paint rooms a warm, neutral hue; instead of white, consider beige or soft blue-greens
  • Show off storage space (a big selling point with buyers) by clearing out closets
  • Add candles, rolled towels or decorative baskets to bathrooms
  • Update the hardware to dress up old cabinet doors