Is Home Staging Right for You?

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If you’ve bought or sold a home recently (or you’re a really big fan of HGTV) you may be familiar with the concept of “staging” a home.  If it’s been a while since you’ve bought or sold, you may not know anything at all about home staging.  So what is home staging and what does it mean for you if you’re trying to sell your home?

What is staging?  Staging refers to using design so a home shows and is marketed in the best light possible.  Staging encompasses a wide range of activities.  Sometimes staging involves using a homeowners’ own furnishings, artwork, and accessories but decluttering and rearranging.  Sometimes staging involves changing paint colors and adding accessories and small decorative items.  Sometimes staging is quite elaborate and involves renting entire rooms of furniture.

Why use staging?   Staging is meant to put your property in the best possible light for buyers.  Staging a home, even at its most basic level, helps give a polished feeling to a home that can make buyers feel that a home has been better maintained than a home that doesn’t show as nicely.  Staged homes tend to photograph better and may lead to more showings and faster sales, which often equates to higher sales prices.

Is staging expensive?  Basic staging that doesn’t involve renting furniture can be relatively inexpensive, and many agents (myself included) will offer this type of professional staging as part of their marketing package.  Furniture rental packages can cost several thousand dollars and are usually an additional expense for a seller.

Does my property need staging?  I’m a firm believer that staging helps sell homes.  While I’ve worked with some buyers who can easily look past personalized decor and clutter, many buyers cannot.  I’ve even worked with buyers who didn’t want a home that they’d need to paint.  I think that basic staging should be a part of most agents’ marketing package and I’d encourage you to work with an agent who offers staging.   Many subdivisions in the Triangle are quite large and feature very similar homes and may have several listings on the market at once.  If a buyer can easily find a similar layout in the same location, then staging may be what gives your home a leg up.  That said, there are a few situations where staging may be unnecessary.  If a home is likely to appeal only to an investor, for example, it may not need to be staged.

But I thought I had great taste!  Staging your home doesn’t mean it wasn’t absolutely lovely before you put it on the market.  In fact, there are many gorgeous homes that I’ve seen that could benefit greatly from professional staging.  In fact, one of the main goals of staging is minimizing beautiful furnishings, artwork, and accessories so that buyers can focus on what they’d be buying.  Additionally, staging is about neutralizing your home so that you don’t give a buyer a reason not to buy your property.  When my husband and I bought our home, I appreciated that the walls were in a neutral palette that was easy to paint over. When we moved in, I painted our dining room a dark but tasteful teal.  I love my teal dining room and get compliments on it all the time, but if we ever sell our home I plan to paint it a shade that may be a little more boring, but won’t turn off someone who doesn’t appreciate my teal dining room as much as I do.