The answer to the real estate question “to stage or not to stage” a house for sale is a resounding: do it!
Higher prices is one reason. On average, a staged house commands a 17 percent higher final sale than a non-staged house. Faster sales is another. According to a Real Estate Staging Association report from 2010, homes that were not staged stayed on the market an average of 181 days (before owners gave in and had their homes professionally staged) as compared to 35 days for staged homes.
The why is pretty straightforward. Most homes are less than perfect, and staging can direct attention away from flaws in a room or throughout the house. In fact, even the best looking house can use a little help. For example, staging helps buyers focus on particular elements in the house—directing the eye to value such as a fireplace, custom woodwork, etc.
Although often confused, decorating and staging are very different. Decorating is personal; staging is business. In decorating, the goal is to make a house reflect the owners’ personality while staging takes personality out of the house but keeps it warm and inviting. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your house. Think about walking into a fine hotel: it’s not personal but you want to go in and stay a while. That’s staging.
Staging does cost money — anywhere from $300 to $5,000. But according to the 2011 HomeGain Home Improvement Survey, home staging produced an average of 299 percent return on investment, with sellers spending an average of $550 and seeing a $2,194 sale price increase.
Home staging is one of many low cost home improvements that can make a substantial difference in getting top dollar for your home.
If you’re interested in listing your property and need a valuation or staging suggestions, please contact us any time.