Here is the Scenario….
You are meeting with your favorite Realtor®
about putting your home on the market. The usual items are discussed like paperwork to sign, timing, sales price, and steps to getting the house on the market. But wait, your reliable and experienced Realtor®
mentions bringing in a professional home stager to guide updates. Then they highly recommend you as the seller hire the staging company to have the house professionally staged. Say what? ‘In this super-hot market, houses fly off the shelf in a weekend, so why would I bother? Can’t I just clean it up a bit and call it a day? It’s going to show better empty anyways, right? We will still get an offer in no time, right?’
If these thoughts cross your mind when it comes to spending money on staging a home in a hot sellers’ market, then read on my friend. There is a story to tell, and it all leads to good things!
Let’s face it, the bottom line of selling a home is to make money. Generally, our home is our largest investment and asset. So why when it comes time to sell many looks at it the same way one would sell a car or even a piece of furniture? Clean it up, take nice pictures, put it out there for the public to see, and let the magic happen. I am here to tell you so much more needs to go into presenting your most valuable possession to the world. This is where the magic of professional staging comes in.
Did you know that homes we have staged in the Maryland/DC/Baltimore area on average sold for 14k over list price in 2021, with the highest being a whopping 102k over list price? That comes out to an average of 103% over the list price!
Of course, there is some sort of investment that goes into home staging along with other updates often necessary to present your home at its best: fresh paint, updating light fixtures, deep cleaning, new carpet the to-do list is long. And they all cost $. Then you tell me that I as the seller should spend even more to stage the house? Well, did you know that presenting your home at its absolute best from the start will generally allow you to list your home for top dollar compared to others in the area? Of course, many factors go into list price, but according to a national survey by the Real Estate Staging Association™, staged homes gave sellers an average of 7% ROI (return on investment). To sum it up, with the guidance of an experienced staging professional you are going to get more back than what you put in.
Since staged homes spend less time on the market – our staged homes averaged 10 days on the market while the area average was 18 in 2021- money is saved on carrying costs as well. Of course, there are many factors in play here regarding price and time on the market (but that is why you hired the best Realtor in the business right!?) Did I mention staged homes tend to glide right through the appraisal process because the home is showing its value and potential through www? The benefits of investing in staging are endless but why? Why does staging have this effect on buyers? Is it magic? Well, sort of.
No, we are not actual magicians, but professional stagers can do wonders for how a regular ol’ property is presented to the public. Staging is not just about putting things in a home to make it look pretty. It is a blend of identifying the ideal target buyer for a property, envisioning how they may use the home, and creating connection points so they do that connect. Professional home stagers also understand how the house will be photographed to ensure the furniture layout and flow will translate seamlessly through the photographer’s lens. According to the National Associations of Realtors™, 97% of buyers shop online before deciding to see a home. I am pretty sure this is closer to 100% by now, but remember your first impression may be your last impression so make it count!
Once you’ve piqued buyers’ interest from your online presence, seeing the home staged in real life is sure to seal the deal. Once you get them through the door, a 2021 National Association of Realtors study on home staging reported that 82% of buyer's agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Increasing the perceived value of the home while creating an emotional connection for buyers will not only set your listing apart from the other homes on the market but will yield higher offers.
Regardless of where the real estate market stands, staging is a crucial part of the selling process. Homeownership is one of the largest investments people will make in their lifetime. By creating spaces that buyers fall in love with, the negotiating power stays on the seller’s side throughout the buying process. Don’t leave money on the closing table! And remember that staging is always less expensive than your first price reduction!