Much of sales has to do with presentation. Stockers make sure supermarket shelves are properly “faced,” boutique associates keep clothes uniformly folded and hung, and porters at car dealerships wash the cars on a weekly basis, all in an effort to make their products look their best. Selling a home is no different.
The process of making your home look its best is called “staging,” and it can add considerable value to your home. Don’t believe us? A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that staged homes sell for 10 to 20% more than un-staged ones. When you’re dealing with price points in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, 10 to 20% is nothing to sneeze at.
But just what is staging, and why it such an important part of the home-selling process? We break down the logistics of staging and its proven positive effects on home values below.
What is Home Staging?
Tidying up your home and property before you sell is a given. But home staging takes things a step further by not just getting rid of clutter and blemishes, but getting rid of the sense of identity your home has taken on in the time that you’ve lived there. This allows prospective buyers to better envision themselves in the home, while also making sure the home appeals to the widest possible portion of your target demographic.
Some home-sellers choose to stage their homes themselves, but unless you have a keen insight into market demands and a keen eye for interior design, self-staging probably isn’t going to make too drastic an improvement on your returns. Either way, there are some steps that, whether you invest in a professional staging or tackle the project yourself, should be carried out to properly stage your home. You or your stager will want to execute the following:
- Enhance color coordination. If you’ve painted the home in neutral tones (see “Presale Preparedness” in our Seller’s Guide), you can complement them with splashes of color here and there.
- One way to add these splashes of color is by keeping the house stocked with fresh flowers at all times.
- Hang mirrors. They not only look pleasing aesthetically, but mirrors can create the illusion of more space as well.
- Light everything you can with both artificial and natural light accentuates your home’s features and makes the whole atmosphere more inviting.
- Incorporate pleasing odors with potpourri or oil diffusors. Beyond the obvious fact that nobody is going to buy a stinky house, pleasant aromas have a relaxing effect on buyers, making them more likely to make offers.
The Psychology of Home Staging
Why do these seemingly simple improvements affect a home’s value and salability so dramatically? Thanks to polling and other forms of research, we have plenty of data to help us understand the forces at play.
- A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that staged homes spend an average of 30 to 50% fewer days on the market. For sellers who oftentimes have tight deadlines for their sale, cutting their days-on-market by up to half is an obvious advantage.
- A less obvious advantage to spending less time on the market is that sellers are more likely to get market value for their home if they sell it quickly. Studies have shown that the 3rd and 4th weeks after your home goes up for sale are when offer amounts peak. Staging your home can help you sell within this 3-4 week window.
- And of course, until you sell, you’ll still be paying on your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, etc., all while (as in the case of sellers who relocate during the selling process) not using the home.
- Another study by the NAR surveyed homebuyers and found that 81% claimed to find it easier to picture themselves living in the home if it had been staged.
- Home Staging is all the more necessary if your home is empty. Sellers who have already relocated, either to their new home or to a temporary one, leave behind an uninviting shell of a home to be viewed by potential buyers. Empty homes appear colder, smaller, and make less of an emotional connection than furnished homes. In these cases, making the home inviting might require a full décor and furniture staging package. But the investment usually pays off. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association concluded that buyers spend about 70% longer while viewing staged homes than empty ones.
Knowing whether or not, and to what degree, to stage your home in order to make the
best ROI requires a strong familiarity with the local market. Luckily for you, the Authentic Real Estate Team are Orlando market experts. And our comprehensive network of vendors includes all of Central Florida’s best home stagers.