The Pros and Cons of Home Staging
If you are looking to get maximum value out of your home sale, you will want to consider hiring a professional home stager—and/or working with a Realtor® who offers some level of home staging services. The more valuable your property is, the more valuable staging will be for your sale.
What is Home Staging?
First, it helps to understand exactly what home staging is and why it can be beneficial. Home staging is the process of cleaning up and decorating your home in such a way to make it look as good as possible—not only in listing pictures, but when buyers come to preview the property in person. It usually involves “decluttering,” which is getting rid of extra stuff like knick-knacks, decorations and furniture that messes up the flow of any given room. Most stagers are looking to achieve a simpler look, rather than something that looks too “lived in.”
Depersonalizing the Décor
In addition, home staging will also involve “depersonalizing” the living space. This can be tough for some homeowners to accept because they have spent years decorating their house just the way they like it. However, you have to remember that buyers aren’t looking for YOUR old house. They are looking for THEIR new house. If the space feels too much like someone else’s, they’ll have a harder time imagining themselves living there. You can depersonalize by removing some décor, personal pictures and other touches that might turn potential buyers off.
Some professional home stagers may even bring in their own furniture if the current furniture is run-down or not neutral enough. This is very common when the house is vacant as it makes the space feel more welcoming than a bunch of empty rooms. They may even want to paint and decorate with a more neutral palette. Again, it’s all about letting the buyers see it looking like a livable house while also being able to imagine making it their own. Strategic home staging can strike this balance between making the home look inviting without making it feel too much like it belongs to anyone in particular.
The Benefits of Home Staging
The benefits of home staging are pretty easy to understand. You want the house to look nice for marketing and showings. You want to declutter and depersonalize the space to appeal to a wider range of buyers. When done right, good home staging can definitely increase the resale value of the property by attracting more potential buyers and driving more competitive offers. If you really want to get the absolute highest sales price, you may consider hiring a home stager.
The Downsides of Home Staging
On the other side of the coin, there may be some downsides to hiring a stager—depending on your financial situation and how quickly you wish to sell. Home staging doesn’t make sense for every seller. Like hiring a real estate agent, hiring a home stager will cost you money out of pocket. Some agents may offer staging services as part of their listing package (either as an optional service or sometimes at no additional charge in higher-end markets), so be sure and ask when you are interviewing Realtors®.
The other thing to remember about home staging is that it takes time to do it right. If you have the time to get your home fully prepared for an open market sale, you can usually get a better selling price. We’re talking about making necessary repairs, painting, staging, marketing and hiring a real estate agent to list the property, lead the negotiations and handle the paperwork. Going through these steps will cost you additional time and money. You have to determine if it is worth the extra expenses upfront if they net you a higher sales price in the end.
What is Your Selling Situation?
For some sellers, hiring a home stager and/or a real estate agent just doesn’t make sense. At PropertyLark, we deal with people in a wide variety of situations. Some need to sell quickly because of divorce, job relocation or other reasons. Some are dealing with financial hardship and want to get out from under their mortgage debt. Some have inherited properties that they don’t really want. There are many different reasons why someone might need to sell quickly or might want to forego the “traditional” real estate process that is much more complex and time-consuming than a cash sale.
With most cash sales to real estate investors, you can sell the property very quickly and you don’t have to invest any time or money in prep work like staging or repairs. Cash investors are buying homes in as-is condition because they intend to renovate and flip the property or fix it up and rent it out. They don’t care about a staged home and that will add no value to a cash offer.
Helping You Make the Right Decisions
Which route is right for you may depend a lot of different factors. The important thing to remember is that it is worth weighing your options and making the right decision for your financial future. Whether that means hiring a real estate agent and professional home stager or selling quickly for cash—or many other selling and creative seller financing options you can consider—you have to do what’s best for you.
At PropertyLark, we are glad to help you explore all your home selling and seller financing options, no matter what your homeownership situation is. Just fill out the contact form on any page of this website to get started. Let us know a little about you and your house, and we’ll contact you to make a cash offer or present you with other options to choose from. Even if you choose not to sell with us, you’ll have a better understanding of your options and that’s always a good thing!