To Stage or Not to Stage

When I council people who are wanting to sell a house the subject of home staging often comes up. Is it worth the cost? Will it result in a higher sales price? Good questions that I am going to tackle here.

First of all, selling home does require preparing the house. As I have mentioned before, getting it really clean is the first and most important thing that you are going to do. No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt. A dirty house will sell for significantly less than a clean house, in my opinion.

Before staging
The next stage of preparing a house to maximize it’s value is replacing worn surfaces such as carpets and counters, and then painting walls in good neutral colors that optimize the attractiveness of the house. I do believe you get your money back from carpet and paint. I want to be clear that I am not talking about remodeling kitchens and baths. While those are items that do improve the value of a house, I am addressing this blog post to the average person who wants to simply prepare a home for sale. I am not addressing the concept of a big remodel, commonly called a flip, to completely change a house.

Assuming the house is clean and has good carpet and paint, do you need to go one step further and have the house professionally staged with furniture and art work? I think it depends. If your property is in a high-demand price range, and in Lake Oswego that would be $500,000 or less, I just don’t think that home staging is necessary. A house in this price range is going to be given attention by buyers simply because it is affordable.

If your property is priced over $500,000 I do think staging is something that you may want to consider.

If you live in the house I don’t think you necessarily need to pay for the full services of a staging company that would require removal of your possessions and then the rental of new furniture and art. Rather, I think you may want to consider a one time consultation for a few hundred dollars. Actually, this is a service that I often do for my clients at no additional charge. I am not a professional stager, but I do have a sense of what looks good and what does not. The basic premise is remove clutter and over crowded furnishings to make rooms feel as large as possible.

After staging
If the house is completely vacant then putting a few decorative items into it will make if feel more warm and soften the hard edges of blank walls. I have a small supply of staging items that I often use in vacant homes.

If your house is clean and decorated in a tasteful manner I don’t think that you will sell for a greater final price with professional staging services. I do however think that your house will sell more quickly. This means that if your home is at a higher price point, staging can make your house stand out to buyers and can trigger a quicker offer.

Costs associated with home stage run as little as $200 for an hour’s consultation. If you do choose to have the house staged with furnishings and art, you pay by the size of the house and the length of time that the furnishings are rented. An average home runs about $3500 a month and a huge home can be as much as $9000 a month. On average sellers will rent the furnishings for a couple of months.

What it comes down to is the decision to stage or not to stage needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Please give Linda or myself a call if you would like to get our opinion about your home. We are both familiar with the concept of home staging and we both have companies that do professional staging that we would be happy to refer you to.

Thanks for reading,

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