Is Home Staging Worth the Cost When Selling a Property?
The answer is absolutely YES! If your home looks fantastic when you bring potential buyers around, you will get your money back that you have spent on staging it and then some. It will also promote your home to sell faster and realise a better offer in the end. If you are unclear like so many people as to precisely what home staging is and what it can do for you, we will go through it step-by step.
What is home staging?
Staging is basically merchandising your home. It is like window-dressing it to show potential buyers the possibilities and show off your home at its best. Just think of it this way: when you go to a clothing store, how many times have you been swayed by the mannequin’s outfits and bought one of the items or the whole ensemble? The idea is not to sell the items in your home, but rather the whole “package” of what the home’s full potential is. It allows buyers’ imaginations to run free and imagine themselves in your home, living there. Staging shows off the home’s best and detracts from any potential shortcomings as it shows off the place as a whole. For example, it gives you the chance to pay attention to dark corners of your home by lighting them up and rather portraying them as cosy nooks instead of dark and uninviting simply because you never paid any attention to it before. It will also look great in pictures when it is staged.
Why home staging is important?
Let’s face it: social media is where homes sell and it’s all about pictures and videos. So you will be competing with other people who HAVE staged their homes and if yours had done nothing to make it stand out, well…..your chances are somewhat less of drawing the crowds. It is important to remember that buyers have high expectations in today’s market and will not settle for anything that smacks of neglect. We are all too willing to invest in a financial investment that can give us a 7-20% return on the amount invested and that is exactly what staging your home can do.
Not staging can mean your home takes longer to sell
In the trade, how well your home is presented to buyers is known as “curb appeal”. Homes that have been staged will sell in a shorter space of time while sellers that did nothing to improve the aesthetics of their homes can be looking at a much much longer time on the market before an eventual sale. This also leads to your home being regarded by buyers as “having something wrong” with it as they will ask the listing agent how long it has been on the market. The longer it has been on the market, the more leverage buyers will have to force the price down.
OK, I am interested. What does staging cost?
Buyers tend to offer close to or at times even more than the asking price for a home that is staged. If you are lucky you may end up with two buyers competing for a property because they want it so badly! In many cases the buyers will offer more because they will want the furniture that they saw during the staging process of your home.
Staging cost will depend on what you are willing to spend and how eager you are to realise a sale. Some people will only stage parts of a home in order to save money but this is not advised. Buyers will look at an entire property, not just parts of it. Also make sure you have a “set in stone” inventory regarding what is sold with the property and what is not. A professional stager will charge by the hour or per job, or some real estate agents may have their in-house stagers that will do it for you at an additional fee. Virtual staging is gaining popularity, but you have to be clear and indicate this in your advertising and photographs. This will require the services of a digital professional but may work out cheaper than buying or renting furniture to be used on-site by a professional stager.
DIY staging vs professional
Not many of us are professionals when it comes to interior design and using inherited older pieces of furniture, unless they are exceptional, is not advised. Your best bet will be to speak to your estate agent and ask them who to use professionally to stage your home properly for the market that you are targeting.
Besides the return on your investment, selling your home faster and getting a better price, staging is the way to go. It is very unlikely that you will not get your money back and what you spend on staging. The cost is usually far less as opposed to dropping the asking price in order for the home to sell when you have not staged it at all.