Staging Your Home: What to Expect & Why It’s So Important

Staging. Never has a real estate concept meant so many different things to so many different people. To some, staging your home means rearranging existing furniture. To others, it means reducing clutter and then there are those that think it translates to a total redo of their homes.

To us at The Goodhart Group, staging your home means preparing it to appeal to the likely buyer who walks through your home or who may view it online.

How a home appears online is probably more critical than how it appears when you walk in the door. 92% of buyers see a home online first and odds are that first view will be on a mobile device. How a home appears on a mobile device is important as clutter.

Your audience, the active buyer, will likely have set up a search and when the alert appears on their device, they will speed through the offerings quickly. You have about eight seconds seconds to grab their attention and cause them to slow down enough to look at the listing. Selling a home is about the visuals almost as much as location and price.

The Staging Statistics

The statistics prove that staging your home is well worth the effort and expense. Staged homes sell for 10% more than unstaged homes. Additionally, staged homes sell faster than unstaged homes (23 days vs. 40 days). Worried about the expense? Staging pays for itself and then some!

Research has shown that a 1-3% investment in staging will result in a 10% return.

The Levels of Staging

So what types of staging can you expect us to discuss with you?

Staging “as is” means that nothing is to be changed. If the house is perfect (and there are a very few which are) then it needs no staging.

If the house is in poor showing condition then selling “as is” becomes an option. This happens most often when it is an estate, when renters occupying the property, or a situation in which the party living in the home does not want to leave (divorce, foreclosure or eviction). An “as is” sale means the owner will sell for less.

One step up from “as is”– spending money on paint, new carpets and refinishing hardwoods can go along way, often helping the home to sell faster and likely for money. Other improvements in this category include updating doors, cabinet hardware, and fixtures such as faucets and lighting. Sometimes, we will recommend updating countertops and appliances too. The investment on these improvements is almost always recouped.

“Clutter is worse than dirt.” This is a saying I like to relay to my clients but dirt is pretty bad too. Clutter can mean too much furniture or too much stuff. The stuff can be quite nice. I have often had to tell clients who do design work that they need to remove their very expensive decorative items and art. Removing excessive furniture can make rooms seem much larger and more appealing to buyers.

“Fluffing” a home is the next option. Such fluffing means bringing in accessories to spruce up the home and give it a visual punch for those online views. Sometimes a home just needs a few rugs, pillows, fresh flowers, or art on the walls.

The last (and perhaps most involved) kind of staging is bringing in new furniture to either replace existing furniture or to fill vacant rooms. This type of staging is done to help potential buyers envision how the space could be used. Bringing in the right furniture can turn a room with an awkward layout into a buyer’s dream space. We’ve seen it happen time and again!

The Bottom Line

No matter which option you choose for staging your home, remember the exterior of your home. Clear out your beds, lay from fresh mulch, trim any overgrown trees and bushes, and add a punch of color with some blooms. Make sure your windows are sparkling clean and that there’s no peeling paint. Consider a mini facelift for your home’s exterior with a new mailbox, house number or front door color.

Overwhelmed? We know. The idea of staging is something that takes time for most people to wrap their minds around. But this is what we do. We are here to help. Contact us today!

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