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Is Home Staging Important?

In a the world of virtual tours and homes being seen on-line before in-person, staging is becoming ever more important. We recently sold a home in Draper, UT that was in competition with 3 other million dollar homes. This home was smaller, with a traditional look, so we went through the process of staging the home to improve how it showed. In the end the buyer admitted to choosing this home over the others because of the staging done in the Theater Room. They liked the staging so well, that they wrote into the contract that they wanted to purchase the furnishings and decor to keep that room intact as is. In addition, the home sold for nearly 97% of the listing price and had only been listed for 3 days.

Staging absolutely matters in real estate and can be as simple as learning a few tips and tricks your self or as complex as hiring a professional stager. However, please do not overlook the talents of your Real Estate Professional. We have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to staging and would be happy to help you in the process. In the mean time, here are are few tips:

Fiona Dogan with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye, N.Y., is a diehard staging advocate who recommends the strategy to all her clients. “You can’t list a house without staging it, unless it’s going to be a teardown,” she says.

The number of rooms staged in a listing typically depends on a home’s overall condition, market competition, and listing price. But usually staging a few main rooms will suffice. “You can always leave a few spaces to a buyer’s imagination rather than do the entire house,” says Marcie Barnes, director of strategic growth at Prevu Real Estate, a New York–based real estate company that focuses on buyers.

Buyers consider the living room the most important to stage, followed by the master bedroom and kitchen, according to NAR’s staging report. In each staged space, the goal is to create a universally appealing, updated, clean setting—what Dogan calls “today’s staged aesthetic.” Common denominators include neutral colored walls and hardwood floors (a rug is OK as long some flooring shows), a few pieces of comfortable, modern furniture to hint at a room’s use (perhaps a laptop on a table), mostly empty countertops and bookshelves, good modern lighting, a few accessories, and some art or a bit of color to add a pop so the space isn’t devoid of personality.

Fresh greenery offers a bit of warmth, says Barnes. Often, the desire to show some creativity is reserved for a small space, such as a wallpapered powder room. Barnes also likes to include a seasonal reference—a beachy vibe come spring and summer or cozy feel in the fall and winter—and at least one hot trend, such as a smart-home tech device.

Sometimes, however, more work is required to make a listing showing-ready because of the home’s condition or the market it’s in. Agent Barb St. Amant with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty recently had a listing in an Atlanta suburb that required interior and exterior paint, wood rot repair, kitchen and master bathroom renovations, and property landscaping to compete in that area. The home sold for 96% of its list price, went under contract within a month, and closed 30 days later. “There were nine to 11 months of inventory in that area, and typical days on market were from two to three months,” she says.

Although staging often calls for a spare look, in some areas complete household settings are making inroads—at least in trend-setting Los Angles. There, luxury staged homes are displaying more furnished interiors that are so complete, some buyers purchase what’s featured after they buy the house, says Meridith Baer. Her 30-year-old eponymous firm, Meridith Baer Home, in L.A., is hired both by agents and developers to stage their listings. The firm routinely stages 30 properties a week. “We want buyers to fall in love, and we do a variety of looks, from more minimal to very layered,” she says.

Should you decide to hire a professional remember that when looking to hire a professional stager there are some specific things you want to look for. We can help you with a list of important questions to ask before hiring. Call today for that free list.


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