Setting the Stage of Your Home
First impressions are a big deal. We’ve all experienced a cringe-worthy moment or two when either we made a bad first impression or witnessed someone else stumble through the initial moments of an introduction. Researchers say that most people draw a solid first impression during the first seven seconds of meeting someone, which doesn’t offer us much time to get it right.
Unfortunately, homes are similarly judged. When putting your house on the market, chances are buyers are going to draw conclusions about whether or not your house is one they would consider buying in the first few seconds they step through the front door. If buyers form an initial impression so quickly, why not put your best foot forward and consider staging your home?
Like other aspects of selling a home, staging your home is not a requirement for selling, but spending a little time and money staging can increase your sale price by an estimated 1-5% and can also shorten the time your house is on the market. A higher price and a shorter time on the market, means more money in your pocket.
Still on the staging fence? Before deciding if staging is for you, here are three types of staging to consider: consultation, full staging, and virtual staging.
The first and least complicated form of staging is through consultation. During a consultation, a stager will walk through your home and make recommendations for rearranging, cleaning, and tidying your home, using the pieces you already own. The initial walkthrough may include storing items (if there are any spaces that could benefit from fewer pieces of furniture and decor). Consultants may also recommend inexpensive opportunities to freshen up spaces by painting walls, touching up baseboards, or other updates that will appeal to buyers.
Another advantage of hiring a staging consultant has to do with trends in home ownership. A professional stager will know what the current buyers are looking for in a home, like what spaces are on a buyers ‘must have’ list. For larger homes, these trends may mean removing a bed from a bedroom and styling that room as an office or an exercise space. For smaller homes, it may mean reconfiguring a den as a multipurpose space. Regardless of current trends, a staging professional will guide you on everything from curb appeal to the best smells (chocolate chip cookies, anyone?) to help create the full experience for house hunters.
If you’ve already bought or built a new home and your old home is empty, your REALTOR® might suggest full staging. Full staging is what you’ve probably seen on your favorite television decorating show. The stager brings in full sets of furniture and creates the appearance of a lived-in home for buyers.
Full staging is not often done in the midwest as supply and demand for furniture sets and decor can be difficult to meet. Additionally, staging a full house can be expensive, but if you’re desperate to sell and struggling to interest buyers, full staging might be a possible option.
A final possible option is virtual staging. Virtual staging is when a real estate agent hires an online decorator to photoshop furniture into photos of your current home or photoshop clutter out of photos of your home. Depending on the skill of the editor, it is often difficult to tell virtual staging from the real thing, which is a nice advantage of the medium.
Another advantage of virtual staging is it requires very little effort on the part of the seller. Because the work is happening online, it means no heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) for the seller. Virtual staging is also less expensive than full staging as editors often charge per image or space, so the seller can decide how many images of the house to stage.
Whether choosing virtual staging, full staging, or consultation, all types of staging offer options that will help you sell your home faster and for more money. Still on the fence? Hop off the fence, call a staging professional, and create a fabulous first impression for your first open house.