Realtors love to show homes in the best possible light, and homeowners may even be willing to pay thousands to make that happen. But is “staging” your home for sale really worth it? Let’s take a look at the facts.
Staging a home isn’t normally the homeowner’s idea — it’s usually the sales agent’s idea. Remember, the seller’s Holy Grail is to sell your home, no matter what. So if the realtor feels the need to throw a few thousand dollars of your hard-earned income into a home staging project, well that’s just the price you’ll have to pay to ultimately take that “for sale” sign down off your front lawn.
That’s not to say that staging doesn’t work. Obviously, a cleaner, more polished home that cleans up well will sell faster than a home that looks like Marilyn Manson rented it out for the past six months.
The real question is, how much should you pay, and what should your priorities be, when you stage your home for a quick sale — at the price you want?When considering a home staging project, consider the following issues:
In a market glut, you need your home to stand out. A good home staging can separate the wheat from the chaff in your neighborhood. Let’s face it — dirt-caked, cluttered homes with uncut grass out front and a pockmarked driveway are hard to sell. In real estate, image really is everything, and staging can help in that regard.
Hart Associates, a Philadelphia home staging firm, says that a properly staged home can sell for up to 10% higher than homes that aren’t staged (of course, that doesn’t count the money you’ll pay a professional stager to work wonders on your home). The International Association of Home Staging Professionals, which definitely has a horse in the home staging race, estimates that the average U.S. staged home sold for $26,000 higher than homes that weren’t staged.