If you’ve ever listed or thought of listing your home for sale, then you’ve probably at least heard of home staging. Most likely, you’ve seen home staging on TV or talked it over with your real estate agent. Home staging has become a regular part of the home selling process.
Indeed, our own experience reflects this and, over the past 18 years of being in business, we have seen the conversation evolve from, “What is home staging?” to, “Who should I hire to stage my home?” Nowadays, you’ll almost never see an empty home listed on Zillow and most experienced listing agents will implore you to stage.
While there’s no question that home staging is much more commonplace today than it was 18 years ago, and there’s plenty of data to back up the impact of staging, it’s worth revisiting just why it is that home staging is effective.
- (Online) Curb Appeal
The thing about first impressions is that you never get a second chance at them. A potential buyer’s first impression is hardly ever the moment they step foot through the front door. No, it’s before that when they’re scrolling through the first few photos online, that determines their interest in viewing the home. Performing a makeover with home staging makes the property exponentially more enticing in online photos, videos, and digital tours. As a result, home buyers are more likely to attend an open house or in-person viewing. This has become even more apparent throughout COVID as the beginning stages of the home-buying process continue to move online.
- Makes the Home Appear Larger
Did you know that vacant homes appear smaller to the human eye? That’s right. An empty room will actually appear smaller compared to a room with furniture in it! Without furniture to serve as a frame of reference, our brains can’t accurately register how large the space is. Empty spaces force the potential buyer to imagine how and if their furniture will fit, a visualization exercise with which the average home buyer struggles. Conversely, an experienced stager is well-versed in creating a layout and leveraging correctly scaled furniture to maximize your space. Add in skillfully layered art and décor to give the room texture and depth, and your property is certain to please.
- Staging Can Help Assign Realistic Uses to Each Room
When rooms are practically styled for realistic applications, it’s easier for home buyers to envision their ideal purpose. Have you ever overheard a potential home buyer say, “Do we really need all this space?” While styling your living room, kitchen, and master bedroom are the most common, don’t overlook nondescript spaces. With an extensive inventory, Delicious Decors can transform these spaces into something your target buyer may actually need, such as a children’s bedroom, home office, game room, or gym. Creating these visuals helps your buyer assign value to additional spaces and could even plant an unrealized desire.
- The Home Appears Move-in-Ready
The home selling, buying, and moving process can be just that: a process. And sometimes a long one, laden with additional paperwork, negotiations, and contingencies. When a home is staged, it sends the message that it’s move-in-ready. Whether you’ve fully or partially staged, and are still living there or not, the fact that you’ve made the effort to maximize the visual appeal of your home communicates that you’re serious about selling and won’t drag your feet. And if that doesn’t get your buyer and their agent excited, they’ll certainly appreciate that your property appears lower-maintenance right off the bat. Alternatively, a cluttered home that presents a misused floor plan visually communicates that the buyer has their work cut out for them and makes your property less attractive.
- Helps the Buyer Envision Themselves in the House
There’s nothing like old family photos on the wall, a ten-year-old couch that’s been worn in by the dog, and the lingering aroma of last night’s lasagna to make your buyer feel like they’re in someone else’s home. Replacing personal and sometimes valuable décor not only protects you as the seller, but also prevents your buyer from thinking about the previous owners. And don’t underestimate the power of scent. We often focus on the buyer’s sense of sight but what about their sense of smell? How many times have you walked into a home and detected an odd scent? Replacing lived-in, un-updated furniture with fresh furnishings can help tone down that deterring odor. Staging creates a neutral, fresh space for the home buyer to envision themselves making the house into their new home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 83% of home buyers say that home staging makes it easier to visualize the property as a future home.
- Peer Appreciation
A listing agent who takes their marketing seriously and stages a home receives major props from fellow agents, especially the buyer’s agent. An industry peer can truly appreciate when a realtor delivers a pleasant viewing experience for their client, making both agents look credible in the eyes of the buyer. The buyer and their agent will likely have viewed many properties together and you can bet they’ve developed a relationship; that agent’s excitement surrounding your picture-perfect home is sure to rub off.
- Perceived Added Value
A beautifully staged home helps you justify a higher asking price. When a home is properly staged, elegantly showing off a room’s potential with quality furnishings and a cohesive design, the buyer subconsciously attributes more value to the property. Therefore, buyers will be more willing to accept a higher asking price if they feel the property is worth that amount, or more.
- Reach Your Target Demographic
Identifying your desired buyer demographic is an effective marketing step that can save you time and effort. Once you and your realtor have identified your target buyer demographic, an experienced home stager can tailor their design plan to appeal directly to that audience, resulting in a more successful sale.
- “Sold Fast”
According to the NAR, 53% of real estate agents can say with confidence that staging a home decreases the amount of time it spends on the market. Your time is valuable, and so is your realtor’s. In addition to time, there are monetary costs associated with keeping a home listed. Not to mention, the more days on market, the more stale and less attractive the listing becomes in the eyes of your buyer. Preparing your property for sale through home staging is a surefire way to capitalize on the inherent momentum that comes with a fresh listing.
- Above Asking Price Offers
If you’ve made it through all nine reasons above, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to learn that staging a home often increases the dollar value offered. Tying in with many of the above points, staging adds overall value and demand for a home which in turn drives up not only the volume of offers but also the monetary amount offered. When comparing similar houses, statistics show that buyers are more willing to offer a higher amount for the home that was staged over the comparable home that was not staged.
The facts speak for themselves. Staging remains a powerful and necessary step in your property sale that should not be overlooked. The NAR reports that a whopping 96% of buyer’s agents say that staging has an effect on how the buyer views the home.
After 18 years, we’re glad that the conversation has shifted significantly away from the “why” of staging and instead toward how staging can maximize your selling experience. We hope this refresher was useful and we look forward to helping you with any staging needs.
Wishing you all the best on your sales,