What is Home Staging?

By: Kelli Bennett

When it comes to selling your home, you want the highest price possible, right? Not only that, you probably don't want it hanging around on the market forever. Well there's good news. Evidence shows that homes that have been staged sell faster and for more money than un-staged homes on the same market. That's because a staged home makes an excellent first impression, and when visiting a home once is often all a buyer has time for, that first impression is key to making a sale.

So what does it take to stage your home? Well, it is a lot more than just rearranging furniture and putting up a fresh coat of paint, although those things often factor in. It can be about making minor outstanding repairs to your home, but it's also more than that. As Barb Schwartz, the woman who coined the term long ago says, it's about "de-personalizing" your home. It is turning your home into a show home, something anyone could imagine living in.

One of the key factors is to make sure viewers can see the home, and see it at its best. This is where getting rid of some of your possessions comes in, and also doing any repairs that have been put off. Wood floors scuffed? Sand and stain them! Paint dull or outdated? Re-do it! Doors sticky? Fix them! House so full of furniture that you can barely walk around? Rent storage! It just needs to be done. If a buyer sees a home that will need weeks of preparation just to be ready to move in, the chances of them buying elsewhere is high. The same goes for a home that is over decorated. If a buyer can't get past all the little details of your life, how will they ever visualize themselves buying the home? Take down all those family portraits and consider replacing them with more neutral, tasteful landscape art.

While home staging is something that can be done moderately well by the lay-person selling their home, most communities now have a choice of home stagers for hire. Look for someone that is trained and certified in home staging. They will be able to see things about your home that you never could, turning it into a dream home for almost any buyer. You might end up spending between a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, but the savings comes with not only less stress, but with a higher final sale price as well.

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