Home Staging

Worth the Cost or Not? Does Home Staging Really Work When Selling a Home?

Kyle Iverson on April 17, 2019

Out of all the viewings you’ve ever taken your buyers to, you’ll always remember that one awful home! It stood out as an instant NO NO.

You didn’t need to glance at your client to know it. You walked in, and the tense atmosphere spoke for itself.

It was cluttered and run down. Fridge magnets and children’s drawings were the only items of art. And, the furniture placement was haphazard, at best.

That’s not a home that’s going to sell. Before listing your client’s property, speak to them about home staging.

Selling a home is a very competitive process. You’re up against many other properties and the way you market it is going to give you the cutting edge. Prospects for the housing market promise improvement for South Africa.

But it’s a difficult market for buyers and sellers, alike.

To compete in this market, your client’s listing needs to stand out. Home staging paves the way to a successful sale.

What is a Professional Home Stager?

A professional home stager is an artist in their own right. Someone with an eye for interior style, beauty and space. They create attractive environments that appeal to the human senses.

They are experienced in creating a room that helps people visualize how to use it. Space utilisation becomes evident. And, they’ve perfected the art of assisting the clients to achieve clever and interesting spaces in their own homes.

They use furniture, artwork and home accessories to create spaces with possibilities. They add colour and create inviting, attractive spaces. After home staging, rooms feel larger and more useful to potential buyers. Light, bright and airy.

The Benefits of Home Staging

So, the answer to the question is YES. Home staging certainly works. Any Estate Agent or Seller that’s been clever enough to try it will tell you that it certainly makes selling a home, a whole lot easier. The buyer immediately gets a good feeling about the house’s potential. Home staging adds value to the property.

It’s the foot in the door, so to speak.

Remember, those precious first impressions DO count. The truth is that buyers have a difficult time looking past the owner’s personal stuff. If there’s clutter or a mess, it can turn them off.

And that’s not the first impression you or your clients want to make.

When potential buyers walk into a home and need to make a fair assessment on the home, they want to see the following.

  • A clean, attractive environment
  • Uncluttered personal belongings
  • An appreciation of the bones or structure of the house
  • An ability to imagine themselves living in this home

It’s all about creating an atmosphere that pleases the buyer. It should enhance the home’s possibilities. Staging a home inspires a buyer to want to live there.

Home staging ticks all those boxes. It takes your listing from average to extraordinary!

Focus on Room Potential

A home stager knows how to feature your space to its full potential. The home stager brings in loan furniture, art, rugs, linen and accessories, in order to create useable, attractive spaces. Buyers will be able to get a handle on the square meterage and appreciate the potential.

Your client may even have insufficient furniture to complete the look and feel of their home. The stager can correct that by bringing in loan furniture.

Imagine that empty spare room transformed into a furnished bedroom. Or that box filled basement as an in-law apartment. These are rooms that make a home seem useful and appealing to buyers. Home staging adds value to the property.

Brilliant Photography

When you list your client’s home, you post photographs of the best-furnished rooms and interesting home features. Those posted photographs are far more important than you think. They need to look professional and polished.

Around 90% of buyers start their home search online. They look at many listings, but it’s the photographs that draw them in. Only then do they call to see it.

Interesting photographs are crucial to selling the home. Those photos lead to viewings. And, viewings lead to offers to purchase.

So, how do you get those eye-catching photographs? Not by taking pictures of regular old rooms. You need professional staging to make them appealing.

Staging your rooms sets those photos apart from the other listings. After the home stager is done with staging, your listing photos will look like they are straight out of a top-class magazine.

Add to the Imagination

During a viewing, you have about 20 minutes to impress that buyer. Why would you waste even one minute of that time?

Cut to the chase with staged rooms that help them imagine themselves living there. Those rooms that you featured online, will be even more impressive at the viewing. A buyer gets the opportunity to visualize and translate their own stuff into a well-staged room.

Remove Clutter and Personal Items

Homeowners become accustomed to their own surroundings. What might look fine to them on a daily basis, could be off-putting to a potential buyer. A home stager can help identify those problem areas.

The best way to sell the home is to create a visually appealing neutral palette. Not an empty slate, but a slate full of possibility. One the buyer can fill with their imagination.

That means all clutter and most personal items need to go.

It could be as simple as boxing up excess collectables and kiddie’s toys or hiding the mail in a drawer for a while. The home stager will help your clients to come up with these solutions.

They’ll also help your clients depersonalize the space. Things like excess family photos, children’s art, calendars and personal notes on the fridge get packed away.

Personal items emphasize that the home belongs to someone else. And we want them to imagine themselves in the home. These items are also very distracting. It makes it harder for the buyer to visualize it as their own.

Accent What’s Already There

The existing furniture and accents may well be absolutely fine. Especially for those clients who continue to occupy their home while it’s on sale, the goal is not to remove everything and create a new sterile environment, but to enhance what is already there.

Professional stagers don’t always need to bring stuff in. Many times, they can rearrange what’s already there to create an attractive space. Then they may add an accent here and there to pull the look and feel together.

It need only be a tiny solution to make a big impact. For the worn couch, a well-placed throw could be the simplest answer to partly covering it up and making it cosy. Old wooden furniture can be given a new lease on life with a touch of polish.

