If you’re a real estate agent that deals with sellers and listing homes, chances are you’ve had a seller ask you if they should stage their home before they list it.
A staged home can be more appealing to potential buyers, by helping them conceptualize how the space would look if they lived there, and how they would plan out the space with their own furniture. But is staging really worth it? Well, it depends.
Are You in a Hot Market?
If inventory is really low and homes are selling like hotcakes, chances are, you don’t need to stage the home. In fact, staging the home might take longer than it takes to get the home under contract. This definitely varies by location.
Some local markets are slammed with eager buyers and not enough homes to keep up with demand, while some aren’t moving nearly as quick. If you’re in one of those really hot markets where homes are moving really fast, you might want to consider skipping the staging.
Is the Home Vacant?
It isn’t always the case, but sometimes a big, empty home can come across as cold or unwelcoming. When you’re trying to get buyers to, well, feel at home, this probably isn’t the vibe you’re looking for. Staging can help those potential buyers to visualize it as space where they can sit down and relax after a long day at work.
The more they can see themselves in the home, the more likely they are to write an offer. More than 75% of buyer’s agents have said that home staging makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualize the property as a future home, and staged homes sell faster and for more money in some markets.
Is the Home in Tip Top Shape?
Vacant homes without staging might also present a challenge when it comes to defects. Without rooms full of furniture and other decor to help distract or hide, defects are much more noticeable. For instance, if the carpet has seen better days, the walls or baseboards could use a fresh coat of paint, or there’s a crack in the ceiling, the buyer’s eye is going to go straight to it.
How Does the Home Look in Photos?
Whether the home is currently occupied or is vacant, does it look good in photos? Those listing photos are going to be a potential buyer’s first impression of the home. About 95% of people use the internet to search for and look at homes before seeing them in person. You know what they say about first impressions!
If the home looks great in the photos, you may not need to worry about any staging. On the other hand, if the seller’s wall of lifelike dolls isn’t looking so great, or a big empty home with an open floor plan is just looking cold, you might want to think about the possibility of staging.
Is the Home Cluttered?
If your seller’s home is cluttered, it may be hard for a prospective buyer to see themselves in the home. There needs to be visual space for them to imagine their own belongings and themselves there. A cluttered home won’t look great in listing photos.
It can also make the property appear smaller and depending on the level of clutter, it may also make it hard for buyers to get around the home. If this is the case, you may want to think about calling in a professional to help stage the home and make it more marketable.