Rebecca here, from the home office of Liz & Ellie Real Estate. I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for the team (such as writing blogs), but lately I’ve been a bit distracted. My family and I decided to buy a single-family home, just a mile away, in the middle of the Covid-19 outbreak. We had lived happily in our Melrose condo for 15 years; however, the single bathroom and distance from our daughter’s friends pushed us to relocate. We successfully bought our new home, then went to work preparing our old condo for the market. We moved out, got the place professionally cleaned, and did some light repairs.
We could have stopped there, but working with Liz & Ellie for the past five years has taught me that staging is an essential part of prepping our home. We worked through the Compass Concierge program to paint and stage the condo. When that work was complete, our space looked inviting and neutral; and the decor and furnishings highlighted all the possibilities the space holds. When Liz and Ellie shared the photos, I was thrilled to see how beautiful it looked! But I was biased, of course. I love my old condo, so wouldn’t it have looked as great without staging?
Well, the proof came when we put it on the market. About 40 people made appointments to tour the house. We got ten offers, most of them 10-20% above the listing price! Most of those who wrote letters with their offers mentioned the stylish furnishings as a big draw for them. We have more than made up for the cost of the improvements and staging. But that’s not all: our house was on the market for only six days, and it’s going to be a quick closing. Because of the high demand, the offers were excellent and included all kinds of great incentives for us as the sellers. I don’t think that would have happened had so many people not come to look at it. And why did they come? Because it looked awesome! In short, yes, it is worth the initial effort and investment to paint and stage your home. Getting it to draw buyers is the foundational step towards a successful transaction, and painting and staging does just that.
We hear a more specific argument for staging from our colleague and Chief Evangelist for Compass, Leonard Steinberg. I’ve included an excerpt from one of his daily communications here:
Yesterday I was showing a vacant apartment and as we walked from the huge en-suite bathroom with its grand soaking tub and an adjoining, large closet, we stood in the bedroom and the buyer asked quite innocently: "So where is the bedroom?"
This scenario reminded me of just how important furniture is. Furniture is relatable. Furniture messages room usage and scale. Many buyers look at the furniture, art, and accessories, not the room, scale, proportions, flow, etc. I had shown this buyer a furnished and staged model apartment and they 'got it' instantly. This is another important reminder of the importance of staging. Beautiful furnishings message a beautiful home! Yes, furniture can message scale, but more importantly, its ability to message multiple uses and a lifestyle is as important. Furniture is personally relatable and understandable.
Liz and Ellie’s website highlights the importance of staging:
“Home staging is how you get your home ready for the market so that it appeals to a large number of people. Staging is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to increase the sale price, but it is also the one most frequently overlooked.
What areas of your home should you think about with regards to staging? All of them! This includes:
exterior lawn and walkways
windows (interior and exterior)
attic and/or basement space
De-cluttering usually takes the most time. Make sure that the countertops everywhere (especially in the kitchen and baths) are almost bare. All surface areas should be free of clutter. All personal photos should be removed, making the home as depersonalized and neutral looking as possible.
Ellie is a Certified Housing Market Specialist (CHMS) and will be happy to work with you on the staging process of your house before you put it on the market. She and Liz can easily provide you with helpful materials on home staging. We also work with a number of professional stagers and would be happy to connect you with one or more.”
Looking to list your home now, or in a few months? Contact us and we’ll get you started. We’re here to help.