Once you make the decision to sell your home, you'll no doubt want to find a buyer quickly. That means finding a qualified real estate agent, pricing your property just right, and staging your home to attract prospective buyers.
You have a couple of options with regard to the latter. You can stage your house yourself, or you can hire a staging professional to do the job for you. Here, we'll review the benefits of enlisting the help of a home staging business so you're able to land on the best decision.
What is home staging?
Have you ever seen those picture-perfect homes featured in magazines or on TV? Chances are, a home staging professional was behind them.
Home staging is the process of setting up your house to make it look as appealing and presentable as possible for open houses and buyer viewings. The process of staging a house could involve adding accent pieces or decor throughout or rearranging or adding furniture to make it look more open, roomy, and inviting.
Moving furniture and decor around can make a once-cramped house suddenly appear more spacious. And a drab, lifeless home can look more homey with simple additions like candles and throw pillows.
Home staging is appropriate for vacant homes and occupied homes alike. Vacant homes tend to present a challenge to prospective buyers; it's hard to imagine living in a house that's devoid of furniture and belongings. Staging that type of home could therefore make selling it easier. Meanwhile, occupied home staging is useful because it helps maximize lived-in spaces and makes them look more attractive.
Why is home staging important?
Staged homes tend to command higher purchase prices than homes that aren't staged. In fact, 31% of buyers increased their offer on a house because it was staged, according to the National Association of Realtors. Furthermore, 77% of buyers report that it's easier to imagine themselves living in a home that's staged. It's for this reason that many real estate agents advise their clients to stage a home in conjunction with selling it.
Some real estate agents, in fact, have some good home staging tactics up their sleeves and can assist sellers in setting a house up for success. But not every real estate agent offers this service, and many sellers aren't equipped to stage a home themselves. That's where professional stagers come in.
Why should you hire a home staging company?
By working with a home staging business, you'll take the process of setting up your house out of your own hands so you don't have to deal with the hassle. Instead, you'll get to outsource that task to a professional who knows how to handle it.
Home stagers generally have a keen eye for detail, and if you're listing your house at a time when the local real estate market is saturated with available homes, that could spell the difference between attracting buyers or having your home sit on the market for weeks, or even months.
Another thing you should know is that home staging companies don't just come in, move some furniture around, and call it a day. Many have an extensive inventory of accent pieces you can borrow to make your home more inviting. Furthermore, a home staging company can help you declutter your living space, get it cleaned properly, and make adjustments that highlight your house's best features. For example, a professional home stager might show you how to add lighting or how to enhance certain areas of your home with minor effort (for example, painting an accent wall).
Additionally, as mentioned, a staged house could result in a higher offer, which means more money in your pocket. As such, a staging company could easily end up paying for itself.
How much does home staging cost?
The cost of having your home professionally staged will hinge on its size, location, and the length of time you need it staged. Usually, the process involves an initial consultation, which could cost you a few hundred dollars. Fixr, a professional home referral network, reports that home staging generally ends up costing around $6,000, but again, that depends on the size of the home in question. It stands to reason that a two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home will cost less to stage than a five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot living space.
Of course, different staging companies have different pricing structures. Some charge a flat fee while others charge a monthly fee (remember, you may have accent items on loan from your staging company, and so the longer your home sits on the real estate market, the more you'll pay if you're subject to a monthly fee).
Keep in mind that you may not need your entire home staged, and if that's the case, you can keep your costs down. The staging company you work with may agree to charge you a certain fee per room, rather than charge to stage your entire home.
When should you skip a home staging company?
In some cases, staging your home may not be necessary. If you're listing your home for a reasonable price in an area where there's lots of demand, you may find a buyer easily based on location alone. Or, to put it another way, if you're not worried about differentiating your house from the competition, then you don't necessarily need to spend the time and money staging your home.
Also, in some cases, you may be better served presenting an empty home to buyers than a staged one. This especially holds true if your home isn't all that large, because that way, it will give the impression of offering more room than it actually does.
How to find a home staging company
If you're working with an experienced real estate agent, there's a good chance he or she will know a staging professional or will have a list of staging companies at his or her disposal. If you're selling on your own without an agent, or your real estate agent doesn't have a staging business to recommend, then you can consult the Real Estate Staging Association and find a home stager there.
You'll often hear that home staging is the ticket to selling your house quickly and commanding top dollar. If you're up to the challenge of doing that work yourself and have a good eye for detail, then you may be able to skip the expense of a home staging company. But if you don't have the time, skill, or patience to make your home presentable, then it could be worth it to pay to have it staged -- especially if that scores you a higher sale price and moves your home off the market quickly.