A woman staging a home

Should Real Estate Agents Stage Homes?

When it comes to home staging and real estate, many real estate agents wonder if it’s worth the added expense and effort. In this article, we’ll answer that and a few other questions about home staging that real estate agents commonly have.

What Is Home Staging?

The process of preparing a home to sell doesn’t stop when you put a for sale sign in the yard. The goal of staging a home is to highlight the best features of the property and minimize any blemishes or flaws. Agents can utilize staging to make the best possible impression on buyers. The goal is not to hide serious issues that need to be fixed, but to highlight the most positive aspects of the home.

First impressions matter a great deal in real estate. The moment a buyer steps foot in a property, he or she begins to evaluate it. Many buyers are looking for a clean, clutter-free, “move-in ready” house — unless they are bargain-hunting for a fixer-upper.

Is Staging a Home Worth It?

Staged homes have better odds of selling — which is advantageous for both homeowners and real estate agents. The average staged home sells 88% faster and for 20% more than an unstaged one, according to Realtor.com. Promoting a listing online is also more effective with staged homes. Staging a home usually involves additional costs, but it’s an investment that will likely more than pay for itself in the end.

Staging Homes for Real Estate Photos

Most home shoppers today start their search online, so it’s important that your photos of the home you’re selling portray it as appealingly as possible. Ensure the home is clean, tidy, and freshly painted if needed. Invest in stylish furnishings, window treatments, lighting, and other accessories to make it even more attractive. Getting the staging right will compel online viewers to want to take an in-person tour of the house.

How to Stage a Client’s Home to Sell

There are two primary ways to stage a client’s home: You can hire a company that specializes in professional home staging, or you can stage the home yourself and avoid the additional cost.

It will likely cost you $3,500 to $4,500 per month to have a home professionally staged. And it’s not uncommon for staging services to require a minimum of three months of fees, even if the home sells quickly. You will also need to spend time and resources investigating and assessing staging services to make sure you are working with a reliable one. You can get many of the same benefits of professionally staging a home for around $600 by doing it yourself.

Your first step in staging a home to sell should be hiring a home cleaning service to clean the house professionally. You’ll generally have to spend between $150 and $400 on this depending on the size of the house. It will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Pristine homes are attractive to buyers, as evidenced by their offers.

After that, the seller needs to pack as if closing has already occurred and they are moving out immediately. An uncluttered home is more appealing to buyers because they can picture their furniture and other belongings inside. For similar reasons, the seller should remove all family photos before showing the home to prospective buyers. You should also ask your client to remove any items of a political or other potentially controversial nature.

Focus on areas of a home where potential buyers will spend the bulk of their time. These areas are the living room, dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom. You also want to pay special attention to what the buyer will see right as they walk through the door. This can have a substantial impact on whether a home shopper will choose to put an offer on the house, and how much buyers are willing to pay.

Improve a Home Buyer’s Experience

Setting the stage with a neat and clean home is the first step to winning over the buyer. Improving the home buyer’s experience in the home is also key. You might also try quietly playing instrumental music during a showing or open house. Of course, there’s the old standby, baking cookies immediately before you show the house to make it smell irresistible. If you do this, leave the cookies on the kitchen counter with a note inviting home shoppers to help themselves.

You should not think about staging your client’s house as a decorating project. With home staging, you want to make the home seem as warm, spacious, and enticing as possible while giving prospective buyers the chance to picture the home as their own. Home staging real estate agents typically receive more attractive offers for their clients and sell properties in less time.

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