Do I Really Need to Stage My Home in this Market?

Debbie Nelson


Let’s first talk about what staging means.  The definition is:  “The activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.” 

So – why is it necessary to stage a home for sale when there is so little inventory that many people will be clamoring to buy the property? 
It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to help you not only sell your home, but to extract the most value for your home as possible.  Buyers are swayed by first impressions.  To get the most buyers as possible interested in your home, you need to appeal to their emotions – and staging will significantly assist in doing just that.  More interest means more buyers, which could lead to more offers helping us to get you 2 things:  (1) the most money for your home; and (2) the easiest contract with the least amount of obstacles.

What does staging entail? 
First and foremost, staging means de-cluttering. Do you have items blocking a hallway? Do you have a pile of boots by the front door? Are your bookshelves cluttered with books? Are your countertops covered with small appliances?  Think about the pictures we will take of your home.  Do you really want potential buyers to see a cluttered countertop?  By clearing these spaces, you allow buyers to imagine their personal items in your space, emotionally tying them to the home. 

It may be necessary to rearrange furniture to create an easy flow through the home.  You do not want people just looking into your living room.  You want to make it easy and welcoming for them to walk to the center of the room and then sit down and enjoy the space. 

It is also important for every room to have a purpose.  Is that extra bedroom just another room to collect junk?  Then clean out the junk and set it up as an office.  Help the buyer imagine how the space can be used.  While your arrangement may not appeal to a buyer, it helps to trigger their imagination as to how they might use the space.

Finally, it means sprucing things up!  Does the front door (remember – first impressions) need to be painted?  Do you have a broken light fixture hanging down from the ceiling? All those small repairs you keep saying you’ll get to – NOW is the time to do them.  As a buyer walks through the home, they are taking note of everything that is wrong with the house.  Help stop that train of thought and focus on the assets of the home.  If a buyer sees delayed maintenance, they will not want to offer as much as they would on a home that looks well maintained.  Their thought will be, “If I’m seeing this many issues, how many hidden issues exist?”

Do I have to buy new furniture?
No!  In fact, in many cases, we may ask you to remove pieces of furniture.   

What if my home is completely empty – no furniture at all?
Easy – we will virtually stage it for pictures so that a buyer can see what can fit in a room.  Taking a picture of an empty room often makes the room feel much smaller than it is.  Virtual staging allows a buyer to see if a bed, nightstands, and a dresser would fit into the room.
The whole idea of staging is overwhelming to me – can you help me?!
Yes!  In fact, our in-house stager, Ashley, is who we call our “Secret Weapon”.  Once you sign a listing contract with us, the first step we take is to have Ashley walk the home and offer up her thoughts.  The list she prepares for you will include repairs needed, what items need to be removed and packed away, and what is needed to prepare the home for pictures.  Nelson Walley has a storage unit full of lamps, pillows, desks, chairs, bedspreads, etc. that we use to help our clients prepare their home for pictures and for showings.

As you prepare to sell your home, put yourself in the mindset of a buyer.  Walk up to your front door.  What impression does it give you?  Step into your kitchen with a fresh set of eyes.  Does it look messy, or is it ready for a new chef?  One of the most valuable services you will receive from Nelson Walley Real Estate is not only our staging expertise, but also our large network of service providers who can assist you with minor repairs or improvements that might be needed.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.   Let Nelson Walley Real Estate maximize that opportunity for you. 

Read more about this topic in the Summit Daily


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