(Or, staging for the home you want to STAY in!) How would you like to…
Confused about whether (and how much) staging your home to sell is needed in today’s market? We’re debunking 5 myths to help you get the best results!
In real estate, it sometimes seems like anyone who’s bought or sold a home considers themselves an expert… but we all know that’s not true! Different areas, eras, homes, and financial situations create radically different demands when it comes to selling your home.
And when it comes to staging—a step in the selling process that has changed RADICALLY over the past 5-10 years—myths and misconceptions linger.
We’re here to bust those myths and give you the real truth!
Myth #1: Light (or soft) staging is cost-effective
Especially damaging for those selling a vacant home, this myth says that light staging will cost you less, allowing you to keep more of whatever you sell the home for. In this scenario, the house has been cleaned out, and then a “stager” is brought in to add artwork, area rugs, accessories, and/or plants.
But there are so many strikes against sellers who do this.
The biggest single one is that adding a few decorative details will never create the kind of powerful emotional connection that makes prospective buyers stop in their tracks.
It’s like saying the smell of apple pie is just as satisfying as the taste. Wrong!
Buyers’ dreams and desires are fueled by the story they envision themselves living as they experience your house. And it’s that emotional connection that hooks prospective buyers and makes them ready to compete… hard.
Plus, without furniture, there’s nothing to truly communicate scale or flow. Empty rooms look smaller, which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Smart and effective staging has been shown, time after time, to drive up the selling price further than no staging, or light staging—when a homeowner invests in properly staging a vacant home, the average return on their investment is 586%!
Talk about cost-effective…
Myth #2: Staging is for houses with something to hide
This myth, while mostly laid to rest within the real estate community, still lingers among some less-experienced homeowners. And occasionally we have to cringe when a prospective client asks us to cover up some defect in their home.
We gently—and firmly—explain that it is NOT the stagers’ role to cover up defects—in fact, doing so is in DIRECT contrast to the ethical standards we endorse! Full disclosure of issues with a home is the law.
Staging calls attention to what’s beautiful and desirable about a home, and creates a visual “set” where buyers can imagine their own lives happily playing out.
Myth #3: Chopping your pillow tops makes seats look cozy
We’re not sure where this myth got started, but we see it all the time. People prep their sofas, armchairs and beds with nice plumped pillows, and then give them what looks like a karate chop, creating a dent in what would otherwise be a luxurious look.
This is the impression it creates: the pillows look older, like they’re sagging, and/or like you were lying down until 30 seconds before the prospective buyer had the nerve to disturb you!
The best practice for a quality appearance is to plump your pillows, arrange them side-by-side or with a slight overlap, and then leave them alone. That nice, smooth, top is a big piece of what creates the most inviting look and feel.
Myth #4: Adding area rugs to carpeted rooms draws people In
Here’s what really happens when you add an area rug to a carpeted floor: it raises red flags and creates a trip hazard!
Prospective buyers start to wonder what you’re hiding. Rather than looking up and around, daydreaming about their future life in your home, you’ve opened the door to their doubts about what ELSE you may be hiding (and not just under the rug).
Myth #5: Staging is just fancy decorating
This fifth and final myth does an injustice to both stagers AND decorators! Decorators use their skills to enhance their clients’ lifestyles. Stagers use their skills to provide clients with an unbeatable marketing tool.
While staging does rely on principles of good decorating, how the decisions are made regarding what repairs or enhancements to use are based on expertise about what will sell. Its goal is to ensure a house represents a particular lifestyle that will appeal to those buyers ready and able to compete to win it.
So, when it’s time to get your house ready to list, follow the guidance that the most successful real estate agents and home sellers know all too well: if the highest return on this major investment matters to you, be sure to get a pro to help with professional staging to sell. And if you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area, we’d love to help!