To Stage or Not To Stage: Home Staging Explained

We've all seen beautiful pictures of homes that are up for sale, with furniture that accentuates the room, curtains that create the perfect silhouette, and rugs that make you feel right at home.

Say hello to home staging, the art of prepping a home for sale to make it look beautifully livable to a prospective buyer.

To stage or not to stage...

Consider these two homes located at 501 Beale Street.

Suite #6D (right) is beautifully staged, showing you exactly how every corner of the house can be utilized, making it easy for you to see it as your own home.

On the other hand, suite #14B (left) is completely empty and exactly how you would get the house, in case you were to buy it. Which home would you want to buy?

According to research, the average days on market (DOM) for a staged home are only 10.3, compared to 84.6 days for a non-staged home.

In fact, in our recent survey, 57% of users said that they would rather look at a home that's staged and a whopping 78% of users agreed that staging makes the home buying decision easier.  

An expert weighs in:

“With homes selling so quickly right now, you might be thinking staging doesn’t matter but it does now more than ever. Due to the pandemic and increase in online home browsing, staging adds so much value and paints a picture for buyers. It’s crucial in providing scale for those who can’t view homes in person as well as creating a vision of their home life experience,” says Susan Kelly, a certified home stager.

Buyers can have a hard time imagining themselves in a home that has just bare walls. Setting up the home to show what it may look like, can help them imagine the living space. From highlighting the best aspects of the home to utilizing a small corner, staging can be the difference between the first viewer making the offer to the thirtieth one.  

“I was recently showing two homes - House A and House B - two very similar homes directly across from each other in a hot-selling neighborhood. House A was the better house (better floor plan, two stories, and more square footage) however it was empty and unstaged. House B was smaller but it was well-staged with cool furniture strategically placed. 

House B got 11 offers, including the first person who viewed it, and went for $25,000 over asking. House A, despite being on the market before House B, sat for weeks before being sold,” mentions Kelly.

In fact, in her experience, it’s important to disclose that a house is not staged to potential buyers before showing up for a viewing (if using virtual staging), as it can annoy some people. 

Home staging does, however, come at a cost. On average, professionally staging a home can cost somewhere between $3,500 to $4,500 a month. Given that 44% of buyers’ agents feel that staging improves the dollar value of the home, it might be a good investment. 

It all comes down to two questions:

1. How quickly do you want the sale to happen?

2. Is the additional investment in staging something that you can bear, considering that it could help you sell a property for, or over, asking price?

The answer to both these questions can potentially help you decide whether staging your house makes sense.

READ NEXT: Why Are Farmhouse Style Homes So Popular?

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