I stage every home I flip. In fact, I am so convinced that staging is key to a successful offer that I was doing it long before it became the norm. According to various industry experts (Real Estate Staging Association Publications, the National Association of Realtors, and Professional Staging), 85% of staged homes sold for 5 to 23% over their listing price. Additionally, a staged home spends 73% less time on the market than a non-staged home. What this tells me is that in any type of market the extra effort to stage pays off.
From my own experience, staging generates increased showings and creates a memorable experience for a potential buyer. Not to mention, when a home is staged and the use of each space is maximized the value of the home is increased. Whether you are staging a flip or preparing your own home for the market these tips can increase the likelihood your home will catch a buyer’s attention quickly.
Here’s a few tried and true steps to use if you’re preparing a property for sale. While some of these may ring more true for a flip they may also be used for traditional sales too.
1: Include Staging in Your Budget
Before considering making purchases or hiring help for staging, include it in your starting budget and timeline. This will ensure you don’t get to your flip project’s final steps empty-handed.
Depending upon the size of a home and how many rooms you’ll be staging your price may vary. I typically budget 6000-8000 for homes with 4 to 5 bedrooms.
The benefit to using a professional is that they will provide all of the items necessary.
Tip for hiring a staging company:
Look at the photos of past projects with any company you are considering. There can be a range of styles between staging firms. I prefer to work with stagers who are willing to walk through the space when it is empty and are open to my requests for pieces, overall style and use of each space. This allows me to curate a home with consistency throughout. You want to avoid the idea of “staging for the sake of staging.” The items brought into the house should complement, not distract.
2: Start With a Clean Slate
If you’ve just completed any repairs or renovations you want to make sure that the home is clean. There is nothing like a good post-construction clean to make a house shine.
When it comes to your own home a good cleaning is also a good foundation to prepare for photos and a listing. Include the areas that you may not think people will look in (ahem, closets). They don’t need to be perfect but tidy will go a long way. If they’re disorganized and crammed it may appear that the home lacks adequate storage.
3: Light + Bright
While often overlooked, a home’s lighting can make a big impact on a buyer’s first impression of a home. And, as most people know, first impressions are everything when it comes to getting the right buyer in the door. Well-lit homes appear warm, inviting and spacious.
When it comes to lights I have a rule. When there’s a showing every light is on. From the moment someone steps into a home I want there to be a sense of light and bright throughout. No matter what time of day.
For a fully renovated home, lighting is one of the areas where I spend a significant amount of time. Gone are the days where a standard light with dim bulbs will do. Lighting is a statement and making sure the wattage of the fixtures is appropriate for the space is the icing on the cake. Again, everything about staging is designed to illustrate how someone will live in a space. If the lighting is dated, unappealing or dim that’s a huge missed opportunity.
4: Style it Up
Staging has evolved. What used to be the standard is considered bare bones today. Adding accessories and styled collections to places like dining tables, kitchens and accent tables is now the baseline. These areas elevate the room and align with so many of those images that people who love homes include on their “save” boards.
A crock with wooden utensils, hand towels, cozy throws and accent pillows are all opportunities to create layers of warmth and sophistication when staging. It’s all about creating that feeling of comfort throughout. Think of making bedrooms luxe with quilts and throws. And accessorizing in groups of three brings symmetry and balance to any display.
5: Optimize Layout + Create Useful Spaces
When staging a home consider the use of the rooms. If a room needs plenty of seating make sure to offer options. The room may not have the space to accommodate several larger pieces but consider chairs, ottomans and benches. These are some of my favorite items to include that offer flexibility but keep the room feeling spacious at the same time.
Pairing items as well in corners and adding accent tables is a clever way to add another seating area in a large or awkward corner that may not have a clear use on its own.
Another useful way to leverage staging in a home is to use it to create spaces buyers are looking to have in a home. Think about adding multi-purpose spaces. Finishing a laundry room nicely and adding a desk and chair could now appeal to someone looking for extra space for a craft area. Bringing in yoga mats and low chairs to a corner flex space shows the ability for a fitness area or meditation space. With the addition of desks to a space there’s now plenty of room to office from home. Any entry area with the addition of a bench and hooks will generate appeal as a well used drop zone.
Staging is all about highlighting the absolute best in a home. Layering these tips for the interior with greate curb appeal will create an irresistible home with broad appeal for buyers.
Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?
I have the perfect place to start! Check out my Find my Flip course.
I also have some resources I’ve put together to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.
Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist so you know which areas are key to added value in a home.
There are several videos on finding houses, renovations, and funding on YouTube. Check out your favorite flipping topics and new videos weekly!