The answer to the question of whether you really need to stage your home depends on your answer to the following questions: How quickly do you need the sale to go through and how firm are you on the price?
Sure, you can get away with not staging your home. Chances are it will sell eventually to somebody months down the road. But, unless you yourself possess a seriously great design sense and an uncluttered daily lifestyle, it probably won’t sell as quickly and for as high of a price as an identical home, professionally staged, right down the street. That’s because home stagers have the training, expertise, and fluency in the latest design trends to provide a striking visual experience that attracts and engages potential buyers. And while the house itself — not the decor — is what you’re trying to get people to focus on, most buyers are highly influenced by their first impressions. And that initial emotional encounter will be vastly improved by clean, bright, minimalist furnishings that make your space resemble a spread out of a Restoration Hardware catalog rather than a cramped and jumbled overstock warehouse.
Professional stagers know how to clear the clutter and make your home’s best features shine. The process can be as simple as rearranging your existing furniture, changing up the artwork on the walls, and creating tasteful arrangements on mantels and tabletops. Or your stager might arrange for the walls to be repainted, rugs to be cleaned, and then completely reimagine the space with an arsenal of temporary furniture. Don’t take their recommendations personally. Their job is to provide a fresh, unbiased perspective that will enable them to show your house in its best light. You may love your vintage pinball machine in the living room, but it’s blocking a window and the flashing lights are likely to distract buyers from the room’s best selling point: the lovely marble fireplace.
Quite often, the cost of a home stager pays for itself by adding $5,000 to $30,000 (and sometimes more) to the selling price of your home. It’s money well spent when it results in a quicker sale and multiple bids. Think of it this way: your home is probably designed for your family’s maximum comfort and relaxation. But your stager will design it with the hopes and dreams of the potential new owners in mind. Sure, you can go to the Homecoming Dance in your favorite hand-me-downs, but you’ll probably turn more heads wearing one of the season’s hottest colors and styles. The choice is ultimately up to you.