If you turn on any TV show about selling your home, you’ll hear a lot about how important it is to have professional home staging done before you put your house on the market. The TV hosts will tell you that having a professional rearrange and restyle the rooms in your home is the key to selling your home in record time and for well above your asking price.
While most people don’t necessarily see the huge gains that make for compelling TV-watching, a home stager can be helpful in making your home look its very best before you put the For Sale sign out front.
But what is home staging? What does it involve? And is it worth it?
What is home staging?
“Staging is what you do after you’ve cleaned, decluttered, painted, made minor repairs; it’s all about dressing the house for sale,” says Elizabeth Weintraub for TheBalance.com. “It’s about adding the small details: the lipstick, mascara and, for simplicity, a stunning, single strand of Tahitian pearls.”
The goal of home staging is to arrange, furnish and decorate your home in a way that makes it appealing to the most buyers possible.
Staging also involves “depersonalizing a home so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves in it,” writes Tiffany Connors for How Stuff Works. “This can mean removing family photos, piles of newspapers and the cat’s litter box, as well as adding neutral-colored paint and carpet and buying new appliances.”
What do home stagers do?
Home stagers can offer an objective eye to your house to help you figure out how to best show off its highlights and potential to would-be buyers.
“Most people have trouble visualizing a space’s potential, whether that’s figuring out how to lay out an empty room or trying to ignore oddly arranged furniture, clutter or decor that’s not their style,” explains Karen Egly-Thompson on Houzz.com. “The majority of home buyers can’t easily look past what’s in front of them to appreciate a room’s potential. Staging helps eliminate the buyer’s guesswork.”
Is it worth it?
The extra work does, of course, cost extra money, and the pricier the home, the more the staging will cost. Margaret Heidenry of Realtor.com says “As a general rule of thumb, most stagers charge $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per room.”
The effort can pay off. Daniel Goldstein of MarketWatch writes, “In a 2013 study looking at nearly 170 staged properties valued at $300,000 to $499,000, (the Real Estate Staging Association) — which obviously has a vested interest in the matter — said that those homes were sold in 22 days, compared with an average on-market time of 125 days for unstaged properties.”
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