Curb Appeal

To stage or not to stage

Should you stage before you show?

Once you make the decision to put your home on the market, there is a laundry of things you’ll have to do to prepare for strangers to walk into your home and fall in love with it the way you once did. Many grapple with the decision of paying for a stager to help prepare their home to show and some aren’t sure there is real value in the service. When it comes to getting top dollar, do you really need a stager?

The cost of a stager can turn many potential sellers off using a service they were never convinced they needed. However, while the price may seem high to hire a stager, the benefits of getting more for your home and having it sell fast will quickly off-set that price tag. Getting less than you were anticipating for your home is often the price seller’s pay when they opt to bypass the staging process.

To stage or not to stage?

While it seems that you should be able to clean up, de-clutter and make your home presentable to potential buyers, the process of staging can actually save you time, money and even provide you with décor ideas you hadn’t thought of that you can take to your new home. The main benefit of a stager is that they can re-work your space that will elicit an emotional response from buyers. Your home organized in just the right way with just the right touch can really drive desire and make buyers want to buy – now. Boosting a buyer’s mood with emotional connections can help your sales potential – enormously!

Some sellers worry that they’ll have to put all their stuff into storage and lose the conveniences of living in their home while it sells however stagers will use what they can of yours and some will even give you a cost savings if they use most of your items. And when it comes to cleaning up after a day or evening of ‘living’ in your home, well you have to do that anyway if you want to show your home.

What you can expect is that a professional will find ways to make your home feel comfortable, simplistic and inviting. They’ll remove many personal items so that the potential buyers can see themselves in the space. This is hard for some sellers as they share a great history with their home however once you put your home on the market you have to begin to distance yourself from it emotionally.

Can you stage it yourself?

There are a few simple rules you can follow to prepare your home if you absolutely do not want to engage the services of a stager. These simple tasks will help you to prepare your home and help to optimize its appeal:

  1. De-clutter all loose items around your home. Now is a great time to purge for your upcoming move as well.
  2. Organize – closets, drawers, your garage and every single space whether you think people will see it or not.
  3. Depersonalize – remove pictures, knick-knacks and signs of your personal hobbies. This will help potential buyers picture themselves in the space.
  4. Lighten up your space by giving a fresh, light coat of paint to walls, opening curtains and blinds to light natural light in and clean all glass surfaces and windows to provide a clearer view and more reflection. Remove heavy, old blinds or window coverings that darken the room.
  5. The first impression starts at the first glance so don’t forget about curb appeal (I think this should link to the CURB APPEAL article). Tidy up old bushes and plants, give the front door a fresh coat of paint and clean up or replace fixtures such as mailboxes, handles and lights.

Remember, once your home goes on the market you only have one chance to make a first impression so consider how much time and effort you’re able to put into your home to get the most out of it.