How to Stage a Home For Sale

Posted by on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 at 2:59pm

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If you’re selling a house, you need to know how to stage a home. Staging a house can take your property from drab to fab and help potential buyers envision themselves in the space. When you stage your home properly, you can highlight the assets while downplaying the flaws. This makes it easy to sell your home quickly and get your asking price -- or even more! Learn the ins and outs of staging a home for sale.

When you stage a home, you’re an artist at work. Staging a home makes it more appealing to buyers and makes it look more like a model home. Home staging is the art of rearranging, cleaning and making minor remodeling changes to enhance your home’s look.

You can stage a home by:

  • Decluttering

  • Enhancing your home’s curb appeal

  • Bringing in neutral furniture

  • Making clear pathways

  • Removing personal items

  • Always being ready to show the home

You can stage your home by working with professional home stagers or taking a DIY route.

What Does It Mean to Stage a Home?

When you stage a house, you prepare your home for sale. Staging gets your home showplace ready and allows you to turn your home into a picture-perfect destination. It can help get your condo ready to sell, convince buyers your single-family home is the one for them, and so much more.

Staging a home might involve a deep cleaning, enhancing curb appeal, adding a coat of neutral paint and eliminating clutter. Staging a home transforms it into a welcoming environment and can help your home sell quickly and at a higher price. 

Home stagers use artwork, paint, greenery, fresh flowers, rugs, accessories, lights, furniture and other home accessories and accents to give a home a fresh, clean look. 

Is House Staging Worth It?

The short answer is yes! According to numbers from The Mortgage Reports, when you stage a home for sale, it sells 73% faster than an unstaged home. 

Why Should I Stage My Home?

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There are many reasons why you should stage your home for sale. Staged homes often sell faster and at higher prices than unstaged homes. 

Five more reasons why you should stage your home include:

  1. Staging allows buyers to see themselves in the home. A neutral staged home is appealing to almost all buyers. A well-planned interior space in a staged home allows potential buyers to envision themselves in your home and picture the life they can live there. A neutral color palette, open spaces and minimal clutter make it easy to paint a picture in the mind. It can also help renters picture themselves staying in your vacation rental home. 

  2. Staged homes sell for more. It’s all about the numbers. Realtors and sellers have found that staged homes sell for at least 6% more than unstaged homes. This means a $700,000 home could sell for $742,000 just by staging and making the most of the interior space.

  3. Leave a lasting impression in the home buyer’s mind. Staging your home enhances its appeal to potential homebuyers. It can make rooms feel bigger. It can make the home welcoming. This adds up to a home that is an unforgettable showplace and makes a lasting impression in the mind of a prospective buyer.

  4. Show off a home’s best features. Whether you’re living in your home while it’s on the market or it’s vacant, staging can show off your home’s best features. You might have a gourmet kitchen or beautiful built-ins. A staging designer can take your home’s best features and enhance them by decluttering and accessorizing. 

  5. Update dated features and disguise flaws. Maybe there’s an awkward walkway through the living room of your home. Maybe the dining nook feels cramped. Maybe the ceiling in the den is too low. Whatever flaws or unattractive features your home might have, a stager can arrange furniture and make rooms feel more open and luxurious.

How Much Does it Cost to Stage a Home?

Whether you choose to work with a certified luxury home staging specialist or take the DIY route, you’ll need to make some kind of financial investment in staging your home. According to cost estimates from HomeAdvisor, it can cost as little as $800 and upwards of $2,500 to hire a professional home stager. Stagers might offer a flat rate consultation fee, and then go up from there based on the services provided. 

Most home stagers offer three levels of service:

  • Occupied home staging

  • Vacant home staging

  • Model home staging

The kind of service you need to sell your home can also influence the price.

There are other fees associated with staging a home. If you’re still living in the home, you might need to store your possessions in a storage unit. One of the biggest changes stagers make when working on a home is decluttering. That means you’ll need a place to park your things while your house is on the market. Storage units are generally affordable, but prices can add up if your home is on the market for several months. 

