When it comes to staging, the bar is high. Really high HGTV. Houzz. Architectural Digest. All these outlets which constantly publish beautifully designed and decorated homes have influenced what the average American expects their home to look like – and yours, for that matter. Additionally, all the do-it-yourself publications and shows along with the advent of home improvement stores which double as DIY design emporiums have given everyday people of modest means the power to live in beautiful and functional homes, without breaking the bank.
Beyond all this, professional home staging has taken off in recent years, as data has repeatedly shown that staged homes sell faster, for more, and more certainly than homes that are not staged, nor well-prepared by their owners. So not only is your home competing with the homes buyers are seeing on TV and in the magazines, it is also competing with professionally staged homes for sale right in your own neighborhood – homes that the very buyers who will come to see your home will also have seen, possibly right before or after they view yours!
So, if you want to and can afford to have your home staged, do. If you can’t, you should still take the preparation of your home very seriously, and include your agent or a stager you hire for an hour of advice in the process, taking their input on things like:
- what furniture to get rid of
- which improvements will get you the most bang for your buck with local buyers
- and what paint, flooring and other finish materials will appeal to the broadest buyer segment in your area.
These pros often also have contacts with local handy people, painters, landscapers and other vendors who can get your home ready for market in a time and cost-efficient manner.