Home Staging – Why It Works

With the popularity of home staging television shows, many are wondering if staging works in the “real world.” Home staging is more than just good entertainment on a Saturday afternoon, it is a proven technique that sells homes in Hollywood and across the country.

HOME STAGING DESCRIPTION: Home staging is the art of preparing your house for sale by highlighting the home’s features through furniture arrangement, accent placement, and color choices. An Accredited Staging Professional is a real estate expert that performs an objective evaluation of a property to determine any obstacles that may hinder buyer interest in your home. Staging is not decorating. Home staging involves using interior design principles and marketing strategies to best represent your home.

WHY STAGING WORKS: Home staging works because a properly staged house is a house shown at its best condition. Each room contains important design elements: highlighted focal points, proper furniture placement to create a larger space and smooth traffic patterns, tasteful color selections on walls and through home decor, and properly placed home accents. All these principles working together create an atmosphere that triggers buyers’ emotions, causing them to fall in love with the home.

In a staged home, buyers will see that:

Staged homes look well cared for: staging addresses updating the home’s decor while working within the home owner’s budget.
Staged homes are uncluttered: staging involves removing excess items so buyers can see the home’s features.
Staged homes have a pleasant atmosphere: staging displays the best furniture layout for your home, highlighting the focal points and creating easy pathways around the furniture.
Staged homes appeal to a wider range of buyers: staging neutralizes a homes decor, giving it a model house-like appeal, thus attracting more buyers.

These elements help to generate buyer interest causing wonderful side-effects

HOME STAGING SIDE EFFECTS (BENEFITS):

Higher Asking Price: Statistically, homes that have been staged command higher asking prices than non-staged homes, because the house is in top showing condition.
Faster Sale Time: Statistically, staged houses sell in one-third time than non-staged houses
Greater Rate of Return: Statistically, the investment in staging is returned to the homeowner when their house sells. The average rate of return is about 120%. For example, if a home owner invested $500 in staging their house, they are likely to receive $560 back from the sale of their home through fewer (if any) price reductions or from an increase in asking price.

HOME STAGING STATISTICS:

Staged homes sell quicker than non-staged houses…

Nationwide, staged home is on the market for an average of 31.9 days
Nationwide, non-staged home is on the market around 160 days
93% of ASP homes sell within one month
This could mean the difference between days and months!
For complete statistics visit the Staged Homes Website

Staging is a win-win situation. The sellers win because their houses are sold in a shorter amount of time compared to a non-staged homes, and the real estate agents win because their listing sell faster than agents who don’t recommend staging. Results do not lie. Story after story has been told of how staging made the difference in the sale of a home.

Cut the Cost of Home Staging – 4 Top DIY Guidelines

Are you a home seller who’s interested in home staging? You probably are, seeing how popular staging has become recently. As it rightfully should because staging has proven itself to be beneficial to home sellers, realtors, and buyers alike. However, the cost of home staging by professional stagers is not a light one and it might prove too burdensome for some home sellers.

You do not have to forgo the benefits though just because you think you do not have the budget to hire a professional. You can actually do it yourself! The staging process can actually be learned and performed by the sellers themselves. This is why DIY or do-it-yourself staging has started to proliferate.

If you’re worried that you don’t know where to start, don’t be. I’ve compiled a short list of DIY staging steps that you can easily apply for your own home!

Here are 4 Fundamental Tips in Staging Your House:

1. Know the critical areas Home Buyers look at

Home buyers pay specific attention to areas of the house that most home sellers overlook. These areas are not quite the top priority for some home sellers but buyers tend to be quite critical to these things like your flooring or walls. For some sellers, these areas are just trivial aesthetic issues but for home buyers, it’s more than that.

Pay close attention to those areas because they might be the tie breaker your buyers are considering when choosing between your house and a different seller’s house. Don’t let any chance escape you.

2. Brighten up your home

You may not be aware of it, but your house has most likely become darker and darker inside since when you first move in. Look around and you’ll notice all the items you’ve added to your home over the years. You’ve probably put up curtains and blinds all over the place as well as big furniture. While you might be totally comfortable in this ambience, it might give off a different feel to your home buyers.

Dim houses might project a gloomy and unwelcome atmosphere to those who are visiting your house for the first time. Consider these points and make sure your house looks warm and welcoming to your buyers by improving your lighting.

3. Use moderate colors

Look at your house. Does it look good to you? Most likely, the answer is yes, right? After all, majority of home owners try to “break-in” their homes by adding a bit of their own flavors into the house. The same goes for the colors we choose when painting and decorating our houses.

The thing is, our personal tastes might not be shared by many other people. That’s why, it is best to choose moderate or neutral colors as you repaint your house when staging. The best look to go for when staging your house is the modern, fresh, and neutral look. Neutral colors have a more universal appeal and will therefore attract more buyers than strong or bright colors.

