Does Home Staging Really Work? Some Basic Q&A on Home Staging.
There are a lot of questions that arise with staging your home prior to listing it for sale. The most important things to consider is what your main intention is. Here are some facts that I have uncovered, based on my experience as a professional home stager. Each house is different, and so each staging will be on a case by case basis.
What is Staging?
Staging is a process by which a home stager provides you with a list of instructions to make changes to the house prior to selling. This is usually for visual appeal, functionality, and to make the house more alluring to potential buyers. It is also done to shorten days on market, and increase sale price/value if at all possible. If your home is staged, yet it has had a price reduction since it was listed, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean the staging didn’t work. Your house still may sell for much faster or for more money than it would have without staging.
What are the chances?
Staging is not a definite guarantee. It may work to sell your home. However, in some cases, there may be other aspects of your home that are preventing a sale. In my experience, about 80-85% of homes sell for more money and much faster than they would have sold for “as is”, prior to staging.
What About Costs?
Depending on your budget, staging may be the best thing you can do to get your home sold faster and for more profit.
If the amount you owe on your mortgage is higher than your current value, it is safe to say that you should only implement minimal steps when staging your home, so as to keep costs down. This should be viewed as an investment. If you owe more than what the house is worth, you may be forced to short sale your home. Short sale means the listing agent must work with your mortgage institution to get them to accept a lower price than what you owe. In these cases, you have already defaulted on your mortgage, so chances are, money is tight if you’re unable to make payments. Typically, in these cases, staging only works to sell the home faster; not necessarily bring the home value high enough to clear the payoff. On the other hand, my best staging project raised the listing price by $50,000, and the buyer paid full price. So, can it bring you out of a short sale? It may. But each case is different.
How Much Should You Expect to Spend On Staging?
This depends on whether there are more serious issues in the home that you should be putting your money toward. If your roof is leaking into your bedroom, making your home sexy should be second priority to fixing the roof or other serious issues. If all major aspects of the home are fine, then a few hundred dollars may do the trick. I have had clients spend a couple of thousand dollars, and results brought them back much more than they expected.
Any home I have staged for a client always kept one very important rule as our priority. Keep any staging costs as low as possible, so we use a minimal investment to make a maximum impact. You should not necessarily assume in every case that the more money you spend, the more you get back. Keep costs low. If you have a high end luxury property, there is an exception to the rule. The staging changes must be made to “fit” the home. Larger homes will usually spend more money on pre-list staging. Homes that are much more dated than others may need to spend significantly more, if you are going for more of a “reno staging”. My renovation stagings in the past are more intensive, and have resulted in complete transformations. Renovation stagings can include mid grade renovations meant to fully update the home. A basic staging uses typically easier steps to modernize and make visual improvements.
Basic Staging: A few hundred dollars includes paint, accessories, furniture placement. A thorough cleaning is done as well.
Renovation Staging: A few thousand dollars and up, may include flooring, kitchens, baths, paint, and furniture placement.
My most successful stagings have sold typically within a couple of weeks on market for full price, or near full price.