Wouldn’t you like more money for the home you need to sell? Wouldn’t it be great if it sold fast? Statistics from several sources show that paying to get your home staged could help you succeed at both of these.
The Home Staging Resource 2018 survey of HSR Certified Professional Home Stagers divulged that 85 percent of the 4,2000 staged homes saw at least 6-25 percent more from the sale of than a home in the same market that was not professionally staged.
The National Association of REALTORS’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging survey revealed 39 percent of sellers’ agents found that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.
“Also, staged homes look better in online photos than non-staged homes, resulting in more showings, which is a definite advantage since nearly everyone starts their search for a home online,” says Susan Evans, owner of The Omaha Home Staging Company. She also works as a realtor at NPDodge Real Estate in Omaha, and is owner and new construction interior design specialist for Huntington Homes.
Home staging creates a warm, inviting feel for buyers that makes them think, “I want to live here,” she explains. It also maximizes the perceived value of the home in the buyer’s eye, using cohesive arrangements of current furniture and home decor trends. In vacant homes, staging is even more important. Even if a house is in perfect condition, it still feels cold and empty when vacant, and doesn’t give buyers a feeling of “home,” Evans says.
For her first staging, she bought some furniture, wall art and décor.
“It sold the first day on the market with multiple offers, and my staging career was born. I now have a 2,000 square foot warehouse full of furniture and home decor and three staging assistants,” she adds.
Since nine out of 10 people now start their search for a home online, you really only have a few seconds to make that important first impression with online photos of your home, she adds.
What misconceptions do people have about home staging?
Evans says a common misconception about home staging is that homeowners think they should put their house on the market as is, and if it doesn’t sell, then invest in having it staged. However, the most opportune time to sell a home and sell it for the highest price is the first thirty days on the market, she says.
People also think that they can’t afford to have their home staged or don’t want to spend the money on it. It’s worth the money, though, as most results show.
How much can home staging cost?
In the Omaha area, home staging for a vacant 1,800 square foot, 3 bedroom/2 bath home runs approximately $1,500. If a home is occupied, the price would vary depending on how much of the seller’s own furniture and decor can be used and how many additional staging items need to be brought in to help the home look it’s best, Evans adds.
Before picking a stager, be sure to find out what the cost would be for your home. “I would ask the stager to come to my house to give an estimate of home staging cost as it is difficult to determine how much staging a home will need over the phone,” she says.
What questions should you ask potential home stagers?
You should ask a home stager if they have had any home staging or interior design training, and how many years of experience they have. Ask if they have their own inventory of furniture and decor or if they only work with the furniture and decor that you already own.
Many buyers also ask if staging a home will help it sell faster. ”This is a question I periodically get asked, and the answer is yes,” Evans explains. “I often get called in to stage and sell a home that has been on the market for several months and has not sold.”
The sellers feel like their first agent has not done a good job of marketing their home. After Evans stages and lists the house, it usually sells in a couple of weeks. This goes back to the online photos looking better after staging, which results in more house showings, and, when buyers walk through the house, the staged home stands out from the other competing homes for sale.
You should also ask if the stager has a website and a Facebook business and Instagram page with user reviews and gallery photos of their work. This will indicate if the stager is experienced and operating professionally. If they do not at least have a website, I would be concerned with their level of experience and professionalism. Also, ask how many homes they stage per month.
What should you be looking for in a home stager?
Check out their past work. You should be looking to see if the furniture and decor that are being used look modern and up to date, and if it is of good quality. Also look to see if the staging makes the rooms look inviting and polished. If you were a potential home buyer, would you want to schedule a showing if you saw these photos online?
Also see how quickly they can schedule your home for staging. If someone says they won’t be able to stage your home for a month, you may be losing valuable marketing time. They should be able to complete the job in one day if it is an occupied home and in a few days if it is a larger, vacant home, she says.
Can home stagers use your home furniture and accessories to complete a look, if you have good enough stuff?
“I try to work with as much of the homeowner’s own furniture and decor as possible and bring in additional furniture and decor as needed to complete the staged look,” Evans says. “In many cases, sellers have too much furniture in every room and we end up moving things out and rearranging to give rooms a more cohesive look.”