To Stage or Not To Stage? A tale of 4 homes.
I have to consider whether or not to spend money on staging every time I list a home for sale. Every home is different, and not every home will benefit from staging. So when is staging worth it?
Here’s my experience with four different homes I’ve sold:
Back when the economy was tanking, 2008-2009, I hired a Feng-shui interior designer to help stage a home we had renovated on spec.
The home was a typical Arlington 2-story colonial with small tight spaces. We totally renovated the home—opened up the main level, reworked the second level and added a 4th bedroom over the garage.
Walking the home with the Feng-shui designer, she explained her approach to preparing a home for sale. It was very simple: “Create a moment in time where the buyer can imagine themselves living in the home.”
Did the staging help sell the home? Yes, I think it did.
This home was vacant for a number of years. I thought either a builder or renovator was going to buy the home. The only thing I did was to remove all the window coverings to allow natural light in. The home sold to a developer who is tearing down the home and building new.
Staging would not have helped sell this home.
Another spec project—this was a modern whole house renovation. The home was getting a lot of buyer traffic but no offers.
I thought art would add ‘color’ and make the home warmer. We tried a ‘pop-up’ art gallery with local artist and friend, Sabrina Cabada. The art was a nice backdrop but based on comments from visitors they didn’t see how they’d live in the home.
We staged the home. The conversations went from “How would I use that space?” to “Wow! I could see myself reading a book at the second level sitting area ” and “I love how dining room and kitchen flow together.”
Staging created a ’moment in time’, and definitely helped with the sale of this home.
This home was a resale in Vienna. It was immaculate. Ok, the wallpaper was a little dated but the home was very well-furnished and presented well. It was easy for visitors to see how they would live in this home.
The home sold without staging.
So, does staging help sell a home? Or is it just an over-rated way for designers to make cold hard cash?
I believe that Yes, it does help sell a home in many instances.
Staging helps create that ‘moment in time’ the Feng-Shui designer talked about. I think we often under-estimate how difficult it is for many people to visualize what an empty house could look like once furnished. Staging allows potential buyers to see how they would live within the space, and has certainly helped me sell homes that had seen a lot of traffic but few offers.
So what do you think?
Let me know! Shoot me a message or call me anytime.
Lou Sagatov, Realtor®