A lot of sellers have mixed emotions about staging, and many have asked me whether it’s really worth the investment. My answer to that is to quote Barb Schwarz, recognized as the inventor of the staging concept: "As a simple rule of thumb, the investment in staging your home will always be less than the first price reduction on your home."
Ultimately, when you are selling a property, you are not just selling a house, you are selling a lifestyle. Surprisingly (or not), most buyers have a really hard time visualising a home’s full potential, and their only estimate of value is based on what they see. Your aim is therefore to create the illusion of a certain lifestyle, highlight your home’s best features, obscure the ones that are a little less attractive, and showcase it as a buyer’s dream residence. Gone are the days of just doing a general tidy up, or even of showing a vacant home. If you are no longer living in your home, or if this is an investment property you are selling, avoid the common misconception that there is no need to stage a home that’s vacant or completely devoid of furnishings.
In today's day and age, with the majority of potential homebuyers initiating their home search on the Internet, you have to ensure that your property’s photographs and virtual tour is going to grab their attention. The majority of buyers are very visually motivated and it is very difficult if not nigh on impossible to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of your home and captivate viewers with the best possible visual experience, if your house is empty. Even if they didn’t see your home online first, when they walk into your vacant home, they will have a really hard time visualising their furniture in there and how it is going to work, since they tend to only see what’s in front of them.
The harsh reality is that only a very small percentage of potential buyers who visit your home are able to walk in, see beyond what is presented to them, and imagine how your house could look with their belongings and furnishings. The vast majority of buyers only see what is immediately before them; the house as it is, not as it could be. In order for you to maximise the appeal of your house, you have to create the illusion of the perfect home and an accompanying lifestyle that is simply irresistible. This is the ultimate goal of staging and the magic trick that will get your house sold for top dollar in the shortest time possible.
If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call. I’ll be happy to visit your home and give you advice on getting it ready for sale. Alternatively, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy of my book Getting To SOLD – it’s loaded with pointers on how to prep your home for sale and get top dollar for it.