4. Make sure your house is clean

In the home staging context, “cleaning” is more than just taking out the trash and wiping out all the dust. “Cleaning” means removing all the clutter inside the house. This means keeping all your personal items away from your buyers’ sight. This includes your trophies, family pictures and other memorabilia that marks your identity as the home owner.

When touring a house, home buyers want to feel like they’ve found their new home. They are trying to imagine themselves living in their new house. Seeing all your personal items will distract them from doing that. It’s best to hide these things instead.

These are just a few of the many simple things you can do with your house. Follow these guidelines and you’ll surely be on your way to a successfully staged house, ready to be sold to eager home seekers. Good luck!

Home Staging Is Worth the Cost – 3 Major Reasons Why

Although Staging has become more and more prominent in the real estate market, you might still be having reservations on actually staging your own house. Many get too concerned with the home staging cost. Something so beneficial can’t possibly come cheap, right?

Stop right there. That type of thinking will actually be more expensive in the long run. You don’t believe me? Here are 3 major reasons why it’s actually a whole lot cheaper to stage your house than sell it unstaged.

Reasons why you should stage your house before selling it:

1. The more buyers, the more chances of selling (winning)

Staging is designing the house to make it appeal to your target population – in this case, your potential buyers. The more buyers you attract, the more favorable for you, the seller. Staging means transforming your house into every buyer’s (or as many as you can gather) dream house or at the very least, the house that they think they need at the moment.

Attracting a large number of buyers puts you in the best position to as a seller. It puts you in an advantage when it comes to pricing. Think about it, wouldn’t you rather sell your house for a higher price? If you put just the right amount of time and money into staging, your return of investment can be very sweet.

2. Attracts and then Holds Attention

In real estate, there are no second chances! It’s either you grab your buyers’ attention at first glance or you don’t. First impression is where it’s at. That’s why you have to make the best of your split second chance. Sales talk has little weight in the way of real estate, not as much as the house itself anyway. In home visits, it’s your house that does all the talking. That said, your house should be able to attract your buyers through the pictures because let’s face it, buyers look at pictures of your home first before going on home visits. During the visit though, your house should be able to convince the buyers. Your house should scream “This is the house for you!” And home staging does exactly that! No need for you to just take a gamble and hope the buyers like your house. With staging, you are taking an active part in convincing your buyers without having put it in so many words.

3. The sooner the better.

Surveys show that staged houses sell up to three times faster than non-staged houses. Should this matter? The answer to that is a resounding yes! Real estate agents will tell you that time really is money in this business. You see, the longer your house stays on the market, the more your potential buyers will think your house has problems no matter how good your house may seem at first. Their initial line of thought is, “Surely there must be something wrong with this house, if nobody’s buying it.” Plus, don’t forget that each day your house isn’t sold adds to your house maintenance costs! In the end, you might even resort to lowering your price just to attract their attention or end up staging the house eventually. Now, wouldn’t it have been so much better if you had staged your house in the first place?

The problem is that many people view the staging process as an expense rather than an investment. This is why they’re having reservations with staging. They’re worried that they’re spending instead of making money. Actually, all your expenses will be returned to you and more because when you stage your house, it actually increases its perceived value. When this happens, you can proceed to raise your price accordingly.

Remember, staging is a part of your marketing strategy. It’s supposed to help you sell your house. Again, look at it as an investment and you’ll see that it’s all worth it. You don’t have to hire the stager to take over your house anyway. You can just avail of their consultation services and get their recommendations. If you think you’re up to it, you can just do the actual dirty work yourself.

Home Staging: Certificate

Home staging courses barely existed 3 years ago and now they seem to be one of the hottest topics around. Home Staging Training Courses have come a long way since then as the industry has grown so much in the recent past. The home foreclosure situation has really fueled this growth as more and more homes are being turned back over to the lenders that are stuck with a growing inventory of empty, trashed-out homes they need to sell. Some of the Home Staging Courses offer “Certification” as part of their training program.

There is no question that in today’s market there is a huge and growing demand for this service that is making $500 a day or more for many of us that also get the satisfaction of knowing we are truly helping people to sell their homes faster. This is especially true as there is no one single organization that regulates or controls this profession so that you end up with a number of different groups that each offer their own version of “Certification” such as in Home Staging Expert, International Association of Home Staging Professionals, ASP and the list goes on.

Reasons for Home Staging:

• Faster Sales Time – Staged homes sell much more rapidly than non-staged homes do. Marketing experts indicate that staged homes sell 30 to 50% faster in most areas. This is important because the longer a home is on the market, the more likely there will be a sales reduction. Buyers think that if a home has been on the market for some time, that there must be something wrong with it or that the seller will be anxious to sell and will take much less than the asking price.

• Positive Impression – First impression is more positive on this, rather than negative.

