According to a report done by the National Association of Realtors, 81 percent of buyers said it was easier to visualize a property as their future home when it was staged, with 46 percent said they were more willing to walk through a house after they viewed it online while staged.
These numbers highlight the importance of staging your home for sale. While it is something that can be done by the homeowner, often hiring a professional home stager will provide an increased level of professionalism and raise the level of success. However, home staging and design with a professional should begin only after a few key areas are identified.
SET A BUDGET, COMMUNICATE IT EARLY AND OFTEN
Just as with most services, you will get what you pay for when working with home staging companies. Setting a budget early in the process is key to maintaining expectations on both sides – you will know going in what to expect and hopefully will avoid any budget surprises, and the home stager will know how far they can go with spending and time.
However, it’s not enough to set and discuss a budget at the beginning of the process. Throughout the time spent working on staging, there should be an open line of communication regarding the budget progress. This will allow for both parties to be up-to-date on the latest figures and will lessen the surprise if there are areas that need to be considered that would expand the original budget.
KNOW HOW AND FROM WHERE THE MATERIALS WILL COME
This is particularly important if you’re staging a home for sale that is new or vacant. For new builds, the decision should be made early on whether to employ a home staging company in conjunction with using interior designers, or whether the home stager will also include design and furniture in their services.
The blank slate offered by new or vacant homes can be a plus and a minus when deciding on home staging solutions. The positive is that whomever is brought in can have more of a free reign to create complete looks for each space being staged without the constraints of already-existing furniture and decorations.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is an obvious cost addition when staging an empty space, if the staging company hired doesn’t have inventory available, or if the furniture doesn’t fit your space design. One potential solution is to work with companies who supply rental furniture for staging, as there is less of a commitment on your part to acquire the furniture. This is especially important if the home is being marketed as unfurnished – when it sells, you won’t be left with furniture that was purchased specifically for a home that isn’t on the market anymore.
DON’T FORGET THE EXTERIOR
Curb appeal will never lose its crucial impact on selling a home. When working to attract buyers both in person and online, their first impression of the home will almost always be from the outside, a fact that should be taken into consideration when staging a house to sell.
From basics such as staging a front porch or sitting area to potentially adding seasonally-relevant decorations on the outside of the home, exterior home staging will provide a bang for your buck that will outweigh most other spaces. While there may not be a lot of area needing to be staged, the areas that do are going to be seen by every potential buyer you have and may even draw in some who weren’t planning to see the house prior to seeing the exterior.