Home Staging Tips

 

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There you sit, watching “The Vanilla Ice Project” on the DIY Network when a thought bubble forms over your head. If Vanilla Ice can remodel houses on television, you could probably save yourself the expense of a pro home stager and take the job into your own hands. Your Realtor will be so impressed that she’ll probably put it on her Instagram account right away.

This is a critical decision point. Do you put down the remote control and get to work making your home presentable for buyers or do you keep watching in hopes that Vanilla Ice breaks out into random song? It’s a hard decision.

As you lean forward to turn the television off, your spouse calls to see if you picked up milk on the way home from work. Of course you did. It’s just that important.

You may not realize it now, but one day you’ll see how close you came to total annihilation. That might be a bit dramatic, but you definitely came close to something…

What’s the Big Deal with Home Staging?

Staging a home is a delicate art meant to accentuate the positive features of your home, often with furniture you can’t afford or would never choose because of its basic impracticality. Who really owns a fainting couch in this day and age?

No one. Nacho cheese Doritos, football and fainting couches don’t mix.

This is why interior decorating pros often bring their own furniture and accessories to vacant or partially emptied homes. With their own furnishings, pro designers have a lot more control over how your home is presented and they can go wild creating a lot of interior decorating fantasies for people who will never own furniture like what your home is showcased with.

Even so, when potential buyers later see your professionally decorated home online, they’re far more eager to take a look right now than if your home is photographed empty, or worse, full of furniture that is practical and functional, but makes no sense with the architectural style. If your furniture were music, it would sound like a 10 year old learning to play the violin.

Does Professional Home Staging Make Sense for You?

There are some homes that absolutely demand home staging. That ancient manor on the hill, for example, that’s a place that needs to be photographed with furniture in it or else it’s just a series of long, scary, dark rooms. Put the right furnishings inside, from curtains to a long, elegant dining table, and suddenly it’s a glamorous and ornate dreamscape for someone.

A house like that, with a value in the millions of dollars, clearly is getting treatment that yours may not, but you’d might be surprised how well you can come out. According to reporting by Realtor.com, staging can cost about $2,400 per month and a typical contract is for three months, even if you sell sooner. That brings the total to around $7,200, give or take.

Before you decide you can do better on that kind of budget, take a moment to check out these sales-related stats from the National Association of Realtors 2017 Profile of Home Staging report:

* 39 percent of Seller’s Agents reported that staging greatly decreased time on the market. That means fewer house payments for you and a faster transition into your new place.
* 33 percent of Buyer’s Agents told NAR that staging resulted in a one to five percent increase in their clients’ offers. Nationally, the median home sold in August 2018 went for $320,200. If this home were staged, the owner would have seen an initial offer of $3,202 to $16,010 more than similar homes that weren’t staged.
* On the flip side of that, 29 percent of Seller’s Agents reported the same one to five percent increase in sales price versus comparables nearby, another 21 percent said they saw a six to 10 percent increase in the final sales price. If you do the math on this, that same $320,200 home staged may bring up to $32,020 more just because it was easier for the buyer to visualize themselves in the space.

Obviously, where you live and how in demand the area is will make a big difference in whether or not it makes sense to hire a home stager. The cost can initially be alarming, but with the right type of home and the right market, it becomes a bit of a magical money machine.

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