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You all should check out NextStageFurniture. They have taken low cost and portable staging furniture to a whole new level.
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My personal opinion is less is more.
just rent a small storage space and shove all your crap in it. The less you have in the house the better.
Especially in smaller homes. People's imagination run wild in empty rooms. "Oh I'll put my ___ here and my _____ there and blah blah blah" Then they buy it and realize that nothing fits.
A professionally staged home will generate better offers and sell faster then a home cluttered with the owners belongings, or vacant. If you can afford to stage...do so.
I just had a house staged and it is working. Before, buyers said "all the rooms are so small" nd they couldn't believe a queen size bed would fit in the master....but now, there IS a queen size bed in the master, and it clearly has room for a KING and two dressers. Staging is definitely a must for an empty house. For occupied, be sure you are getting REAL feedback. Don't ask your friends....even your realtor may be unwilling to tell you the unvarished truth for fear of losing the listing. Your home is very personal to you, but once it's on the market it is only a HOUSE, a PRODUCT that must be sold to someone else who will make it THEIR HOME. So a stager can often diplomatically enlighten you. You're moving anyway, so pack up everything except this season's clothing. Reduce all tchotchkes to one-third. Remove extra furniture, even if it means you're going to not have your favorite chair for TV. Reconsider furniture placement; having the couch on the long wall looking out the window may make the room seem long and narrow; turning it and floating it in the middle of the room may make the room suddenly seem wide. Experiment.
I'd rather not see staging, to some extent it confuses the issue of what exactly you're buying.
It may distract you from imperfections and other issues with house itself.
It makes it seem you're getting more value then you really are.
Kind of like the Lexus your Realtor is driving.
In general, I like staging - but most of the time it can be done with what you have and (like 4jacks said) getting your crap out of the house. Remove all of your personal things, photos, etc...think Pottery Barn. Emotional buyers want to see a home, but not someone else's home. (Investors don't care, but they tend to be a smaller portion of the market - esp. this market since less prospecting is going on!)
Keep in mind, staging will not make your house sell for more than it is worth. The comps are the comps, the market is the market.
As a home stager, I am biased, somewhat, but Andy Burke's comments above were right on the mark. Most home stagers I know will consult with a client and give verbal and/or written recommendations on what can be done to make a house really stand out. This cost can be a lot less than having them actually do the work. Many homeowners want to do it themselves, they just don't know what to do. Staging can disguise some flaws but the main idea is it play up the good points, and make the house look more spacious and attractive to buyers. A good stager will also include honest feedback and tips on paint, flooring and maintenance issues that need to be addressed along with decor and accessories. Staging is about showcasing what you've got. I've been in houses where all of the "crap" is removed and it looks like an empty shell. There's a fine line between clean and uncluttered, and barren.
The points Andy made about the house being a product is very true - people don't want or need to see your family photos, bunches of little things that have no meaning to them and can be downright annoying or distracting, or want to smell your litter box or pet your dog. They want to see themselves living there - and if they can't - they walk right on out. This is not a market where you can't afford not to invest a bit in some professional advice. Stagers will tell it like it is - they don't have a dog in the hunt, as they say here in Tennessee - and for a realtor - we can be the "bad guy" to give them the lowdown on what really needs to be done to make a house sell.
We use home staging with every house we list. It is a very effective way to present the house in the best possible light, and in this market, the small improvements can make the difference between those who sell and those who sit. Think about another major investment--your car. If you were selling it, would you get it detailed, ot at least wash it, and remove all unnecessary items? The same principle applies to your largest investment (for most people)--your home.
I'm a professional home stager, so I do have a personal prejudice. When you put your home on the market, you are entering it in a beauty contest. The best looking homes in the best condition sell fastest and for a better price. Professional stagers have training and experience to know how to best market and present your home so that it is appealing to the most potential buyers. Staging is not only about decluttering and depersonalizing. It is about creating a flow (with proper furniture placement) and emotional response in buyers that makes them want to sit down and write out that deposit check. Some people have the skill to do this themselves. Most do not (and that includes real estate agents - sorry) At the very least you should call some local stagers and find out what they would charge for a Comprehensive Consultation. We charge $350 ( can be higher or lower depending upon what part of the country you live in and the individual stager) depending upon square footage and we generate a 6-10 page report that tells you everything you should/could do to get your home into picture perfect condition. You can then do the work yourself, do some of it and hire some of it out, or hire the home stager to do it all for you.
BTW, I wholeheartedly agree with some of the comments above. You need to have great photos posted on the internet and in the MLS or you home, no matter how lovely, will be dismissed with the click of a mouse.
I firmly believe in home staging ,part of the process is getting your mind around the fact that you want to move and allowing yourself to be inconvenienced temporarily. Example-- I had an owner who worked from home--the dining area was now her office--huge desk, several monitors, file cabinets, paperwork-- generally a mess, especially when you add in kids computer and layout of couch in room (DR/LR combo). She fought me about rearranging things because "she would not be able to see hers kids playing outside in the summer" (we were in March). I finally got her to agree, had my husband help me move furniture and gave her a list of things to accomplish. Result- a room that seemed twice as big, clutter was gone/minimized-showings picked up and accepted offer in about two weeks.
If your agent is not experienced in staging, try detailing--unpersonalize it,move stuff to storage and think light,bright and low clutter.
As a Realtor and Stager, I believe that staged homes sell faster and sell for more money. Staging is not necessarily about bringing more things into the house. It can be accomplished using the owner's things, or just cluttering. Staging isn't the same as decorating. Staging is neutralizing - making it easy for the buyer to imagine his/her own belongings and style in the house. It's about presenting the house in a favorable way by using light, color and space.
Either find a Realtor who is also a stager, or have your Realtor recommend a stager who will do at least a consultation.
