7 surefire home staging tips

by Ingrid Cummings

"Only 10 percent of people shopping for a new home have the vision to imagine their own belongings in another house," says Maureen Bray, owner of Portland, Ore.-based Room Solutions Staging. Bray is one of two highly rated professional home stagers we consulted, who both agree that staging helps prospective buyers make that imaginative leap. "Homes that have been staged sell faster than those that haven't," Bray says, citing her company's own success rate. "Twenty-eight days versus 125 days."

Expect to pay $150 to $500 for a home-staging consultation, and an additional $1,500-$2,500 to provide the furnishings and accessories necessary to stage four main rooms if the home is vacant.

 

1 "Note the clutter," Bray says. "It sucks all the energy out of a room and prevents buyers from noticing a home's features."

2 "Setting the table allows buyers to imagine entertaining family and friends in this space, creating that important emotional connection," Bray says.




3 "Potential buyers are often skeptical that their large bed and two nightstands would fit in a bedroom," Bray says. "A bed already in place proves the point."

4 "Use minimalist window treatments to highlight your view," Bray adds.|

5 "Don't over-furnish rooms," Bray warns. "Staging isn't about decorating; it is about highlighting a home's best features." Also, be sure to banish evidence of pets (feeding dishes, beds, toys) when your home is on the market.


6 "Use a lot of greenery," says Pam Fox, president of highly rated Artistic Staging & Design in Tampa, Fla. "In today's market, selling a house is a price war and a beauty contest."

7 This older home was considered a tough sale, but Fox helped the real estate agent succeed. "We had the woodwork painted and cracks in the drywall repaired," Fox says.


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Tips for staging a home for individual showings

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This home's former owner says investing about $6,500 in repairs and staging paid off in a quicker sale and higher price than she'd expected. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Laura B. of Jamaica Plain, Mass.)
This home's former owner says investing about $6,500 in repairs and staging paid off in a quicker sale and higher price than she'd expected. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Laura B. of Jamaica Plain, Mass.)

A real estate agent has many ways to show your home, including private individual showings. Buyers want the opportunity to have a personal experience that will help them choose the perfect home.

Comments

The staging has become a "feed me!" monster of itself--courtesy of HGTV programming and realty professionals with friends in that biz. Maybe it also suggests agents have moved away from the earlier practice of helping a potential buyer "see" what a house CAN look like. Nowadays agents sit back and let the internet do all the selling.

Staging does make a difference. But it is also important to depersonalize the decor so others can see themselves in the home. Remove family pictures, trophies, awards, and pack away the collections of beer cans, matchbooks, barbie dolls and salt shakers. Wallpaper is another item that appeals to individual taste and may turn off a potential buyer.

Homes require an enormous amount of maintenance. When I see a home that is disorganized, cluttered and dirty that's a good indication that the home itself, structure, plumbing/heating/air, etc., has also been neglected. While it'd be nice to believe that people only look at the bones of a home (and some do), for many it's an emotional connection and staging can help create that connection.

a very nice post,thanks for sharing

Interesting! I prefer empty houses so that the decorating doesn't detract from the house. I think this article might apply to messy, disorganized, starter homes. Some of us have common sense and actually clean our homes regularly

3-27-11 I agree you have to make your house appealing to a seller otherwise it won't sell in today's market

We've looked at several homes, (online and in person,) and what really amazes me is that real estate agents will actually post photos on the website of bathrooms with 1,000 bottles/sprays/lotions/etc. covering the counters, (who cares if they're granite if you can't SEE them,) towels on the bathroom floor, dishes in the sink, etc. Some pictures make you want to ask, "Are you trying to HELP this person sell their home, or keep from ever having to step foot in it again to give someone a tour?" :( Not very good manners on their part if they're "hired" to help sell the home. :(

WOW, hasn't HGTV done a number on all of us?!

Staging is important. Why are all these tips so simple and brief! There is a lot of good advice to be given on staging a home, inside and out. This article just touches the surface and does little more than provide an advertisement for the author's business. As they used to say, "Where's the beef?"

You won't believe the reasons some folks give for not buying a home. While I was selling mine, a potential buyer [not] said she freaked out because there was a stuffed animal in one of the rooms. hello? I was taking it with me!

I sold a house in 2008, and house hunted to buy a house between 2006 and 2009. I totally block out people's decorating; if it's not staying .. I don't care about it! Shame on all the buyers who don't learn to do that. The house I bought had 3 rooms painted royal blue; 2 with full-wall kids' murals .. ugh .. but the structure & room sizes sold the house anyway.

When selling a home, you are entering it in a beauty contest. The best looking home will sell faster and for a higher price that a home with similar attributes that is unstaged. The cost of staging varies city by city and even neighborhood to neighborhood, so the prices quoted may not be realistic for all parts of the country. Statistically, staged homes do sell faster than unstaged homes. People fall in love with homes for all sorts of reasons, but if you want your home to appeal to the greatest number of buyers, hire a professional home stager.

Nice tips. Thanks for the share.

the UNpainted woodwork was the reason we just bought this older home! maybe that goes in FL, but we ruled out several similar homes which appeared to have beautiful woodwork underneath, but it was all painted or carpeted. don't paint it--refinish it or something. organized and clean and not crazy colors are all good things.

However lovely a staged home may be, the price and location are what will sell it, not the looks alone!

Staging is important and definitely makes a difference. It is also essential that the realtor has the ability to assist the potential buyer visualize their style. Also "removing all evidence of pets" isn't reasonable when a home is occupied. Organization and cleanliness counts!

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