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5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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Is Home Staging Worth It?

 

Staging your home will make it stand out in a crowd.

 

In today’s competitive real estate market, sellers are looking for any advantage they can find.

That includes hosting open houses, increasing the home’s online presence, and home staging.

The latter has grown in popularity as a way to gain an edge over the competition. There are typically two types of staging: Reorganizing an occupied house and making it more aesthetically appealing, or staging an empty house by decorating and furnishing it.

 

“My sellers have found that it helps the house sell faster and most likely for more money than if it had not been staged,” says Scott Walker, broker/owner of Walker Real Estate in Madison, Wisconsin. “Staging a home helps to market it in the best possible light, taking into account the perspective of potential buyers.”

 

The National Association of Realtors estimates that staged homes sell for about 6 percent more, on average, than homes that are not staged. According to Stagedhomes.com, 95 percent of homes sell in 11 days or less when staged by a professional who has received their Accredited Staging Professional Master certification.

 

Types of home staging

The possibilities for staging are endless. Home staging can include everything from painting all the walls a neutral color to completely redecorating the interior.

 

The first type of staging is for homes currently occupied by the sellers. In these cases, a staging consultant can offer suggestions for decluttering, depersonalizing, rearranging furniture and changing paint colors.

“Of course, they are just suggestions and, depending on your budget, you can do what will work out for your situation,” says Josh Bushner, owner of Josh Bushner, Realtor in Austin, Texas. “In almost all cases, this has made a huge difference for me in how my properties show.”

 

Staging also proves popular when selling an empty house. Real estate agents say an empty house can make it hard for a potential buyer to envision what it would look like with furniture.

 

“Now this can get expensive because, depending on how much (furniture) they bring, it can be a few hundred to several thousand dollars to rent per month,” Bushner says. “But staged homes photograph and show better than vacant homes almost always, so it really can help get a premium for the house and help it sell faster.”

Shari Sanderson, owner of Award Reality Shari Sanderson in Las Vegas, says sellers can lease new furniture or buy it at a consignment store for less. “Think contemporary when shopping for furniture as it brings a fresh look to the residence,” she says.

 

Sanderson adds that current trends include adding an excess of lights, which give the residence a brighter and larger presence.

 

Types of home staging

The possibilities for staging are endless. Home staging can include everything from painting all the walls a neutral color to completely redecorating the interior.

 

The first type of staging is for homes currently occupied by the sellers. In these cases, a staging consultant can offer suggestions for decluttering, depersonalizing, rearranging furniture and changing paint colors.

“Of course, they are just suggestions and, depending on your budget, you can do what will work out for your situation,” says Josh Bushner, owner of Josh Bushner, Realtor in Austin, Texas. “In almost all cases, this has made a huge difference for me in how my properties show.”

 

Staging also proves popular when selling an empty house. Real estate agents say an empty house can make it hard for a potential buyer to envision what it would look like with furniture.

 

“Now this can get expensive because, depending on how much (furniture) they bring, it can be a few hundred to several thousand dollars to rent per month,” Bushner says. “But staged homes photograph and show better than vacant homes almost always, so it really can help get a premium for the house and help it sell faster.”

 

Shari Sanderson, owner of Award Realty Shari Sanderson in Las Vegas, says sellers can lease new furniture or buy it at a consignment store for less. “Think contemporary when shopping for furniture as it brings a fresh look to the residence,” she says.

 

Sanderson adds that current trends include adding an excess of lights, which give the residence a brighter and larger presence.

 

Home staging costs

The price to stage a home can run a couple hundred dollars up to $6,000, depending on the scope of the staging. It generally costs between $150 to $500 for a home staging pro to come to your home for just a consultation.

 

Walker says homeowners can generally recoup the cost of staging by the improved marketing, but it’s wise not to overextend.

 

“Perhaps the biggest risk is spending too much money on staging,” Walker says. “My favorite stager doesn’t normally recommend big expensive changes, but limits it to smaller, key items or at most painting. A good stager will take what you have and make the most of it.”

 

If you’re hesitant about spending money for staging, Sanderson says you can try putting the house on the market for a few weeks first to see how it does.

 

“In this market, supply and demand is switching to power of the seller,” she says. “So if your residence is in a neighborhood with zero inventory, try selling it first without staging. Give it 20 to 30 days and if it’s still around, stage it.”

 

Do you have experience with staging a home? Tell us about it in the Comments section below.

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