Staging Your Home, the First Step to a Successful Sale

Submitted by Kristin Van Hauen, Treasured Spaces,

Now more than ever it is important to stage your house prior to putting the “For Sale” sign in the front yard. Regardless of whether it is a “buyers” or “sellers” market a staged home will sell 30-50% faster and for more money than a non-staged home. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? If that is not motivation in itself, think about our world of technology, when the potential buyer is looking online and making a decision as to which properties meet their requirements and which ones they will take the time to see in person. Don’t lose that potential sale because your house is not dressed for the “party”.

I refer to staging as getting the house dressed for the party, not a lazy Sunday afternoon watching football. While nothing is wrong with a lazy Sunday, you wouldn’t show up to a party wearing your pajamas. The same goes for your house. Think of it as a job interview for the house, the goal of selling it and moving on with your dreams.

Staging a home can be as simple as “applying make-up and some fancy shoes” or as complicated as a “complete makeover”. I would say a majority of the homes fall in the first category. It can be as simple as having a professional come in and giving you a list of what to pack, clean, de-clutter and helping you move the furniture in a way that best accentuates your home. De-clutter and De-personalize are the two keys words in staging. Diplomas, family photos, anything religious or political should be taken down. Sometimes it just takes a few key pieces to update a room or house. A majority of times these pieces can be accessories which will easily move with the homeowner into their new space.

Complete makeovers take a bit more time and planning prior to that for sale sign going up. These updates can be as simple as painting, updating flooring or as involved as updating a kitchen or bathroom. Usually the homeowners have wanted to do these things to the house from the start. As with most of us, it’s easy to get busy with everyday life. We run out of time or energy to do the updates we so dreamed about in the beginning. There is no better motivation than a higher sales price and fewer days on the market to make those changes.

Plan your budget and make a list of the things that need to be updated, repaired, packed, and moved before you list the house. No matter your budget, you can get a huge return on your investment whether that is money or “sweat equity”. The payoff in the end is worth it. My recommendation is to have a professional come in, give you a list of things that you can complete, then have the professional come back to dress the house for the party.

Staging is what you do after all the elbow grease has been used; it is the art of defining the spaces, making the home look its best. A majority of the buyers have a hard time visualizing what could be, so it’s best to give them a clear picture than to lose a sale out of their frustration and thinking that it would be “too much work” or “don’t know how to use the space”.

So, before you call the realtor and get pictures taken of your house, make sure you contact your stager. It will be the best investment you can give yourself moving forward with your dreams, with a higher sales price and fewer days on the market.