Before we talk about staging, a quick note about my last article on pricing. Unfortunately there was an error about pricing your home too low. It should have said that you can never underprice a home because if you do, most likely you’ll have multiple offers which is not a bad situation to be in. Now on to staging.
What is staging? Home staging is the act of preparing your home for sale. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Unfortunately, “I don’t want to do a thing” is said very often to realtors on their first visit to a seller’s home. Many sellers do not realize how important staging is. They don’t want to spend money staging their home but, the fact is most homes sell faster and for a higher price when they are properly staged. Most buyers first look at your home online. If your home is cluttered, dated and does not present well online, you’ll probably get fewer showings.
Before I became a realtor, I went through the process of selling my own home. I met with a local real estate agent and she suggested I remove my area rugs and take down my curtains. I was so insulted that I chose another realtor. By the way, my area rug was black, purple and green as were my curtains. Looking back, they were so dated and ugly! The rug covered my beautiful wood floors and the curtains took away from the wall of windows overlooking the woods. That first realtor was spot on. What happened? My neighbor’s home was also on the market and had the same layout as my house. They sold very quickly while my home took over 18 months to sell. Even though my home had more upgrades, potential buyers could not see past my decorating taste. I finally sold but for $40,000 less that my neighbor because it sat on the market for so long.
“In today’s market staging really shouldn’t be considered optional,” says Jane Abate, Branch Manager of Houlihan Lawrence in Briarcliff (and my boss!) says. “Homes that are not staged tend to linger on the market longer and sellers end up settling for a lower selling price. Home staging is beneficial as buyers tend to add up all the work that needs to be done and will lower their offering price or even worse, they will simply pass on making an offer. The goal is to showcase your homes best assets, so it sells as quickly as possible and for the highest price possible. Most buyers start their search online. Rolling out a well-staged home boosts the likelihood buyers will continue to click through the listing and make an appointment for a showing. One of my favorite sayings regarding staging is, “staging will never be as frightening as your first price reduction!“
Next issue, we’ll speak with a professional stager who will provide advice and suggestions for making your home ready for prime time.
Suzan Zeolla is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Briarcliff. She has over 20 years of real estate experience.