• Less Than a Minute – Buyers initially make up their mind in less than a minute on whether they want a home or not. Curb appeal is the key. After a buyer’s initial decision in the first minute, they will either confirm that decision or rescinded it in the next 6 to 20 minutes as they view your home.

• Ready to Move In – Staged homes appear to be in “Ready to move-in” condition. Buyers overwhelmingly prefer homes where they can just move-in and start enjoy life with their new home.

• No Imagination Needed – When only 5% of the population can truly visualize how beautiful a home can be or see past the clutter, grime and so-so appearance, then staging becomes paramount for a fast sale at a great price.

• Competitive Advantage – Staged homes have a competitive advantage over other homes that are not staged.

• Well-Maintained – Staged homes give off the appearance of being well-maintained and cared for. This is the underlying psychological message that is sent to potential buyers.

• Appraisers – Appraisers see the home in a more positive light and are more likely to appraise higher than a similar non-staged home.

• Shown More – Properly staged homes are showing much more often by realtors. Since they enjoy showing a property that is attractive and excites buyers. These homes are always at the top of the list when it comes to which homes an agent will show.

• Extra Showings – Homes which do not meet a buyer’s exact criteria, but which are well staged, often get shown anyway, because the agent feels that the beautifully staged home may be an exception to the buyers criteria.

• More Advertising – Brokerage firms enjoy advertising beautifully staged homes for they draw more business to their firm. You, as the seller, will benefit from their extra promotional materials and marketing.

• Higher Sales Price – The better home shows, the more that it will sell for and this means more dollars in your pocket. Non-staged homes are more likely to require price reductions in order to sell versus staged homes.quire price reductions in order to sell versus staged homes

Home Staging As A Profession

By now, most people have a general idea of what a Home Stager is. Increasingly, homeowners are becoming educated on how important it is, to use a Home Stager to help market their home, to sell quickly and for more money. Thanks to shows that are aired on HGTV. Some of these television programs paint a glamorous picture of this profession; I for example don’t have a “behinds the scene” crew of 8 that comes sweeping in once the homeowners have left, while I stand and point to what’s needed to be done. I wish! (Can you imagine what the cost of that stage would be to hire all those people?) I do it all myself with the help of an assistant. A Home Staging career does look and sound like a dream job. You dream of spending your days shopping and decorating homes for a living and you don’t need to spend years at university to do it.

Not exactly.

First you must understand what a home stager is.

Home staging is NOT interior decorating; it can be quite the opposite.

As you know Interior Decorating, is when you pull together a look that is the expression of the clients own personality and life style.

Home Staging is doing the opposite. It means removing the client’s personality.

As a Home Stager it’s your job to Market the home, and show off its best features and minimize, its “not so great” features. You also have to leave room for the buyer’s own imagination, and not bring in your own personal taste in every single stage. A Home Stager targets a certain buyer for that particular property.

In most cases you don’t know who the potential buyer will be, but if you are an experienced and knowledgeable stager, you will know who will more likely buy the property, depending on size, price and location. So you will need to keep updated in the Real Estate Market and know your areas.

To become a successful home staging professional, you first need to ask yourself a few very important questions.

Are you truly gifted in Interior Design? Were you born with this creative gene or not?

Do you really know how to pull a room together with art, accessories and furniture in a very short time frame? Yes, there are lots of Home Staging courses out there that will teach you how to be a Home Stager, but unless you have the “creative gene” you will always be two steps behind Top Stagers in your area.

Are you financially prepared to start your own business?

If you are thinking of being a Home Stager, then you will, more then likely be opening your own business.

What these Home Staging Courses don’t tell you is, what the employment availability is, in the industry for your area. The chances of being hired by an existing staging company, is very slime.

What they also don’t tell you is, if by luck you were to be hired by an existing company as an assistant, or helper, it will be more like part-time, contract work. Staging companies like myself, need time to do consultations and preparation for each and every job.

Do you have great communication and people skills?

As a Home Stager you will be going into peoples homes, and help them prepare their homes to sell.

You will need to have excellent people skills and the ability to communicate effectively to make professional suggestions on how they can better their home for the sale, while not coming across as judgmental or offensive.

Once you’ve decided to go forward and you would like to be a Home Stager you will then need to take a staging course to obtain a certificate.

Once you are certified you will need experience. How to get that experience would be to try it with friends and family. Always ask for opinions and feedback and get photos as you will need a portfolio.

As a Home Staging Business you will need to have lots of capital to get your business up and running. You will need Insurance, this is very important to cover you and your home owner. You will also need to purchase furniture, art and accessories, with options to rent furniture if you choose. You will also need a storage facility and a large vehicle to transport staging items to and from the job site.

The home staging industry can be a difficult niche to break into, but for those with talent, determination and charisma, this career and challenge can be incredibly worthwhile.