Staging defined – “the preparation of a home to sell by a professional who specializes in this form of decorating.”
Staging can occur on two different levels:
1. Basic Staging
• Removing clutter in the home.
• Placing only attractive, basic furniture in each room.
• Keeping walls, trim, and carpet in neutral colors.
• Removing personal items including pictures, hobby items, etc.
• Taking care of any deferred maintenance items.
• Cutting the grass, trimming the bushes and taking care of the landscaping. etc
2. Emotional Staging
Emotional staging goes a little further trying to get the buyers to picture themselves living in your home by creating a specific ambience. Examples of this are:
• Putting pillows and two wine glasses in front of the fireplace to create a romantic evening in front of the fireplace.
This being said, the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (naeba.org) conducted a survey in the summer of 2007 of their broker & agent members about the practice of home staging. The survey focused on the impact on home buyers of the practice. The report outlines the results of the survey.
According to a survey by HomeGain of 2,000 real estate agents Nationwide, a small investment by a home seller in cleaning & decluttering, lightening and brightening, and home staging, produced an average increase in sales price of $5,645.
So while staging is supposed to be helping market a home the buyer’s agents have found two interesting outcomes.
- 82% of home buyers are likely to be distracted from important issues when they go through a staged home.
- 51% of the respondents noted that staged homes often cover up real defects including structural damage.
Whether you are a home buyer, selling agent or buyer’s agent there is something to be learned from this. When viewing a “staged” home you need to look beyond the staging. You may love the colors but it is the structure of the house, the layout, how the property fits your needs, etc. that is really important. Don’t get fooled by small furniture making a room look larger. Measure it and make sure your sofa will fit.