If you’re selling your home, you have more than likely heard the term “home stager” mentioned a time or two. According to StagedHomes.com, the average unstaged listing sits on the market for 145 days while a professionally staged listing a mear 29 days. If your Realtor® has suggested bringing in a Home Stager, he or she has done so because they believe your home is definitely “sell-able” but not currently appealing to the widest range of buyers possible- in other words, it isn’t living up to its full potential. Lest you think this is a ploy by said Realtor® to get more money out of you, here are a few facts about home staging:
* Realtors® do not usually receieve commissions or other kickbacks from the home stagers they refer. While a Real Estate company may have a stager on staff, they are not “pushed” on the seller–or at least, they shouldn’t be.
* Staging is not the same as decorating. I have yet to stage a home where purchasing new items was necessary. Staging is the task of de-cluttering, rearranging and presenting your rooms in the very best light possible.
* Staging BEFORE the home is listed is ideal. Your Realtor® should take photos of your home for his website and those photos should be of the staged rooms.
* The longer your home is on the market the less money you will get from its purchase.
* A potential buyer has typically made up their mind about a home within the first 15 seconds of seeing it. Landscaping and foyers matter more than you think!!
* In addition to staging your home on the spot, a stager may also suggest upgrades that they believe will add value to your home. You can discuss these upgrades with your Realtor® to see if the ROI is worth it for you and if you can realistically pull off the improvements given your time and budget allowance.
* Home staging is more than cleaning the house and moving a few pieces of furniture. It can be highly emotional for the homeowner to not only have strangers traipsing through their personal spaces day after day but to have their beloved belongings boxed up and put away. Hiring a professional means you get an objective perspective on your home’s appearance; someone who isn’t attached to your collection of pillows with funny quotes so they have no problem putting them in storage.
* Many claim to be Home Stagers and charge anywhere from $1800-$5000 to work their “magic” on a single home. While there are times when this kind of money is well-spent (for a remodel or imperative home repair), be aware of what you’re really getting. Make sure they are trained professionals, licensed, insured, etc. Look for someone who is listed as ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), CID (Certified Interior Decorator), or ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) to name a few options. Designing Diva Interiors LLC has staged homes for a fee ranging between $150-$400 with game-changing results for the seller.
USA Today wrote an article on this topic in 2006 and the discoveries discussed hold true in today’s market as well. So the next time you’re wishing you could be done with selling your home and just get on with life, take a good look around your room with the personal photographs and rug covered with pet hair. Waving that white flag and bringing in a little professional guidance might be the best thing for that daily headache of yours.