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  • Writer's pictureLoren Lavine

Home Staging: A Worthy Investment?

A neutral palette with various textures and patterns can help create both interest and charm. / Photo by Sentient Lifestyle Studio - Staging & Redesign.

In essence, home staging is about highlighting all the best features of a home with updated, neutral décor and colors. For sellers, staging means preparing your home so it appeals to the biggest pool of potential buyers who will pay the price. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports 97% of buyers’ agents say staging affects the buyer’s view of the home. So much so, that a 2021 survey from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) said out of 4,600 properties staged, 73% sold over list price. And according to Bankrate, 586% is the average ROI for staged vacant homes — and all sellers see an average return of 5-15%. Those are some staggering statistics that paint a picture worth a thousand words – and thousands of potential dollars for sellers.

There is little doubt that a move-in ready atmosphere is more engaging and leads to buyers being more committed to increase their offer. NAR said 82% of agents claimed home staging helped their clients visualize the property as a future home. For the time and money invested, staging can be one of the most lucrative projects a homeowner can undertake. Beyond cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing, and updating any outdated appliances, a staged home can net an average $40,000 over list price, according to RESA. That’s a lot of cash left on the table, assuming there is a table on the property.

The difference between a good staging job and a fabulous staging job isn't necessarily how much you pay for it. Although costs can range from $1,200 to over $15,000 depending on the size of the job and location, according to NAR, the median price spent was $1,500 making it a relatively affordable investment. According to NAR, buyers linger in staged homes an average of 40 minutes — compared to just six minutes in a vacant home. That’s 36 more minutes to fall in love with the home.

What a proper staging job will do …

Staging is about showcasing the home in a way that appeals to a potential homebuyer's emotion of envisioning themselves living there. Staging should spotlight the best features of the home, it should appeal to the largest group of buyers, and it should feel designed, not decorated. It should steer a buyer away from the home's flaws and transform odd spaces into usable places. A reputable staging service should offer a consultation and a comprehensive design plan based on the home’s unique needs and budget.

Don’t Forget the Curb Appeal

We all know that first impressions are everything, so it’s vital to not neglect the exterior of your home. Make sure to keep the driveway clean, and empty if you can. Check your windows and doors for cracks and blemishes, and always keep windows crystal clear. Remove or store away any bicycles, lawn mowers, garden decorations and unsightly things that can be construed as clutter. The yard should be properly manicured, and the entry should be clean and inviting with minimal decorations. If there is no green lawn, consider a few potted plants to add greenery to the space. A fresh coat of paint on the front door goes a long way to saying, “welcome home”, as does a new doormat.

There are many DIY things you can do to improve the likelihood of selling your property, but you can almost certainly guarantee having it professionally staged will get you where you want quicker, and with better gains.

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