You’ve seen them on HGTV. From Staged to Perfection to Flip or Flop, many of today’s real estate based reality TV programs depict a big return around home staging. But is it all just for show?
In essence, home staging is the act of making a home attractive to the highest number of potential buyers. The goal is to sell the home quicker and for more money. But for the purpose of this article, I’m not just talking about getting rid of clutter and pet mess. I’m talking about hiring a professional stager to make your home feel like a model home.
I have very strong opinions about staging based on my experience of working with both buyers and sellers. I have seen my buyers fall in love with and pay more for homes that are beautifully presented.
When I work with sellers, I include a complimentary consultation with a Park City professional stager. I pay for the consultation and consider it a “marketing expense” as I would not schedule photos of a home before it looked its best. The word “staging” can create an image of “fake”. I don’t recommend that type of staging. To me, staging is essential for market preparation. I know what makes a buyer fall in love with a house, and I make sure my clients’ homes are easy to fall in love with.
I believe home staging makes a positive impact in a number two ways:
First, when viewing a staged home, it’s easier for potential buyers to picture themselves in the home. The clutter (sight, smell and mess) of everyday life is gone and the buyers are left walking through a showroom of sorts. The home will flow better as the stager removes furnishings that block views and lines of sight.
Second, a staged home looks much better in real estate photos because the buyers can see the home (instead of the furnishings). And excellent real estate photos are critical, as today’s buyers begin their search for homes online. A well presented home that is professionally photographed will generate more showings.
Which Rooms to Stage
A professional stager will help with everything from ensuring light bulbs match, painting some walls, improving the landscaping, and cleaning. Other common activities are to rearrange furnishings to improve flow and remove old furniture, fixtures and artwork.
The living room tends to be the most important room to stage, followed by the kitchen, master bedroom, dining room and bathrooms. If there is an outdoor living space, it’s important to stage that as well.
The Costs of Home Staging
The cost of staging a home depends on whether the home already has furniture or needs to be completely furnished. Beautifully furnished homes present much better than empty homes and will sell faster and for more money. If a home is already furnished and decluttering and furniture placement are required, most home stagers will charge by the hour. The investment in market preparation always pays enormous dividends at the point of sale.
Home Staging Services in Park City
Home staging services are offered by individuals, interior design firms and professional home staging companies. It all starts with a consultation where furniture, flow, clutter and other needs are assessed. Remember, staging is not decorating. Decorating personalizes a home. Staging depersonalizes a home. It is essential that the proper professional is consulted. I use staging companies that furnish a home with everything from couches to reading glasses on a book. I also use staging professionals who have an excellent eye for furniture placement. I would not bring a home to market without enlisting the services of a qualified professional. The return on investment is enormous. To view videos of homes I have recently listed and staged, click here.
The home at 1468 April Mountain was completely staged with furnishings. The home at 8030 Glenwild (pictured above) had furniture rearranged. Both homes present beautifully and I am proud to market both of these listings.
What are your thoughts on staging and market preparation?