Should a seller stage their home before selling?
People thinking of selling their home often ask me, “should a seller stage their home before selling?” Here are some of the pros and cons of staging a home before listing a home on the market.
Kitchen before staging Kitchen after staging
The mostly pros and the few cons of staging.
Should a seller stage their home before selling? Yes! I am a fan of staging! Many years of working with both buyers and sellers have sold me on the importance of staging the home before a seller puts it on the market. Sellers will always, at minimum, make their money back and sell faster than if they hadn’t staged. And often times we’ve seen the house sell for tens of thousands more than it would have if the seller had not staged their home before selling. Yes, tens of thousands.
I believe the question is not should a seller stage their home, but how should a seller stage their home? There are several aspects to staging, and one home often requires something different than another. The price range and comparable sold homes play a role as well. There is no need to over-stage a house if the return isn’t going to be there, and on the other hand, it’s important to compete with other homes in the neighborhood if a seller wants to get top dollar for the true value of their home.
So I’ll start with the cons of a seller staging their home before selling, and the few reasons why it might not make sense for a seller to stage their home.
Cons for staging a home:
1. It often costs money up front to stage. Although, when a seller works with our team, the staging payment can be moved to time of closing so the seller will have the proceeds from the sale to pay the stager when their home successfully closes.
2. It takes time. It will add a few days to the roll out of a listing going live on the market.
Those are the only cons to staging a home before listing it on the market.
When staging isn’t needed:
1. The house is a tear down and the marketing position will be all about the value of the land.
2. A buyer is already lined up to purchase the home for top dollar, and the home will not be going on the market.
As you can see their are few drawbacks to a seller staging their home before selling.
Pros for staging a home:
1. It will show better in pictures and online.
2. The home will get more buyer showings and activity when it goes live on the market.
3. Staging helps a buyer better see the possibilities.
4. A staged home feels warmer than a vacant home.
5. A staged home will sell sooner than the competition’s home that isn’t staged. And in a buyer’s market, it sometimes is the determining factor of whether it sells at all.
6. The home will sell for more money than it would have if not staged.
Staging a home before selling it is that important!
Living room before staging Living room after staging
What does staging consist of?
Clean Up and Clean Out
It can be as simple as clean up and clean out, to renovations and moving in furniture. The basics start with cleaning up and clearing things out. And a seller can often do that themselves. I recommend sellers start at the street. Take a look at their house and determine if the yard needs clean up, trimming, weeding and/or bark. When a buyer pulls up to a house the first impression is set. Even just mowing and edging the lawn makes a big difference.
I have an investor that I work with often. He buys near tear downs, fixes them up beautifully, taking lots of pride in his quality work, only to want to put the home on the market without mowing the lawn. I have to remind him all the time that marketing a house without a mowed lawn is like trying to sell a dirty car. It has to look pretty if you want to sell it for its true value.
Dining room before Dining room after
Clearing Out Clutter
The second low cost aspect of staging is clearing out clutter. I ask sellers to remove the knickknacks and family photos, clear off the counters and the refrigerator, and put away anything else not needed for daily living. It’s important that the house doesn’t feel too personal, otherwise a buyer will have a harder time envisioning it as their home.
Once those two things are done, I recommend having a stager come out for a consultation. Often, the only step needed is to move some furniture around. Most people don’t need to bring anything into the house, they just need a strategic eye to show them how to make the home appear more inviting with their own furniture and art. Many of my sellers employ this low cost method.
Vacant Home Staging
But sometimes the seller has already moved out of their home and there isn’t anything to stage with. In this case, I highly recommend having a stager bring in furnishings and art work. Stagers are specialized in turning cold spaces into warm and inviting rooms that buyers would love to spend time in. And that sells houses.
Should a seller stage their home before selling? My team specializes in selling homes that were on the market previously with another agent and the home didn’t sell. Often we find when analyzing why the home didn’t sell, is that it wasn’t staged and therefore did not show in it’s best light. We have our stager come in and do her magic, and not only do we sell it, we sell it for more than when it was listed before and it didn’t sell.
I recommend having an experienced agent come out and take a look at your home, offer you advice on what will make you money and also where you could be wasting your time and effort. My team offers a free, no obligation consultation that will help you best determine where to put your time and money, or if there’s anything that is even needed. Once we come out, you’ll have a plan in place for your next step to selling your home for the most money. Contact us today @ 253-470-8163
Should a seller stage their home before selling?
I hope this article has provided enough information to show the value of staging a home before selling it.
Sarah Robbins and Associates
33434 8th Ave S
Federal Way WA 98003
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