The art of home staging has gained much popularity since its’ beginning in the mid 1970’s, thanks mostly in part to the various HGTV shows over recent years. There are still, however, many misconceptions today about home staging. After having staged both homeowner occupied and vacant homes in New Jersey for over 5 years, I come across these myths from time to time:
Myth #1. Staging is unnecessary. My house will sell on it’s own.
Sure, your house may sell on its’ own, but how long will it take? How many price reductions will you go through? Perhaps all you need is a consultation with DIY staging tips and advice to get your home market ready. Nowadays, selling your home “as is” is not enough if you want to sell faster and for top dollar. Most people cannot view their home objectively. As a professional home stager, I am trained to view the home through “buyer’s eyes” and recommend improvements that could be made to make the property more attractive. Buyers are more likely to make a purchase on a home that appears well maintained and if they can envision themselves living there. It should feel like home to them.
Myth #2. Staging is all about cleaning and de-cluttering.
One of the first and important steps in getting a home ready for market is to thoroughly clean and de-clutter, but this in itself is not staging. Most buyers cannot look past a homeowner’s personal belongings and clutter to see the potential in a home. It is a good idea to get a head start on the moving process by assessing what needs to be organized, packed up, donated or sold. Consult a professional home stager for assistance with a recommended plan of action. Lastly, staging will give the home a fresh look by using updated décor and furnishings, or by using existing pieces in a different way while highlighting key aspects of the home. Most buyers will view homes online first before going in person. If the home does not appeal to them, they will turn to the competition.
Myth #3. Staging is expensive.
If a seller is just seeking some professional advice and willing to do all/some of the work on their own, the cost of home staging may be as little as the price of an in-home consultation, or a few hours staging assistance. For vacant homeowners, the fee to professionally stage the home with rental furniture and accessories usually runs less than 1% of the selling price, after fundamental repairs and updates have been done to the home. It is most often much less than an initial price reduction. Home staging can also add about 5-7% of the sales value of a home. It is best to stage a home before it is listed in order to maximize profits. According to recent statistics, staged homes generally sell faster with an average of 78% less days on market (DOM) than homes that are not staged, thereby saving the homeowner taxes, mortgage payments, and other carrying costs.
Myth #4. Staging is the same as decorating.
By definition, home staging is the act of preparing and showcasing a property for sale. When combined with the knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles, home staging is a proven marketing tool to sell the property faster and for the most money possible. Decorating a home focuses on the individual personality and lifestyle of the owner. Staging a home makes it less about the homeowner with a broader appeal to the demographic and lifestyle of potential buyers.
Myth #5. Staging is only for vacant homes.
Most all homes will benefit from staging whether they are small sized homes or condos, occupied or vacant homes, or builder model homes. Staging is essential for smaller homes as it will help show buyers how rooms can effectively be used with limited space. The reverse is true for oversized rooms that need definition and proper layout to best display the room function. Only about 10% of homebuyers can actually see the potential of a home. It is particularly important to professionally stage a vacant home. Buyers cannot visualize size and scale so furniture in a vacant home would help to give them a frame of reference. With occupied homes, a professional stager will help rearrange furniture and accessories in a way that showcases the positive features of the home while downplaying any negative.
As real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran states, “Home staging is no longer an option in this real estate market, but a must. It’s what will make a difference in whether your home sells or not.” Consider an investment in home staging to make first impressions count.
For more information about our NJ home staging services, please call Marian Jacobsen of Distinctive Styling Interiors at 732-691-2318 or email at Marian@DistinctiveStyling.com.