A question we often receive from sellers as we prepare a home for sale is whether or not to invest in staging. The reality is that our homes are our personal spaces and it is imperative that you edit some—if not all—of the individualized pieces throughout it in order to make room for buyers to envision themselves in your home. Oftentimes this is helpful when you enlist the help of a neutral, third-party. HGTV recently looked at the benefits of staging, making the point that “the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home.”
Your Home Tells a Story
Of course, your home tells a story that you adore, but it’s key to ask yourself, what is it telling a potential buyer? The end goal of staging is to transform the narrative of your home so that it no longer speaks only to you, but a pool of potential buyers that will receive said story in a “compelling and positive way.” Buyers can easily be sidetracked when they see too many personal items and it takes attention away from the “main event,” so to speak.
Given that buyers and their agents tend to label the homes they’ve viewed, the choice to stage or not stage may be the difference between being known as the “house with the beautiful arched doorways” or the “house with the Elvis throw rug and a bunch of office furniture where the dining room should be.”
Clutter Sends the Wrong Message
Every homeowner has their own assortment of clutter and yes it can serve as another distraction, but more importantly, it could potentially send the message to a buyer that there isn’t enough space in your home. For example, if you have a large number of small appliances on your kitchen counter for convenience, it can indicate that there isn’t enough space in the kitchen (despite how functional it may be).
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
It can be difficult not to take the advice of a stager personally because your home is inherently personal. However, “the best stagers will work with what you have, rearranging and reallocating all of your belongings, in order to present the property in its best light.” Remember to appreciate the neutral, third-party perspective of a stager and prepare yourself for a bit of inconvenience, as your daily routine will be temporarily interrupted by changes to your home.
When it comes to making the decision to stage a home, it’s hard to ignore the financial implications. Staging should be considered an investment and provides a great return. According to Upnest, on average, a home that has been staged will sell for 17% more than a comparable one that was not staged. Further, the National Association of Realtors® reports that nearly half of buyers’ agents said home staging increased the dollar value their clients offered, while 77% said staging made it easier for their clients to visualize themselves living in the home.