Is staging your home for the market really worth the time and effort? When potential buyers come to view your home, you want them to see themselves living there. They need to feel at home, so many personal items around the house can be distracting, but completely bare rooms can also come off as cold and impersonal. Home staging can be the solution.
Staging a home means preparing a property for sale by temporarily furnishing and decorating various rooms to make it more attractive. It’s possible to stage a home yourself. However, you can also work with home staging companies that take care of it for you, and your real estate agent may be able to make a recommendation or provide a list of referrals.
The cost of staging a home depends on a few factors, including where you live, the size of the home, how long it needs to be staged, and the extent of the staging. According to HomeAdvisor, many homeowners pay between $631 and $2,304 to have their homes professionally staged. However, full furniture rentals for extended periods can cost $6,000 or more. The national average home staging cost is $1,426.
Some tips for staging include the following:
- Get a consultation first. If you have a tight budget and want some ideas on how to stage your home, book a consultation with a professional stager. For a few hundred dollars, the stager will perform a walk-through of the home, work with the agent to understand the local market, and then detail how each room is better staged. You’re not under any obligation to hire the stager, and you can pick any of their suggestions.
- Do a deep clean. The last thing you want is for grimy baseboards and dirty bathrooms to detract from a beautiful staging job. Before you move in the staging items, have your home deep cleaned so that it’s move-in ready. You might want to hire a professional cleaning service to handle this step.
- Conduct a smell test. People easily get used to the smell of their home and don’t notice a difference until they’ve left the house for a while and walk back in and sometimes, something smells off. This can be a deterrent to a prospective homebuyer walking in for the first time. It’s also why real estate agents will bake cookies or use cookie-scented candles when staging empty homes to make it feel more homely.
- Choose one or two key rooms. Staging an entire house can get expensive, especially if you end up renting furniture for a few months. But you don’t necessarily need to stage every room. Instead, focus on a couple of key rooms that are the most important, such as the kitchen and master bedroom.
- Stage according to budget and lifestyle. If you’re selling a cozy beach cottage, it wouldn’t make sense to stage it with luxury leather furniture and expensive art pieces. Similarly, if you’re trying to sell a modern condo near downtown, a shabby-chic look probably isn’t going to inspire buyers. Think about the general budget of prospective buyers and what their ideal living space would look like.
- Keep it minimal. You don’t need to fully furnish rooms as you would if someone were actually going to be living there. Instead, you want to provide the property with a certain aesthetic and general feel of hominess. Keep the number of items in each room to a minimum, and place them away from walls. Decorate the walls and shelves sparingly. If you do paint walls, use light, simple colors to help open up the space.
The benefits of staging a home include: helping your listing stand out online; it makes your home feel aspirational; it can show ways to use extra rooms and funky floorplans; and it can increase the selling price.
If you don’t want to invest the time and money in staging your home but still want to improve your odds of a successful sale, there are some other steps to consider. Including: focus on decluttering, opt for a virtual staging, and enhance your curb appeal. Also, rather than a full staging, focus on relatively quick and easy ways to brighten up your home, such as giving walls and baseboards a fresh coat of paint, changing out the backsplash in your kitchen, and upgrade the cabinet hardware in your bathrooms.