Clients often wonder about the actual need for staging with property preparation. Well, I hate to break the news to you but….wait for it…
First impressions matter!
My key phrase for describing staging is “lean, clean, and inviting.” Staging can make all the difference in a property being listed or one that has been on the market for a bit.
- I have heard one too many stories about home sitting on the market for a bit where the sellers and listing agent bring in a professional who comes in and stages the property. Then they retake the listing pictures and “bam” it’s in escrow and sold.
- I have listed and witnessed properties that are staged from the get-go and “bam”, they sell quickly.
The first thing a prospective buyer sees is its “curb appeal.” A great home and look like doo doo if time isn’t invested in keeping the appearance lean, clean, and inviting.
It is obvious when a home has been professionally staged. It has a warm and inviting feel to it. It’s crisp and pops! Remember, first impressions matter…
Professional stagers are most often interior designers who do this as a supplement to their usual business.
So, does staging have to cost a pretty penny? Absolutely not, AND it depends.
- I would not list a home in a higher price bracket (or empty) without having it professionally staged. The return on investment speaks for itself.
- Items from the home are usually utilized with modifications and additions.
- Professional stagers have an inventory of furniture and accessory items to utilize for staging.
- There are different ways to stage and there are different packages that professional stagers offer. I like the ones that use the client’s own furnishings. Except on rare occasions, this can be a beginning point.
- Usually, things are moved around or subtracted with warming touches added. This type of staging is usually for a flat fee and I recommend it the most.
- Staging isn’t simply furniture and accessory related. It includes, but it not limited to:
- Interior/exterior paint
- Plants and landscaping
- Carpet/floor cleaning
- Decluttering closets and storage spaces
- Decluttering shelves, furniture, and walls
Staging matters because first impressions matter, but more importantly, if prospective buyers cannot SEE the space being lived in and utilized, it is hard for them to see themselves living there and using the home.
It’s that simple. Smart sellers stage.