The right touches can inspire buyers. Things like potted plants, a fruit bowl in the kitchen, or an open cookery book, can make an inviting display. It welcomes people to enjoy the room in the way it’s designed to be.

Home staging isn’t designed to hide flaws or problems within the home. It’s designed to highlight the home’s very best features. It adds value and talks to the buyer.

Recommendations That Sell Houses

The most useful thing gained in hiring a professional house stager is honest advice given. The home stager knows many tips and tricks to help your client’s house appeal to buyers.

They offer advice for organizing and cleaning the house before a show-day. Like hiding the signs of daily living. Where to store the laundry and children’s toys.

Some recommendations are rather more structural. They’ll tell your client if they need to update paint, wallpaper or fixtures. Anything that can improve the attractiveness of the home without great expense and/or time delay to the marketing process.

A good stager can see at first glance what stands out, whether good or bad. The home stager makes the necessary recommendations that will assist in a speedy sale.

Who Needs it?

Does every home need to be staged? If the seller wants a competitive edge in the market, then the answer is YES. A stager can add value to any seller’s situation.

Keep in mind that there are different levels of staging. It all depends on the needs of the home and what the seller brings to the table. A 1-hour consultation with the home stager will sort it out.

Here are a few situations that a stager can help with.

Fully Furnished Listings

These are homes that the seller and family are likely to be still living in. There is plenty of furniture for each room. The home has some nice features and decor.

A stager will come in, assess the existing look and feel, and make recommendations. The seller may need to pack up some personal items which can easily be stored in plastic containers until the move.

Furniture or art on loan from the stager will finish the look.

Partially Furnished Listings

In a partially furnished listing, the stager may need to bring in more items to fill the empty rooms or spaces in order to create a more homely and inviting atmosphere. They can bring in artwork, furniture, linen, rugs and accessories to complete the look and feel.

Empty Listings

Here, the stager supplies everything needed to make the house sell. They may also work with the seller should they still have items that can be brought back into the home.

They enhance the spaces and architecture of the house with furniture and artwork.

Scatter cushions, rugs, linen and accessories soften the space.

Again, sterile is not the goal. An empty listing needs to be transformed into a place that someone would want to live in.

How Hiring a Home Stager Pay Offs

Wondering how your clients will see the advantages of hiring a home stager? It’s all in the final details! The sale made quicker and easier and at the best market-related price!

The most important thing to remember is that staging MUST occur before anything else! The photographs and listing need to wait.

That way, the home hits the market in peak condition. It will be ready for buyers from the get-go.

If you follow this important advice, your seller will see the payoff.

Get the Asking Price or Better

Sellers that hire a home stager get offers that are closer to their asking price. Sometimes better in a competitive market.

Why? Because the home that is well presented won’t get passed over by picky buyers.

It becomes a gemstone among pebbles. It is memorable, and there’s no reason to question its value.

A staged home attracts serious buyers in its price range. It comes across as move-in ready and a valuable deal. That’s an appealing quality, making it competitive with other listings.

In fact, it could be a deciding factor for some buyers. Especially when compared to a property that still needs money to be spent once bought.

Stand Out on the Internet

Professional quality photography sets online listings apart from the regulars. It drives the home to the top of the list. These professional images cut out the competition before the buyer leaves their couch.

Those staged rooms look like every buyer’s dream come true. Of course, they’ll want to see it. Especially if it’s already in their price range.

And, that’s where you’ll see the payoff in hiring a professional home stager. These striking photographs generate buyer interest. That, in turn, creates more opportunities for showing the home and selling it.

A Faster Sale

Realtors agree that the longer a home sits on the market, the harder it is to sell. Time also devalues the listing, making the asking price seem too high. People begin to wonder if there is perhaps something wrong with the home.

Staging creates a greater opportunity to sell the home quickly at its asking price.

Once a potential buyer walks into a staged home, they can see themselves living there. Sure, they may go see other places. But, they’ll remember your client’s listing and compare other homes to it.

Hire a Professional Only

Home staging only pays off if you hire a professional. Look for the best in the business.

When shopping for a stager, look for someone with experience in home staging and space planning. A stager with an artistic eye is a bonus. A good track record and reasonably priced service are what you’re looking for.

All these areas make for a well-rounded home stager! Those experiences are essential for working with colour, design and spatial awareness

Many have websites or a portfolio to view. It’s a great way to see their experience and home staging style.

Check reviews to see how they fare with previous clients. Look for recommended stagers from fellow realtors, too.

Don’t hire an interior designer to do a staging job. They’re trained to furnish rooms based on the style of the owner. It’s a fixed style that may not be well received.

A stager knows how to create spaces that inspire imagination. The home can please a much wider range of people.

Selling? Call a Home Stager, Today!

Don’t waste time listing a home before it’s ready to show. Hire a home stager to give it an edge in a competitive market. The home will show better and attract serious buyers.

Home staging finishes those details that make it shine! It’s worth the investment in order to make a faster sale at a market-related price! Add value to the service you give your clients by suggesting a good home stager. It will make your job a whole lot easier! Add value to your home!

Looking for a home stager in South Africa? I can help! Give me a call, today.

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