This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.
Q. We’ve been looking at homes for sale in the area and have noticed a pretty big range from the homes that show well to the ones that do not. It’s obvious that the nicer looking homes have been staged. We’re going to be selling our house soon and are wondering if staging is worth the investment?
A. If your house already looks like a model home then you may not need to stage. If your home is more suited for function than fashion, I recommend staging in one of the following formats.
Consultation — A professional design consultant will provide you with a custom plan for arranging the furniture you currently have and improving your home as needed. They can provide paint, lighting and upgrade recommendations. They pay close attention to how the home will look in marketing photos and how it will showcase the space when potential buyers visit in person. At Arbour Realty, we pay for this consultation as part of our list of services.
Vacant Property Staging — The other popular option is to have the staging company furnish your home with their furniture and decorations. This is usually the optimal strategy, but it requires the highest investment. I’ve seen this method completely transform the way a home looks. It shows buyers the full potential of each room and demonstrates how the home can be lived in.
Hybrid — Some homeowners go with a hybrid of the two described above. Maybe you just need to furnish a room or two. Maybe you just need decor to compliment your current furniture.
Is it worth the investment? Absolutely. More so than selling a house, you are selling a lifestyle. Showing buyers how the home matches the lifestyle they are imagining is vital to maximizing the return on your home sale.
It is certainly going to be much more attractive than the vacant house down the street. When buyers walk through the vacant house they look out the windows at the power lines and traffic. They look for what they can find wrong with the home and are quickly ready to see the next home on their list.
When they walk into a staged home they are more instantly comfortable. They spend more time in each room. They notice and talk about things they like. They begin to make an emotional connection to the property. The difference is amazing. It’s one of the secrets to why our listings outperform our competition.
According to StagedHomes.com:
I’ve never had a seller regret staging. Actually, they often comment that they should have done it earlier while they could have enjoyed it.
Additional Tip: Staging is especially important in odd shaped or smaller spaces where potential buyers may not be able to easily visualize a good use for the room.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.