Ten Home Staging Myths

Citylifestyle Home Staging Myths

Ten Home Staging Myths

Learn why these popular staging myths are untrue.

By Anabelle Bernard Fournier Bathrooms Expert | about home

If you think any of these state­ments are true, you could be los­ing mon­ey when sell­ing your home.

1. Home Staging is expensive.

Home Staging is expensive. Fact – increases property value.You don’t need to spend a lot of mon­ey to stage suc­cess­ful­ly. On aver­age, you should expect to spend about 1% of the val­ue of your home on stag­ing. For exam­ple, if your home is worth $200,000, you will prob­a­bly not spend more than $2000. If you’re home is in good shape, you could spend con­sid­er­ably less. After stag­ing, you will eas­i­ly be able to add that much to the ask­ing price, and often 2 – 3 times that amount.

When clients are hes­i­tant about the cost, I often tell them this. The cost of stag­ing is usu­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant­ly less than the cost of the first price reduc­tion. Think about it. It’s not com­mon for a home on the mar­ket to nev­er have any price reduc­tions. How much is a typ­i­cal price reduc­tion ? Often, it’s at least $5,000, but usu­al­ly $10,000, and some­times more. And don’t for­get that many homes go through more than one price reduc­tion before being sold.

2. It’s better to try selling first, without staging.

It's better to try selling first, without staging. A huge mistake!This is a huge mis­take, with big con­se­quences. Even worse, the dam­age can’t be undone. Once your home is list­ed in less than ide­al con­di­tion, or at a price that is not reflec­tive of what the home is tru­ly worth, it becomes stig­ma­tized. I’ve seen real estate agents show these homes to clients to illus­trate what not to do, or to use as a com­par­i­son with anoth­er home to con­vince buy­ers why they are get­ting a bet­ter deal with that oth­er property.

You can stage, re-list, and mar­ket all you want, but it will still be con­sid­ered that over­priced house that needs work.” And even if you can con­vince some­one to take a sec­ond look, they are not going to trust you. They’ll think, how do I know this home is tru­ly worth this new price ? And you can’t raise the price after stag­ing — that nev­er goes over well in the market !

3. Staging is just the latest trend in real estate and won’t last.

Staging is just the latest trend in real estate and won't last. It's been in use for decades.If you think about it, stag­ing has been around for decades. We just nev­er had a name for it. Any­time we sell any­thing we make sure it’s in the best pos­si­ble con­di­tion. We high­light the pos­i­tive fea­tures and try to show it in the best light.

The same is true when we sell our homes. Over the last 10 years, stag­ing has real­ly been thrown into the spot­light. It con­tin­ues to grow in pop­u­lar­i­ty. There is much more infor­ma­tion avail­able and we are learn­ing more tips and tricks every day.

4. Staging just doesn’t work – plain and simple.

Staging just doesn’t work – plain and simple. A mistaken belief.Sta­tis­tics sup­port the fact that staged homes do sell quick­er and for more money.

Sell­ers who spent $500 on stag­ing recov­ered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home. (Home​gain​.com)

Accord­ing to the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Real­tors (NAR), the aver­age stag­ing invest­ment is between 1 and 3% of the home’s ask­ing price, which gen­er­ates a return of 8 to 10%!

In con­trolled tests sell­ing iden­ti­cal homes pro­fes­sion­al­ly staged vs. those not staged, the unstaged hous­es sold in 102 days, while the staged hous­es sold in 45 days. (RealEstat​eStagin​gAs​so​ci​a​tion​.com)

5. Home Staging is the same as decorating.

Home Staging is the same as decorating.While there are some sim­i­lar­i­ties, for the most part these two things are vast­ly dif­fer­ent. When we dec­o­rate a home, we add our per­son­al­i­ty and cre­ate a space that appeals to us. Our homes tell our family’s sto­ry to friends and rel­a­tives who visit.

When we stage, we are tak­ing the per­son­al­i­ty out of the space. We don’t want poten­tial buy­ers to walk in and be able to learn every­thing they can about our family’s lives. Your home should be invit­ing and wel­com­ing, but the major­i­ty of vis­i­tors should feel like they could live there. Over­ly per­son­al spaces make buy­ers feel like they are intrud­ing into your lives and space, which makes them very uncom­fort­able and less like­ly to give the home a care­ful look.

6. Buyers can just imagine what the home will look like once they move in.

Buyers can just imagine what the home will look like once they move in.This is a com­mon jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for not stag­ing a home. Sell­ers assume buy­ers real­ize they aren’t pur­chas­ing this family’s belong­ings, style, or clut­ter. Why can’t they just paint and change fix­tures ? In real­i­ty, only 10% of buy­ers can envi­sion a home’s true poten­tial. Even if they can envi­sion the poten­tial, most buy­ers don’t want to spend the time or the mon­ey to do the work. Give buy­ers exact­ly what they want and you will be reward­ed with a quick sale and a strong sell­ing price.

7. It’s not necessary to stage a vacant home.

It’s not necessary to stage a vacant home. A costly common belief.Believe it or not, a vacant room actu­al­ly looks small­er. There is noth­ing for the eye to use for com­par­i­son to assess the actu­al size. There are oth­er down­sides as well. Emp­ty spaces feel cold and uninvit­ing. Buy­ers don’t have any­thing to focus on, so they will notice every­thing you don’t want them to see, such as that small scratch in the floor. Most buy­ers can’t envi­sion how they would use each space and arrange their fur­ni­ture. As a side note, when a home is vacant buy­ers think that maybe since the sell­ers have already moved out, they are des­per­ate to sell and would take a low­er price. In sum­ma­ry, noth­ing pos­i­tive comes out of not stag­ing a vacant home.

8. Smaller, inexpensive homes are not worth staging.

Smaller, inexpensive homes are not worth staging.Every home ben­e­fits from stag­ing, regard­less of the size, price, style, or mar­ket con­di­tions. The dif­fer­ence is in what you do to stage your par­tic­u­lar home and how much you spend. Small­er homes have lots to gain with stag­ing. You want to show buy­ers how much liv­ing and stor­age space you have, and how there are enough rooms for all the needs poten­tial buy­ers may have.

9. Staging involves removing everything and painting all the walls white or beige.

Staging involves removing everything and painting all the walls white or beige.This myth has been around for quite some time and that’s prob­a­bly why it’s so preva­lent. When stag­ing, you want a home to feel warm and invit­ing. A stark, white space is any­thing but warm. The same is true of a home where all but the bare min­i­mum of fur­ni­ture is removed. It doesn’t con­vey warmth. There are so many inter­est­ing col­ors you can use when stag­ing. You want enough fur­ni­ture to show buy­ers how the spaces can be used.

10. Pets must be removed from the home while it’s on the market.

Pets must be removed from the home while it’s on the market.This is where I might dif­fer from the major­i­ty of real estate agents and home stagers. I do believe pet own­ers have a more dif­fi­cult task of doing the ini­tial clean­ing and then main­tain­ing that clean­li­ness while the home is on the mar­ket. How­ev­er, I know that get­ting rid of my pets is not an option. Of course, there are things you should do to min­i­mize their pres­ence. First, keep toys, lit­ter box­es, food and water bowls tucked away. Be vig­i­lant about odors and fur (or feath­ers). And try to keep them away from buy­ers dur­ing show­ings and open houses.