Have you been trying to sell your home for weeks, even months, and it just isn’t going anywhere? That’s really not uncommon, and it typically has a lot to do with how buyers see your home. Real estate agents will often suggest staging your home so that buyers can best envision what it would be like to live in your old home.
So, what is staging? How do you do it? What are the benefits to staging a home versus continuing to leave things as they are and still trying to sell your real estate? All of these questions and more are answered in the following.
What Is Home Staging?
Home staging is an approach to selling real estate whereby your belongings and decor are removed from one or more rooms and placed elsewhere temporarily. They are replaced by home furnishings and decor from an upscale store that is willing to lend these items to your agent for the purpose of home staging. Then the agent or an interior designer will arrange these items in one or more rooms to make your home more visually pleasing to more potential buyers.
The stores that are willing to lend items for the purpose of staging get free advertising in the bargain. All their store tags are left on the items so that buyers can see where the items came from.
Buyers can see the potential for creating the same beautiful space they see is as easy as buying the house and buying the furnishings and decor from the store or stores that assisted in the staging. It elevates the interior attractiveness to a new level that will appeal to more buyers.
Why Staging Is Effective
Your tastes in furniture and home decor may not fit with everyone else’s. In some cases, your things may even turn buyers off because they don’t like anything they see. It is strange, considering that it’s a roomful of stuff that won’t be there when you leave, but some buyers can’t see past that. Staging helps them see your home in a very different light, and it engages their own senses and sensibilities with how the home looks with the staging.
Benefits of Staging Your Home
It can really make a home look elegant, refined, beautiful and interesting. Different interior design styles can also make a home look and feel more modern, even if some features of the home are slightly outdated. Homes that have open houses where staging has been used sold three and a half times faster than homes that did not stage at all.
To be more precise, a home that uses staging could be sold in as little as 40 days, while a home that doesn’t use staging could remain on the market for at least 143 days. That is a HUGE difference in time between listing and selling. If you are eager to sell your home as soon as possible, staging is the way to go.
The Cost of Staging a Home
Depending on where you live and what kinds of connections your agent has, you may pay nothing to stage your home for a few hours or you may have to rent everything for the day. Doing this repeatedly can get pricey, but if you are intent on selling your house faster, the costs are worth it.
The reason why stores lending you their products and furnishings may request a rental fee is because the items have to be returned in the same condition they left. If they aren’t returned in the same condition, the rental fee pays to have the items cleaned or repaired.
Since it costs almost as much to constantly relist your home for sale month after month as it does to use staging a few times and sell your house sooner, it’s in your best interests to just use staging from the start and sell your home quickly.
Digital Staging Instead of Physical Staging
Physical staging means that you are preparing parts of your home for viewing by buyers in person. Digital staging means that you are more focused on a virtual selling campaign, creating online photos and visual aids that will entice buyers to make an offer.
Selling real estate by the latter method may prove to be effective at the moment, since more buyers are staying home and using the internet to view houses for sale.
This is especially true for people who live in areas with extreme weather on both sides of the thermostat. A family in Madison, Wisconsin searching for homes during the Winter are far more likely to view real estate from the comfort of home, as would a couple buying real estate in Scottsdale during the summer.
There are two ways you can approach the digital staging method. One, you place staging furniture and decor in your home and take photos of the spaces to post online on your home’s listing site. After the photos are taken and uploaded, you can return the staging furnishings.
Two, you use software that takes images of the spaces in your home. Then alter the images virtually to create aesthetically pleasing spaces that will appeal to a large cross-section of the population.
If you choose the latter approach for digital staging, you will need the help of a professional. Most interior designers and decorators are familiar with this technology and can assist you. Some realtors and real estate agents can do it too, but you will have to check with your agent/realtor.
Choosing to Stage All on Your Own
Sure, you could cut out all the middle people and attempt to stage your home yourself. There’s just a couple of problems with that. You don’t have the connections the professionals do, so the stores where you would get the new furnishings and decorations are not likely to work with you directly.
Then there’s the other issue of your own personal tastes getting in the way and you still end up with a home that doesn’t look much different from what you had before you attempted to stage it yourself.
In fact, you may find it very difficult to locate the same businesses that work with real estate agents, realtors, decorators, and designers. It’s kind of an inside business, and it’s not like these stores advertise that they do this kind of thing.
They rely on their advertising via the professionals with which they do business. The amount of frustration going into trying to DIY staging is going to leave you wondering why you didn’t hire professionals from the start.
One More Thing to Consider
Many of the expenses you incur trying to sell your home may count as tax write-offs, including the staging fees and professionals’ fees. While it might be difficult to go along with the budget needed to stage a home and sell it fast, you may really appreciate the speed at which staging helps sell your home. You will definitely enjoy the tax breaks that go along with this process.
Hire the right real estate agent or realtor. Make sure he/she knows before you hire him/her that you want to do staging to sell your home. If he/she has experience in this area, then you know that you have hired the right person for this job. If he/she has no idea what you are talking about, keep looking for an agent or realtor that does. Then be sure to ask him/her who he/she works with during the staging process.