Hiring a stager to polish the look and presentation of your home will help it sell faster and for more money in many cases. Professional staging — in case you’re tempted to do it yourself — is more than adding a few throw pillows to the sofa and clearing the clutter. It’s a systematic approach to highlighting your home’s best features by an unbiased third party. Still skeptical? Here’s what you need to know about professional home staging.
Agents on board. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors reports that agents believe that staging a home helps sell it faster and for a higher price. Some agents ask the buyer to pay for the staging, but many agents feel so strongly they offer it as a service of the listing.
Prep work. Before staging can be accomplished, the homeowner must do the dirty work of deep cleaning and decluttering. That includes closets, storage spaces, cabinets, and countertops.
Let the staging begin. Professional stagers will move pieces of furniture around your home to give it the open, spacious look that most buyers today are seeking. They may also add pieces of furniture to empty rooms or request that you temporarily remove pieces of your furniture if a room is too crowded and doesn’t function properly. Family photos are removed to allow potential buyers to better visualize themselves living in the space. A good stager will also add key elements of decor — wall art, pottery and pillows — in currently popular colors to give the house an updated look.
Setting priorities. Stagers focus primarily on a home’s living areas, the kitchen and the master bedroom. These are the rooms most used by the household and will mean the most to prospective purchasers.
Don’t be offended. If you have a flair for decorating, don’t be offended by a stager’s changes. Staging is not decorating in the purest sense. It is showcasing. Staging makes the best use of the space in your home, balances color and depersonalizes the house so potential buyers feel at home.
Better photos. Staging benefits occur before the first potential buyer sets foot in your house. Since more than 80 percent of home shoppers start their searches online, the agent will have your home staged before the professional photographer takes pictures for the online listing.