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To Stage or Not to Stage: That is the Question

July 10 2018
July 10 2018

We are often asked by both clients and friends about whether or not it’s worth it to move out and have a home staged before it goes on the market. Over the years our instincts told us that staged homes do sell for higher prices than those that are not staged, but we decided to gather some hard facts to find out if the data supported what we believed to be true.

Here’s what we discovered:

We took a look at eight years of sales we’ve made for our clients and divided the homes into three categories: 1) homes where the owners moved out and had the vacant property staged. 2) homes where the owners moved out and left the rooms empty. 3) homes where the owners remained living in them with their own furniture during the sales process.

The fabulous news is that in this market any of the three categories will sell. But we did indeed discover that sellers will get higher prices for their property if they move out and stage their home. Here are the stats:

Category 1: vacant and staged sold at 108% of the asking price on average.

Category 2: vacant with no furniture in the home sold for 102% of the asking price on average.

Category 3: occupied and furnished with the owner’s furniture sold for 98% of the asking price on average.

So, is it worth it? That’s something owners have to determine for themselves, weighing the trouble of finding an alternative place to live during the process and the cost of staging, which runs on average between 4 to 6 thousand dollars, if you go full service.

Another thing to consider is how you want your home to present during the selling process. It’s important to take a look at the other properties on the market to see how they look compared to yours. We show our clients similar listings and have them ask themselves whether their house will look better or worse than the competition, which may help them decide whether to have their home staged or not.

If full-service staging seems too daunting for one reason or another, there are other options to consider. Here is a list of ways to help your home put its best foot forward—some with the help of an à la carte stager and others that can be done on your own.

• Have a stager work with your own furnishings and decorations to create the most staged look possible.

• Have a stager review your home and make suggestions for adding a few decorative items that will draw the eye of buyers who are considering your home. To keep the cost down, you can then purchase the items yourself rather than having the stager supply them. (The nice thing is, you get to keep the cool stuff you buy to make your new home look fabulous as well!)

• Hire a stager to furnish the main rooms as well as a master bedroom and leave the remaining bedrooms and bathrooms unstaged to save on the cost of having the home fully staged.

• Clean out your closets, leaving only two weeks worth of clothes inside to create the look of a more spacious closet area. Do the same with your bathroom cabinets, leaving only decorative towels and visually appealing lotions and soaps.

• Reduce the amount of food you have in your kitchen cabinets so they look spacious rather than crowded. Arrange the remaining food artfully to give the sense that cooking in the kitchen would be enjoyable and creative. Do the same with the cabinets that hold your pots and pans, plates and serving dishes.

• Remove excess furniture to give your home a spacious look and clean out your garage! You may need to fill a storage unit with your overflowing (but beloved) treasures during the sales process.

Every home has wonderful elements and we will help your home look its best so that you’ll get the best price possible. There’s a reason you fell in love with it, and the perfect buyer will fall in love with it too.

Wondering what work should be done in preparation for listing your home? Stay tuned for our next blog post titled: A Little Money In/A Lot of Money Out.