What Is Home Staging and How Important It Is?

What Is Home Staging and How Important It Is?
Lucas Smith
Thursday, July 7th
By Lucas Smith

Some of the questions our clients ask us all the time are about what to do in order to prepare their homes for sale. This is an important issue for homeowners looking to sell their homes while spending the least amount of money and hassle.

To Stage or Not to Stage?

The answer to this question is going to vary depending on your particular situation. For most of our clients, the answer is simple: No. You probably do not need to spend the money on the complete staging of your home. But in order for you to understand why you don't need to spend the money on a full staging, we first need to talk about what options are available to you when you are preparing your home for sale.

When you are meeting with an agent for the first time to discuss the sale of your home, the agent should do a "walk and talk" with you. This is where you walk through the home together and discuss what needs to be done to your home in order to make it even better. If your agent is unwilling or unable to do this, or if when they do this you feel the quality of the advice that you received is subpar, you might want to take a good look at that agent's track record before deciding to hire them.

A quick caveat here: We all live in our homes, and we know that we do not keep them show-ready at all times. So if you are doing this walk-and-talk with your agent, and they do not make any suggestions or tell you everything is perfect as is, unless your home shows like a model home, consider hiring another agent, because this person is not willing to be honest with you, or they are just not experienced enough to know what to say.

Remember, a good scrubbing inside and out is very important. First deep clean the inside and power wash the outside of the home. On the inside, you will want to start with a good decluttering and pack all of your personal items and photos. Don't be afraid to pre-pack and store some of these things. Remember, you're planning on moving anyway!

Next, look at the painting and flooring on the inside: Are they showing signs of wear and tear? If so, then plan on replacing the flooring and repainting the home in a single neutral color inside (think whites, tans, and grays).

These are the most inexpensive repairs that you can do to the home and have the highest value impact. Remember, what the buyers see as costing them tens of thousands of dollars might actually only cost you a few thousand dollars to do. However, it might earn you additional tens of thousands of dollars on your sale price.

After you have power-washed the outside of your home, walk around and look for chipped or peeling paint on the eaves and siding or deteriorating stucco. You need to have these things painted and repaired. Also, make sure to trim all of the trees and bushes, and clean up the weeds and any debris or junk collected over the years.

Again, you are moving so this is as good a time as any for a couple of trips to the local landfill to get rid of some of this stuff that has accumulated over the years.

Now that we have discussed the basics of getting your home ready, let's talk about staging. There are three different levels of staging, and you as the consumer get to decide what fits your needs best.

1. Full Staging

This involves the complete removal of your furniture and personal items from the home, while a staging company brings in furniture and decorations owned by them, and redo the entire home. This is what we see on most reality TV Shows when they stage a home and therefore is what comes to mind when most people think about staging a home. The concern here for most of us who plan on living in our homes while we sell is that we cannot live on the stager's furniture. So unless you are planning on moving out first, a full stage is not usually the best option.

2. A Partial Staging

This is where they stage a few rooms of your home, usually the main living areas such as the master bedroom, the living and family rooms, etc. This is practical if you want that staged look and still intend to live in the home. However just remember that living in a home that has someone else's furniture in it, basically means that for the duration of the sale process, those rooms will be off-limits to your family's use.

3. A Consultation Staging

This is the most common option we see with our clients. Once the initial repairs and prep for the home have been done, a stager will "walk and talk" with the client and consult on how to best use their existing furniture and d├ęcor to maximize the home's presentation. Also, the stager will provide or advise on accent pieces to add to the home to improve the presentation.

Whatever level of staging you choose, please remember the best first step is to make sure that you hire the right agent who is ready, willing, and able to give you the best advice when it comes to selling your home.

If you're thinking about making a move or you're just interested in speaking with us about getting your home ready for sale with a walk and talk call us at (714) 406-1414.