Stage, Stage and Stage! It is vital for most houses! If you are in the most desirable location with no competition well you can get by without staging but otherwise do it even if you do only the public rooms. Stage with your own furniture if you still live there but bring in some fresh eyes too! You will be biased by what you see. If you don't want to pay for a stager consultation then get objective opinions from people... and don't get mad if they disagree with you. In the end you want to sell your property for the highest amount of money in the least amount of time so if it means getting rid of almost everything, just do it.
Well, think about what you would want in a home. Like most buyers, you probably would prefer a house that's clean, up-to-date and uncluttered, much like a model home...not one that's filled with someone else's clutter. Every seller wants their house to sell fast and bring in top dollar. Well, it may not be luck that makes it happen...It's carefull planning.
Here's our suggestion to make your house most appealing to potential buyers...1. Clear out the clutter. Pack up those personal belongings and items & papers on your floors, counters and furniture that don't belong there. Only keep a few decorative items out for visual interest. A room that has less will appear much larger than one that's filled with unnecessary stuff. Buyers can't see past your personal artifacts and you don't want them to be distracted.
2. Clean and scrub. Buyers don't want to clean up after you before they can move in so clean clean clean.
3. Empty closets - Closets that are filled to the brim with your storage will seem small and cramped to buyers. Try to remove anything that's stuffed on the bottom of the closets and hang what remains neatly.
4. Neutralize. Dark red dining room walls may be the fashion, but not every buyer will appreciate them. Tone down any bright wall colors with neutral ones. Also, replace family photos and personal items with items that have a more general appeal like simple artwork. You want buyers to say "I can see myself living here".
5. Give your rooms purpose. If a room is junk-filled, pack up everything and use the space as it was meant to be like a bedroom or an office. Buyers will value the space more. Almost every home shows better with less. You don't want a potential buyer saying "What is this room used for?"
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Home Staging is a GREAT idea and a lot of stagers take no longer than 3 hours so to me it is definitely worth the investment! Staging does so much for the visual effect to a buyer!
Troy there are so many articles on line about staging that either you or your very professional agent (by the way who should know how to stage) can get help.
Just a few thing;s to remember...LESS IS MORE. Closets are a biggy as well as furniture in rooms. remove some furniture and just keep the basic's in the room even if you have to rent a storage area until you sell. Also when someone looks in a closet if there's room to put more clothes in it it looks big but if it's full it looks small. GOOD LUCK..save your money.
you guys, notice that date thing on this thread? think the poster still needs your help
Stage Stage Stage! If you can't afford it - get a consult.
Staged homes consistently sell in 1/2 to 1/4 the time & net the owner 5-15% more profit (depending on who's promoting the study + the geographical area + the year the study was done). Result = staging almost always pays for itself no matter what the price of the home.
Having a 'staged' home doesn't nessisarily mean you have to hire a stager. Much of the information on how to prepare a home for sale is available free and online. However, IMHO, spending $100-200 on a consultation could well be the best financial decision you can make when selling your home.
The key is to find a stager who actually knows what they're doing. The problem is since the staging industry is totally unregulated the market is saturated with inexperienced, part-time, and incompetent stagers.
Staging is all about first impressions, and stagers are in the business of marketing. So look at their website, their first impression, closely. If their website is terrible, or they don't have one, how good will they be at marketing your home? Ask to see their portfolilio, ask to see current mls number of homes the CURRENTLY have staged. That will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Last point: a staged home should not look "staged" or contrived in any way. A well staged home is simply clean, bright, uncluttered, and most importantly the furniture is arranged in an optimal manner that best makes use of and relates to the architecture/shape of the room.
In other words; if you walk into the master bath & spy a champagne bottle, two fluted glasses and Barry White CD perched on the edge of the tub... RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!
azrob~ even though the post is old, most people will do a search before posting to find out if the question they have has already been addressed; and then will read through the answers for themselves. I always do this when going to a new forum with a burning question :o)
Home staging is a good tool in selling your home. But you can do this yourself.
1. Declutter and put up personal items such as pictures, collectibles, etc.
2. Clean and dust your home thoroughly to show it in its best light.
3. Keep home fresh by using freshners, not scented candles. These may be a turn off to potential buyers, as everyone does not like the smells.
4. Open all curtains, blinds, etc to show off all the natural light that comes into the home. This makes the home brighter and more appealing.
5. If you have pets, make sure that all areas are clean, and when possible, remove them for showings.
I think that you can do this yourself, if you follow the simple steps above. We do this for our clients all the time, and we are not stagers. You just want to make sure that the home shows clean, bright and smells good. Once everything is done, make it a daily ritual to keep it straight. You never know when the right "buyer" will come by. Good luck
Your house is really pretty. It shows well. I agree that you need more pictures to show it off. I definately believe in staging. I had a stager come in (she was very reasonable) and helped me out immensely. You need an objective person when it comes to "your" stuff. I staged and less than a week later, I got an offer. A lot of it was taking out some furniture and also taking down paintings. We had a great front deck with a rocking chair on it and she suggested putting a colorful pillow on it so people could see themselves sitting there. She also suggested something round (one of those iron thingies) above the fireplace instead of the square painting I had to break up the square shape. That made a difference, believe it or not. She knew a lot of tricks like that. I didn't do everything she told me but the things I did, made a difference. The front of your house is pretty but I think a little landscaping would help too. Something inexpensive in your flowerbed.
We use a home stager for almost all of our listings. I believe they are worth the money in sales price, as long as you don's use an extremely expensive one. Our Stager will do anything from just rearranging shelves and decorations, to renting us furniture and remodeling work.
They are especially worth it if your home is valued over $250,000. At this price point, their fee is such a small percentage of the sales price, you will almostt certainly recover all of it plus more at the closing.
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