The Importance of Staging Your Home

The Importance of Staging Your Home

Margie Brooke & Vivienne DeMare, MV Enterprises

It’s no secret that first impressions make a big difference in real estate. Staging creates a more neutral environment that showcases the true potential of the house, making it easier for buyers to envision themselves living there without a complete makeover. Sellers have a lot to gain by ensuring the buyers’ first impressions are as positive as can be. Staging makes that possible.

“Staging Statistics

The (U.S.) National Associations of Realtors (NAR) 2021 Profile of Home Staging report indicates:

  • Forty-seven percent of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home.
  • Eighty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • Staging the living room was found to be very important for buyers (46%), followed by staging the master bedroom (43%), and staging the kitchen (35%).
  • Twenty-three percent of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.

The report has a great deal of information about the benefits of staging homes for sale. Here are specific statistics related to home staging and its role in successful home sales.

  1. Buyers Know What They Want
    Seventy-six percent of real estate agent respondents to the NAR survey on home staging said that buyers know what they want before they begin their search. They had an idea of where they wanted to live (81%) and they were heavily influenced by the look of homes staged on TV shows (10%).
  2. Staging Showcases Potential
    According to 82% of respondents, staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home. Thirty-nine percent indicated that staging would positively impact the home value if the home was decorated in the buyers’ taste. Home décor is highly personal and always subjective. While you can’t predict what potential buyers’ tastes will be, you can stage a home for broad appeal that will attract more buyers.
  3. It’s an Online Market
    Even before the pandemic, a strong online presence has been critical to the success of home sales. The current situation has made having a variety of quality media to showcase a home even more important.
    Personal items, favorite furnishings and the general clutter of a lived-in space generally doesn’t photograph as well as a neat, thoughtfully staged interior space. It’s easy to see how staging plays a starring role in enabling photographers to capture the essences and potential of a home.
  4. Some Rooms are More Important to Stage Than Others
    Buyers focus on the areas of a home where they are likely to spend the most time. The most important are living room (46%), master bedroom (43%) and kitchen (35%). How those rooms are presented has an impact on buyer impressions.
    Knowing which rooms are important for buyers – and knowing which to avoid – allows sellers to prioritize them using staging to make the biggest impact for the least amount of effort. This is especially helpful for sellers who may have limited resources for a complete staging.
  5. More Bang from the Staging Buck
    Staging can actually increase the value of your home. Twenty-three percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1% – 5% as compared to other similar homes that were not staged. Sellers’ agents responded that staging a home increased the value between 6% – 10%. Virtually none of the respondents reported that staging had a negative impact on the value of a home.
  6. Staging Can Help a Home Sell Faster
    it’s a known fact that the longer a home stays on the market, the harder it is to sell. According to sellers’ agent respondents, 31% reported that staging a home greatly decreased the amount of time the home was on the market, while 17% stated that staging a home did not affect the time on market. Only 10 percent of respondents reported that staging a home greatly increased the time a home was on the market.
    In real estate, selling a home faster is definitely better for everyone involved. Staging highlights the potential and eliminates the heavy mental lifting often required to envision a home as one’s own. It has the potential to increase value and reduce time on the market. It’s easy to see from the points listed above why staging has become an integral part of the sales process.

Staging the Home

Staging can be done by the seller, the sellers’ agent or a professional staging service.  Both seller and agent can benefit from the expertise of a professional staging service, especially if it results in an increase in the home’s value.

Tips for DIY Staging:

  • Conduct a thorough walkthrough of the entire property beginning at the street entrance to the front door and all the way around the outside, and all throughout the interior of all buildings on the property. The curb appeal is a potential buyer’s first impression. What does your property look like from the street? Using a critical eye, take in what you see as though it belonged to someone else. Make notes of any maintenance, repair work or debris needing removal. Inside, remove shoes, umbrellas and any clutter. Consider a new door mat or add a cheery potted plant.
  • Consider having a landscape service do a thorough cleanup of the yard; trim shrubs, fertilize the lawn, remove anything that is not adding to the overall landscape. Perhaps even plant some flowers.
  • Remove as many knickknacks as possible, as well as any personal items such as photographs. Remove anything that shows your own political or religious affiliations. Remember that the goal of staging is to allow potential buyers to visualize themselves and their things in your home.
  • Make any needed repairs. Include anything not in good working order, chips and dings, missing tiles or baseboards, squeaky door hinges, nail holes in the walls, etc.
  • Clean all buildings thoroughly, especially the home itself. Clear out all the cobwebs and give your home a floor to ceiling Spring cleaning. Include the light fixtures, baseboards and tile grout. Perhaps consider having it professionally done. Have the rugs steam cleaned. Toss curtains in the dryer to remove dust and freshen them up.
  • Freshen up. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to make your home look clean, fresh and up to date. Consider a fresh coat both inside and out. Consider a neutral color anywhere you’ve personalized with your favorite colors.
  • This is a good time to clean out the closets of unused items such as clothing, shoes and even linens. Neatly fold and arrange what’s left to showcase your storage options to their best advantage. Consider packing up some items in anticipation of your move.
  • Dress your windows for success. Consider updating your window treatments, especially if they are not a neutral color. One of the easiest ways to brighten a house is with white sheers. White says clean and bright!
  • Check your lighting. Warm-toned lighting gives a home a welcoming glow, while cool lighting can feel a bit harsh. Replace any burned out bulbs or non-working fixtures.
  • All rooms are not equal. Focus on the main spaces: kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bathrooms. Cleanliness in the kitchen and baths is extremely important. Declutter the counter tops. Consider packing away rarely used appliances. Put supplements and medications in a cupboard. Consider fresh bed and bath linens in a neutral color. Again, white is always clean and bright in a bathroom. Choose something warm and welcoming for the bedroom.”

If this list seems daunting or you simply don’t have the time or ability to get your home and property ready to make the best impression possible, we are here to help. Contact us at MV Enterprises for a staging consultation today – marvienterprises@gmail.com.

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