Why You Need to Stage Your Home Before You Sell It

People have asked me many times whether the value of home staging is duly justified or not. I share two stories of different homeowners to help them see how valuable staging can be:

1. Homeowner #1 – I’ve worked with homeowner# 1 three times now. I asked her why she kept coming back to me and she told me this, “every time I work with you, I get to sell my house between 1 and 3 days”. This lady doesn’t believe in selling her home without staging it. In fact, she relates how there was a condo that was identical to her in a different floor of her building that sat unsold for more than a month. Her own condo was snapped up in 3 days. Her previous home sold in just one day because it was staged.  The condo that sat unsold for a month was shown to the public with no furniture inside.

2. Homeowner #2 – This homeowner didn’t use the services an interior designer to make any sort of enhancements. There were two other condos in homeowner#2’s townhouse development with the exact same layout and size as hers that were either renovated or staged. Both sold within two weeks. And this is despite the fact that they were both 15% more expensive than homeowner #2’s home. In fact, homeowner #2 had to reduce her selling price twice. But even then there were zero takers. Eventually she was forced to pull her listing off the market after three fruitless months of open houses. When I went to see homeowner #2’s home I saw that her walls that were painted in a (too) dark color, her floors needed to be re-stained (or completely replaced) and her furniture was very outdated. Her condo did not look appealing or inviting. The sad thing is that these defects were very easy to fix. Doing just a bit of repainting and some home staging would have enabled her to sell her place very easily.

The most important takeaways for anyone to pick up from these two stories are:

1. People need to be irresistibly drawn to a space – When people fall in love with a home that’s for sale and start putting together color and decorating schemes in their head, they’re just a few steps away from signing on the dotted line. Staged homes are more attractive. Unfurnished spaces simply don’t encourage people to dream or get excited about buying.

2. Cluttered or messy homes are huge deal-killers – People easily get turned off when they come across a home that is shabbily presented or simply looks tired.  Show them a professionally designed (or staged) space and they’ll be ready to open their wallets and seriously consider buying your space.

3. Kitchen and bathroom renos pay for themselves – If you’re considering seriously enhancing your space consider renovating your kitchen and your bathroom. You’ll definitely get your money back and sell your home much, much quicker.

Photo by Christopher Barson

 

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