In the real estate space, we hear about staging all the time — tips for staging, why you should stage, virtual staging, etc.
But what are the actual benefits of staging? In other words, just how much money can you gain by staging your home? (Spoiler Alert: you could save a lot of money!)
The short answer is: there are a lot of benefits. Staging makes a significant difference, as it has the potential to both decrease the amount of time your home spends on the market and might result in a higher offer.
Whether you plan to hire a professional staging company or stage a few rooms yourself, know that your efforts are not in vain. And if you’re not quite convinced, we’re sharing the benefits of staging your home — plus a few tips and tricks to keep in mind along the way!
It Can Increase Your Home’s Value
Let’s start with one of the most important factors sellers consider when deciding whether or not to stage their home. Because staging is not free, you’ll need to weigh the financial benefits of staging to see if it’s actually worth it in the long run. And the short answer is: yes, it is. In a 2019 study done by the National Association of Realtors, 22 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of 1-5 percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, compared to similar homes that were not staged. And 17 percent of respondents said that staging a home actually increased the dollar value by 6–10 percent. 5 percent may not feel like a lot, until you crunch the numbers to find out that 5 percent of a $500,000 home is $25,000.
Potential Buyers Can Visualize Themselves in Your Space
Staging has the power to help would-be buyers imagine what their life might look like if they were lucky enough to move into your home. The thoughtful placement of furniture and accessories can help them visualize where they might drink coffee in the morning or play board games with the family at night. In that same 2019 study done by NAR, 83 percent of buyers’ agents reported that staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize a home as their future home. This is why it’s very important to depersonalize and neutralize your space; that way, your home will appeal to a wider range of buyers whose styles may differ from yours.
It Creates a Good First Impression
We may try to deny it, but first impressions really are everything. We’ve all been in a job interview setting or on a first date where someone didn’t quite leave a good first impression — and that stuck with us. Similarly, staging has the power to transform someone’s initial impression of your home. So it’s important to make them feel good vibes upon stepping into your home — and even before, with well-manicured landscaping and other exterior updates. According to Movoto, “psychologists say that we make up our minds about a person within the first fifteen seconds of meeting them. And the same is true when viewing a house.”
Staging Helps Photos Stand Out Online
In today’s digitized world, photographs play an important role in the overall presentation of a listing. In a 2018 study published by Statista Research Department, a whopping 93 percent of buyers used online websites while searching for a home. And that number has likely increased in just the last couple of years — especially as nearly everything moved online during the pandemic. If you’re relying heavily on photography to sell your home, you might consider staging your home virtually, which allows you to completely customize the furniture and color palette — without a staging company having to step foot in your home! With no furniture to move in and out, this makes for an especially smooth transition during a sometimes hectic process.
It Can Reduce the Number of Days on Market
According to Realtor.com, staged homes sell 88 percent faster than nonstaged homes. This also translates to extra money in your pocket, as you’ll have less monthly expenses to pay for. Buyers are more likely to move quickly on a home that looks attractive and ready for move-in. Not to mention, the longer a home sits on the market, the more the price can drop, either with an actual price decrease or with lower offers. And if you select the right realtor, they’ll price your home correctly, which often determines the length of time it spends on the market.
Staging Can Make a Space Feel Bigger
You may think that more furniture would make a space feel smaller or more crammed. But on the contrary, a room with thoughtfully placed furniture can make a space feel larger than an empty room! This is because an empty room offers no spatial context, while a furnished room helps potential buyers understand the room’s dimensions in relation to the size of your average furniture. That way, they can imagine how their king-sized bed might fit in a bedroom that already contains a king-sized bed.
It Demonstrates Your Home’s Potential
We all have that room — or those rooms — we never quite perfected while we lived in our home. You may have an extra bedroom you used as a storage space, a sunroom that housed your make-shift home office, or a bonus room that held a hodgepodge of gym equipment and electronics. Staging gives you the opportunity to showcase your home’s highest potential. For example, an extra room can be transformed into a cozy guest room or a playroom to inspire those with young children. All in all, staging helps create meaning out of otherwise empty rooms.
You’re Going to Pack Up Anyway
You may be thinking, why go through all this trouble in the first place? The answer is: you’re going to anyway! You’ll need to pack up your home whether or not you decide to stage it, so why not just do it now? Plus, someone else will handle all the staging for you — so no added stress on your part! Before a staging company brings in their furniture and décor, you’ll need to clear the home of all personal belongings. This makes moving day much smoother, as you’ll have already packed up your stuff!
Staging + Selling Tips to Keep in Mind
Whether or not you hire a professional staging company or you stage your home yourself, there are several things to keep in mind throughout the process.
Deep clean. Take a good amount of time to deep clean your home inside and out, removing any cobwebs in light fixtures, dusting fan blades, wiping down walls and baseboards, vacuuming behind furniture and appliances, and deep cleaning all bathrooms. If that sounds overwhelming, hire a house cleaner to make it easier on you!
Declutter. The less clutter, the better. Remove as much clutter as possible from your home, including trophies, books, signage, collections and other knickknacks on your counters, tables, shelves and walls. Buyers are attracted to a simpler, cleaner feel.
Depersonalize. It is extremely important to depersonalize your home as much as possible! It can be difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in your home if it is filled with family photos, signage with your last name, and other personal mementos.
Not all rooms are created equal. Believe it or not, you don’t have to stage every single room in your home. The most important rooms when it comes to staging are the living room, primary bedroom and kitchen. Focus on those spaces and consider staging the other bedrooms and bathrooms only if necessary.
Make repairs. Now is the time to tackle those pesky issues you’ve put off for years, like squeaky doors, loose door handles and leaky faucets. This will give the impression of a well-cared-for home as potential buyers walk through it.
Remain neutral. While we all love pops of color, the more neutral, the better when it comes to staging. Select furniture and décor that appeals to a wide range of tastes — or trust your staging company to go neutral and stay on trend for you.
Improve curb appeal. As mentioned, first impressions are everything. Pay attention to the front yard and exterior of your home, as this is the first thing potential buyers will see upon arrival. Plant some new flowers or shrubs, update your mailbox and house numbers, or even touch up paint or trim.
Eliminate bad odors. With all this talk of colors and furniture selections, smells may be the last thing on your mind. But scent is one of the most powerful of the five senses, as a foul-smelling home can be a major deterrent. Replace air duct filters, deep clean rugs and carpets, and clean walls and baseboards to eliminate any lingering odors from pets or untreated spills. You might consider hiring a professional to remove more intense odors.
Increase light. Bright, light-filled homes feel more inviting and cheerful. Increase natural light by opening up blinds and removing heavy curtains or drapes. Plus, replace any light bulbs that are out and consider painting dark rooms a brighter, more neutral color.