It’s no secret we’re in a seller’s market. And with homes flying off the market and many selling above list price, you might be tempted to put your house up for sale without upgrading your home’s décor. After all, why bother when so many buyers are already clamoring for a low supply of homes?
The reasoning is simple: “No matter how hot the market is, selling a home is all about presentation, and staging is your number one marketing tool when you take listing photos,” says Barb Schwarz, a home decorator and stager in Hawaii.
Staging is the process of primping a home for sale so that it looks its best and appeals to the largest pool of potential buyers. It usually entails adding or rearranging furniture to show off a home’s best assets. And it’s more important now than ever, says Manuela Ferguson, a home stager based in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
“We’re in the age of TikTok and Instagram, where homebuyers are more visually attuned than they’ve ever been,” she says.
Staging can be so effective, in fact, that 31% of listing agents said they stage all homes prior to putting them on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 Profile of Home Staging. The survey also found that 23% of agents reported an increase of 1% to 5% of the dollar value offered by buyers in comparison to un-staged homes, and 18% reported staging increased the dollar value by 6% to 10%.
That’s no small chunk of change. Even nabbing just an extra 1% for a home valued at $300,000 would mean roughly $3,000 extra in the seller’s pocket at closing.
However, you don’t have to stage your home from top to bottom to make your house stand out, Ferguson says. According to the NAR survey, buyers’ agents said the living room was the most important room to stage, followed by the primary bedroom and the kitchen.
“The living room is the place where people gather, and people are spending more time at home with their family than they have in the past because of the pandemic,” Ferguson says. “Every real estate agent that I’ve been working with since the pandemic started wants the living room staged.”
As Warwick, New York-based home stager and decorator Karen Gray-Plaisted says, “If the room where you entertain guests looks beautiful, buyers will think to themselves, ‘This is the home that I want to live in.’”
Staging only the living room can also help you significantly reduce your costs. Stagers typically charge $150 to $600 for an initial design consultation and $500 to $600 per month per staged room when furniture is rented, according to HomeAdvisor. (…….