Another cost associated with staging a home is furniture rental. If you’re working with a professional to stage a home, this cost might be included in their fee. If you’re doing it yourself, you’ll pay on your own. Renting neutral furniture while staging your home can brighten up a space and make it easier for buyers to picture the home decked out in their personal style. If renting furniture for several months while your home is on the market is cost-prohibitive, you might consider just staging your home with rented furniture for marketing photos. Because most home buyers start their search on the internet, this can add to your home’s online appeal.

What Rooms Should I Stage?

For best results, you’ll want to stage the whole house from top to bottom. If you’re on a budget or a time crunch, it might be best to add welcoming accents to wow buyers as they come in the front door. 

Rooms to stage include:

  • Living room: In many homes, the living room greets home buyers after they pass through the foyer. It’s also where many families spend a lot of time. This makes staging a living room essential.

  • Master bedroom: There’s more to making a bedroom appeal to home buyers than just making the bed. It is important that the master bedroom is comfy and inviting, as this is where people spend at least eight hours a day.

  • Kitchen: Some say the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s for cooking and socializing, and many happy memories are formed in the kitchen. Make sure it is free of clutter and small appliances. Keep the kitchen table or dining nook set as if a meal is about to take place, with beautiful place settings and linens.

  • Bathrooms: Create a beautiful, spa-like environment in your home’s bathrooms. Keep personal items and toiletries out of sight and leave fresh linens and bath mats out for showings.

How to Stage a Home For Sale

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Now that you understand that home staging works, the reasons behind staging your home, the costs of home staging and which rooms to stage, it’s time to get down to business. Here’s how to stage a home for sale.

Eliminate All Clutter

The most important step in staging a home is getting rid of clutter. There are many reasons behind this step, but in the simplest terms, a clean home free of clutter just looks bigger and more inviting. 

Potential buyers are going to look in closets and storage spaces, so don’t just stash your clutter. It is best to box up your tchotkes and spare belongings to store them outside of the house.

When you have your home free of clutter, it’s time for a deep clean. Make sure your home sparkles and is free of odors. Scented sprays and candles can trigger allergies, so keep your home fresh by airing it out and keeping it clean. Wash all surfaces a pet might touch. You might want to hire a pro for a good, deep clean.

Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see as they pull into your driveway. “Curb appeal” refers to how beautiful your home is on the outside. 

Make the exterior of your home appealing to buyers by:

  • Adding fresh flowers and plants

  • Washing the windows

  • Enlarging the house number

  • Keeping the lawn mowed and greenery trimmed

  • Welcoming guests with a furnished porch

  • Adding a welcome mat at the front door

Stage The Most Essential Rooms First

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The living room might be the most important room in your home to stage. A survey of members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 55% of agents think it is “very important” to stage a living room. Next most important room is the master bedroom. The third most important room to stage is the kitchen.

You can get the most bang for your home-staging buck by tackling the most important rooms first.

Make it Glow

The right lighting can make your home warm and inviting. You can make your home glow by increasing the wattage in your bulbs and adding fixtures where needed. A rule of thumb from the experts at HGTV is to have 100 watts of light for every 50 square feet. 

Use all three types of lighting in your home:

  • Accent

  • Task

  • Ambient

Arrange, Remove or Rent Furniture

Some home stagers suggest removing about half of the furniture in your home. Following this rule of thumb can make your home appear larger and more appealing to buyers. 

If your furniture is pre-loved or somewhat dated, you can give your staged home a modern makeover by renting furniture. Many furniture stores rent furniture for home staging.

After you have the right furniture at the ready, it’s time to get it in place. Consider positioning big pieces like tables, chairs and sofas away from the walls, which is a design technique called “floating” the furniture. You can add intimacy to a room by adding an area rug, even if the room is carpeted.

Are you ready to get your home staged and on the market? Let a skilled and professional Realtor from Royal Shell guide you through the process. Make your next move and contact us today. We'll get your home ready to sell in no time. We'll make it easy while you focus on making your next house a home! 

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