For most people, selling their home and moving is a BIG deal. For most of us, the equity in our home is our most significant financial investment. So when the time comes to sell, you’re looking to get the most money from your property in order to move on to the next chapter of your life, as well as keep disruption to your household to a minimum.
You’ve heard stories from your friends, your mother-in-law — maybe you’re going through this yourself right now — with a parade of endless showings, maybe a few “low-ball” offers and mounting frustration with: (circle one) your agent/ your neighbor/ the market/ your spouse.
It’s no secret, selling a home can be STRESSFUL. So, how do we as reasonable, good people who just want to MOVE already, get a home sold fast and for top dollar?
The answer is staging.
Staging your home for sale is arguably as important in the sale of your home as putting it on the MLS, and should be part of any serious listing plan. In my opinion, it is the most under-utilized but MOST important component of marketing a property.
As a real estate agent, I see the difference first-hand. A staged home consistently sells for closer to asking price and spends less time on the market than one that has not been staged. In fact, I believe in staging so much, that I personally stage all my listings at my own expense, and even launched a separate staging company (www.restylehomestaging.com) to help folks get the highest possible price for their home.
Think of staging as an investment, and one with darn good margins at that. Staging consistently provides AT LEAST a 100% return on investment (and usually more like 300%-400%). A study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that for every $100 invested in staging, the return is around $400 added on to the value of the home. For example, if you spend $500 to $2,500 on staging, the added perceived value to the property can be $2,000 – $10,000.
NAR reported in that same study that an average price reduction is between 10-20%. For example, a $400,000 house can be reduced by $40,000 – $80,000 as it remains on the market. In essence, a $500-$2,500 investment in staging to can save you from from a costly price reduction of $20,000 or more if your property doesn’t sell quickly.
This is just one example of how staging makes all the difference in the sale of a home: My clients Randee and Barry had their condo on the market for 9 months (pictured above and below). They took the unit off the market and I was brought on as the new listing agent. They had never considered staging and were willing to give it a try.
We made relatively minor changes using their existing furnishings – we mostly edited and refreshed. By removing unnecessary furnishings, applying fresh coats of paint for the bedrooms and generally editing and organizing their belongings, we succeeded in re-energizing the apartment and making it fresh and appealing to buyers.
We received our first offer within 36 hours and were under contract in 2 weeks.
This just serves to further illustrate that selling a home is not only about the process (putting it on the MLS, etc.), but also the product. You can run yourself ragged marketing a property, but if it’s simply not appealing to buyers, its likely that it will remain on the market. As it sits on the market, the perceived value to buyers diminishes.
If your goal is to get the maximum return on your real estate investment, staging needs to be part of your toolbox. You only get one chance to make a first impression and the proof that staging works is in the countless stories and testimonials.
To learn more about home staging, why it works, how it works, or if you need help staging and want to appear as a reader restyle for a future article, I invite you to contact me or visit my website at www.restylehomestaging.com or call (or text!) at 561.789.7084.
Margaret Schaffer is an active Realtor® with DeBianchi Real Estate (as seen on Million Dollar Listing: Miami), home staging expert living, playing and raising two little ones in beautiful Boca Raton.