I went through an open house this weekend and there was no furniture in the property at all. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a client recently who was trying to decide whether or not to stage their property prior to listing it for sale. In order to decide whether or not you think staging a home is important part of the pre-listing process, you need to ask yourself one question: Do I truly want to make as much money as I can on the sale of my home? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’ then you should stage a home. In our opinion, staging a home is one of the single most important variables that can have a dramatic effect on what buyers are willing to pay for a home. In our opinion, it will net the seller a higher dollar for dollar return than any other improvement a seller can make.
Why is this the case? Because…buyers make emotional decisions and nothing elicits a stronger emotional response from a buyer than expertly crafted space. It is part of the reason that so many of these ‘home design’ shows are so popular on TV. People love to see homes for what they could be rather than what they are. When buyers are paging through hundreds of properties online they are automatically attracted to homes which look like they have been professionally designed. Why? They respond to the fantasy of a perfect life in a perfect home where everything is neat, clean and orderly.
We can take a lot of direction from home-builders in this area. Whenever you walk into a model home you may notice they all have a predictable feel; they are always impeccably decorated with soothing colors and free from any clutter or visual distractions. When buyers are home shopping they will typically fall in love with ‘new construction’, not because they like the construction better but because they like the way those homes are prepared and it makes them “feel” a particular way.
The good news is, any home can be made to look like a model home and it does not have to be very expensive. If the home is completely empty then a full staging would be required, but often times only a slight ‘redesign’ of the existing space is necessary. More often than not, de-cluttering and de-personalizing a home are enough to produce the intended effect. Keep in mind that selling a home is a business decision but buying a home is an emotional one. In our opinion, no single variable will have a greater emotional impact on potential buyers than properly staging you home.