What to Expect When Staging Your Home for Sale
Each year the spring season bursts forth bringing higher temperatures, budding lawns and home buyers pounding the pavement in search of new digs.
Spring and summer are historically peak times for families looking to relocate without disrupting their children’s school year. But, given the year-over-year decline in North Texas home sales for the first quarter of 2019, sellers can’t take anything for granted when marketing their homes.
North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS), which oversees the MLS and realtors in our area, cautioned in its April market report that competition is fierce for well-priced homes in desirable locations.
So what can sellers do to set their homes apart? Stage them.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed its members and found 38 percent of buyers are more willing to walk through a home they saw online if it’s staged. And 83 percent of buyers’ agents feel staging makes it easier for their clients to visualize a property as their future home.
One fourth of NAR agents said staging their listings raises the value by as much as 5 percent. This means your $500,000 home could sell for $25,000 more than your neighbor’s if you choose to stage and they don’t. Some agents say the value add of staged homes can go as high as 10 percent.
My friend Eileen Ellis, owner of Ellis Staging and Redesign in Shady Shores, says staging makes a listing stand out in today’s market. “The first place prospective buyers look is online; therefore, how your home is staged and photographed can be a deciding factor as to whether it is worth taking a second look,” she told me.
Eileen says most homeowners welcome staging, but a seller who has never staged his or her home may hesitate to invite someone to critique their living space. “I’ve heard, as I walk out their door, ‘That wasn’t as bad as I thought.’”
I know Eileen is a pro at holding sellers’ hands as they go through the process of preparing their home for sale. For those of you on the fence about hiring a professional to get your home looking its best for the market, I asked Eileen to explain the process and give us her best tips for a well-staged home.
Home Staging Explained by Eileen Ellis, owner of Ellis Staging and Redesign
Step 1. Choose between a consultation or a hands-on experience. “A consultation involves an hour of walking through the house, discussing all the things that are necessary in order to make it photo ready, and then carrying out the work on your own,” Eileen explained. With the hands-on option, the stager actually works with the homeowner to do everything necessary to photograph and list the home.” Some of the tasks might include:
- Rearranging, replacing or removing furniture
- Minor repairs and renovations
- Removing personal items
- Adding or removing outdoor plants
Photo credit: The Neighborhoods of EYA
Step 2. Accept that the changes aren’t about you. Decorating a home is very different from staging. “Staging a home for sale consists of decluttering, depersonalizing and neutralizing so it appeals to a maximum number of buyers,” Eileen said. Some rooms of your home will receive much more attention than others. The most important rooms to stage are:
- Living room
- Master bedroom
- Dining room
- Outdoor spaces
Photo credit: Benjamin Moore
Step 3. Understand the end goal of home staging. “You want the architecture of the home to stand out, so usually less is more when it comes to decor,” she added. This means emphasizing all the elements that stay with the home after the sale, such as:
- Architectural elements
- Storage spaces
- Light and views
Photo credit: National Association of Kitchens and Baths
Step 4. Don’t forget the window treatments. (Who could forget those?!) “Window treatments can enhance or detract when staging a home,” Eileen explained. “Any window treatment that detracts from the home is asked to be removed.” Here are some things to keep in mind when staging window treatments:
- Make sure they are clean
- Open them to show the view
- Choose options that let in the most light
- Plantation shutters are a good bet because they are an architectural feature that stays with the house
I hope this list helps you feel more confident about staging your home for the market. It’s a big undertaking, but I promise it will be worth it in the end. If, during any part of the process, we can help with window treatments, contact us here and we’ll bring our showroom to you.
See you next time,