This is a question I am asked all the time. Should I stage my home before I sell, and what are the benefits? From my experience, the nicer the home looks and the more move-in ready, the faster it will sell and for a higher price. Many buyers today just have enough for the down payment and not much left to fix up a home before they move in. Making the home look move-in ready may net you up to 20k more in the sale. That 20k to the buyer is only around $100 a month more in the payment, or around $3 a day. So, just the perception to the buyer that the home does not need work is worth that extra $3 a day. The truth is you don’t have to spend too much to make the home look 20k more valuable.
First thing to do is de-clutter. This will not cost you anything and in just a few days with some effort you can make the home look cleaner and more spacious just by packing items into boxes and moving them (along with any extra furniture) into the garage or a storage unit. The next thing you want to do is paint. This is cheap if you do it yourself and buy the paint in 5-gallon buckets. Use a neutral color that most buyers find appealing and paint the whole house, if possible, or at least the walls that are dark in color. This alone will brighten up the home and make it feel clean, fresh and larger.
Now that you have de-cluttered and painted, which should have cost you no more than a thousand dollars and less than a week of time, you are ready to stage the home. Staging is important because it can maximize the space and make the rooms look more inviting. The problem with some homes is that the furniture can be bulky, older and outdated, or items are in the wrong rooms, which makes buyers wonder if they can make the space work if they purchase the home.
All the stagers I work with can make each room look inviting and are able to maximize the space to make most buyers feel comfortable and confident with the value of the home. I have had many homes that, once staged, sell faster and for more money than those that were not. The only issue is that staging can cost between $2,500 – $5,000 per home. But if you spend 3-5k, total, and get 20k more for your home, then it’s a win, with an additional 15k profit!
But what if you can get the staging, paint and guidance on what to de-clutter for FREE? As a realtor, for every home I sell I include all of this for free, because it helps them get the home sold quickly and for more money.