To stage or not to stage: Does it make a difference when selling?
When selling your home in Australia, it can be difficult to know what’s right and what you need to do before you go to market. You may be thinking the walls need a lick of paint, and perhaps that the garden needs a bit of work.
A lot of people also ask if staging is worthwhile, and what exactly it entails. To clear the air and make your sale a little easier we’ve had a closer look at staging and if it’s the right option for your home.
What exactly is staging?
Home staging is a process where you accentuate a home’s positive aspects and minimise its negative ones.
In a nutshell, home staging is a process where you accentuate a home’s positive aspects and minimise its negative ones. This is done by arranging furniture, art and accessories in such a way that your property’s appeal is maximised.
Staging will also remove the personal feel of your home and present it in such a way that buyers will better be able to imagine their lives in it.
In theory, this helps create a good first impression with buyers and improves your home’s appeal, which should mean more interested buyers and a higher selling price.
There have been relatively few studies done in Australia to prove its effectiveness, but many agents stand buy staging as a brilliant way to guarantee a sale.
Is it really worth it?
The short answer to the above question is ‘it depends’. Each property is different and buyer preferences vary in different areas – however, there is some hard evidence available that says staging is generally worthwhile.
A recent National Association of Realtors study found that 62 per cent of seller’s agents thought staging decreased the amount of time a home spent on the market. Around half of buyers agents agreed that staging always has an effect on buyer’s opinions of a home, and a further 31 per cent said it increases the selling price of a home by 1 to 5 per cent.
When selling your home it can be so difficult to know what’s right and what you need to do before you go to market.
Tamara Lloyd, principal of Ray White Croydon, is a big advocate for home staging and described the benefits at length in a recent article. It’s her belief that in many cases staging can add tens of thousands to a property’s value, and that it will help your home sell quicker.
At around $3,000 (on average) for a full staging package for a four bedroom home, it’s not a huge cost considering the potential benefits.
Can I self-stage my home?
While a professional stager will most likely do a better job (it’s their profession after all) if money’s tight you can definitely stage your home yourself. Remember the following essentials when doing so and you could add value to your home and help it to sell quicker:
- Depersonalise: remove family photos and personal items. This will allow buyers to visualise living in your home rather than making them feel like intruders.
- Declutter: get rid of mess and excessive clutter such as small appliances on the kitchen bench.
- Go neutral; bold colours or quirky designs may put half of buyers off, so it’s always best to go for a neutral palette.
- Emphasise space: use smaller furnishings, mirrors and light colours to make rooms seem larger and more spacious.
- Remove the eyesores: have a look around your home – are there any pieces of art or furniture that stand out as ugly or dated?
- Add greenery: flowers, even if they’re fake, will make your home a more pleasant place to be. Add a few potted plants in key rooms around the home.
- Tidy the garden: get rid of weeds, dog toys, hose reels, cut and edge grass, and make outdoor living areas appear comfortable with cushions and throws.
- Don’t over stage: petals on the bed, cookies in the oven or a setting for a fancy meal may make buyers thing you have something to hide.
When self-staging, you may want to hire furniture to add to the look of your home. You can do so for far less than the cost of a full staging package.
Get the best advice you can
If you’re selling a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs staging may not be worth the extra expense. However, if you’re selling the family home a city centre apartment or any type of premium real estate the few thousand it costs to hire a professional stager could be well worth it.
Before you make any decisions, speak to your local real estate agent for advice on whether staging is worthwhile for your property. They’ll be able to help find a brilliant stager to help if it’s necessary, or help you get your home into shape if it’s not.