Staging is something that I do for every house in every type of market. When it comes to selling a home and after thousands of dollars of renovations have been completed, I don’t want to leave anything to chance. That being said, with every project, I fully stage every home. My experience and the feedback I’ve received is that it’s something that truly matters and, in my opinion, can make the difference between a home that sells quickly and one that does not.
There are new statistics from the National Association of Realtors that were just released. They continue to show how staging impacts buyers and how it aligns with their expectations. The buyers’ findings were that 47 percent of buyers cited staging as having an impact on their view of the home. When you only get one chance at a first impression, staging can be essential. But if you’re not exactly sure how to begin, here are some tips to get you started:
Finding Staging Items
My personal process for staging may be a bit different than that of someone who is just getting started. After many years I have acquired a significant amount of furniture and home decor that I use in many of my projects. My favorite places to pick up items include HomeGoods and Target for bedding, art, and decor that I need quickly. I’m a fan of World Market, Ikea, and Target (in-stock only) for items like furniture. If you’re looking to build up your own inventory, check prices when there are big sales. I scored two West Elm couches at a more than 50% discount on Black Friday a couple of years ago. For links to some of the items I’ve used in my staged spaces, make sure to follow me @Threshold_Homes_MN on LTK
Recently, I have opted to work with a local staging company on our last couple of projects. Both were larger, and both had several bedrooms that I wanted to showcase as well. Given that these houses were higher price points, I wanted to add items (like headboards, a fitness space, and outdoor seating areas) that I didn’t have available, so I chose to hire them instead.
I’ve worked with several staging companies over the years and usually, the decor falls a bit flat for me. With our recent partnership, we met prior to the staging day and I have been making specific requests as to what I’m looking for regarding the feel of the house and what pieces I’d like to be brought in and where. You may not think about the scale of a dining room table when you’re staging but if it’s not the right size the space may not feel as valuable when it comes to a future buyer.
Staging Costs and Budgeting
The expense to stage a home can vary depending upon the size and the number of rooms you’d like to include. When I worked on smaller homes, I was likely to do key spaces such as the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. That is going to be the most cost-effective option, though when you factor in time and the moving expenses for the staging company, you may find that the cost is similar if you add in even a couple more rooms. For smaller staging projects, you can get estimates from local companies to compare. I see these expenses to be about $2000-$3000 dollars. For larger houses (3500+ square footage), pricing for staging every room is around $5000.
Since it’s a bit of an investment, I encourage people to include it as part of their budget from the beginning, so it doesn’t get missed.
The last item I want to mention is that if you’re investing in staging, make sure to get professional photos. No matter how great a house looks, photos taken from a phone don’t show the same as those taken by a pro. One of the updated statistics also shared that a staged home and great photos were the homes that received the most amount of showings from interested buyers. For $300.00 it’s worth the effort to have a home that truly shines. I even use and recommend the staging + professional photo combo for rental properties. That way your listing is ready to market as soon as tenants have provided notice.
One last note. Buyers have also upgraded their overall expectations of homes with the popularity of HGTV and other home renovation shows. To replicate that experience and excitement staging is the key. When they enter your finished flip you’ll start with a definite advantage over other homes they may be considering.
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