“Staged home sell faster and for more money,” says Barb Schwartz, the creator of home staging and owner of one of the largest home staging accreditation programs in the country, Stagedhomes. With the growing popularity of hit HGTV shows like Designed to Sell, Get it Sold, and Secrets that Sell, home staging has become one of the most popular marketing tools in real estate today and in some areas it’s as expected as receiving a home inspection. Home staging is preparing a home for the real estate market by making all necessary repairs and creating a neutral environment that anyone can visualize living in. This is achieved using techniques such as decluttering, furniture rearrangement, color correction, careful accessorizing, and highlighting a homes best assets and architectural features.
Stagers believe no seller should sell their home before staging it and provide some interesting facts and statistics to back up their claims.
1. A 2007 survey of Accredited Staging Professionals by training company StagedHomes found that 94% of staged homes sold on average in one month or less. Homes that were staged spent 80% less time on the market than those that were not staged. It should also be considered that market, location, price, and condition all play a role in the successful sale of a home and these statistics would reflect a not only carefully planned staging but also strong pricing.
2. Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a home, according to Home Staging Resource, another large home staging training program. That means 90% of buyers cannot visualize size and scale. They need furnishings in place to give them a frame of reference.
3. It’s easier for Realtors to show and sell their buyers a staged home because they know the property will be in pristine condition. Realtors are often more prone to attend broker open houses because staging creates a buzz and excitement in the industry. Thus increasing showings.
4. Professional Staging attracts the eye and creates a psychological appeal that draws buyers away from the negatives of a home and puts the focus on the positives.
5. Pictures and virtual tours are more enticing when staged. Powerful pictures will attract more buyers to a home when placed on the MLS and Realtor.com.
6. Staged home often appraise at a higher value. A 2007 HomeGain survey of 2,000 practitioners found that the return of investment from home staging was as much as 343%.
7. Providing a professional and objective eye, home stagers can tell a seller what will appeal to the current market and make suggestions such as remove grandma’s pottery collection so that sellers will notice what they are buying, not what a seller isn’t selling.
8. By neutralizing a property, buyers can visualize themselves living in a home, rather than the current owners.
Some skeptics, like Ana Zawadzki, believe a home can sell itself. “If a buyer likes the home enough,” says Zawadzki, “They’ll buy it no matter what it looks like.” Despite skepticism, the Zawadzki’s allowed Simplicity Home Staging & Design to help them stage their home. When their home had an offer the second day on the market, the family was convinced, “Staging really works.”
Home staging is not decorating or interior design. Though some of the same design principals are used, the objectives are actually the opposite. Designers are personalizing a space while stagers are depersonalizing and neutralizing to help a home appeal to any buyer. Buyers considering staging their home, should consider consulting with a professional home stager who can guide them with the proper techniques to help their home look its best for a sale.
Darlene White is an Accredited Staging Professional and owner of Simplicity Home Staging & Design, a home staging firm that specializes in northern New Jersey homes. She is also a journalist and the staging correspondent for Fi