Home staging is a relatively new service, helping homeowners prepare a home for sale. Think about your experience flipping through a decorating magazine, how you react to certain rooms and want to transport them into your home. In the same way, a home stager looks at each room and identifies the best way to showcase your homes best features for prospective buyers.
Where a Realtor® might suggest certain rooms be painted, a home stager goes further and recommends the new paint colors, changes to the window treatments to make the room lighter and brighter, and so much more.
A survey of real-estate agents indicates home staging can reduce the time a house spends on the market by one third to one half, along with the potential to get a price that's 10-15% higher than an empty home or a house that hasn't been properly staged.
Each home stager offers a different mix of services so you want to find someone who matches your needs and budget. Budget conscious homeowners can get a consultation which often includes a written report. You'll get a list of do-it-yourself staging projects, from removing personal effects and clutter, to re-painting rooms with popular, neutral colors that everyone likes. Ideally the items on the list will be prioritized from critical to nice-to-have, so if you can't get everything done in time, you'll get the maximum benefit.
Home Staging Services
The magic in working with a home stager is they have no emotional attachment to your home. They represent your buyer's perspective, exactly what you want. Costs range from a consultation for a few hundred dollars up to 1% of your sale price, but home stagers don't price their work on a percentage of the listing price (read a discussion among home stagers and realtors). There's a huge difference in services offered from a one time visit and consultation to the home stager who handles all preparation for putting your home on the market from storing excess furniture to decorating your home with rental furnishings. An empty home might also require more work and rental furniture than a furnished home.
Here are the home staging services to consider. If you don't need to sell your home right away and want to do more work yourself, the consultation will get you started but be honest with yourself as to how much time you can truly commit to this project. If time is critical and there's a large inventory of homes competing with your house, you'll want to give serious consideration to using more of these staging services.
- Staging consultation identifies what needs to disappear — clutter, personal items and excess furniture … and what needs to be changed like furniture placement, paint colors and accessories.
- There are stagers who rent furniture that is appropriate for a home on the market, which is especially important for unfurnished/unoccupied homes.
- Stagers will shop for homeowners, for the accessories like throw pillows, plants and wall hangings that show off the best features of a room.
- When requested, stagers will mange the transformation of your home from replacing furniture, to painting a home and hanging new window treatments.
- Many home stagers also offer photographs of your staged home using a wide angle camera, very useful for your online listing and print marketing.
Good real estate agents will recommend using a stager. They will partner with one/more stagers and be able to get you priority scheduling and competitive pricing. Listen to one of Chicago's well known stagers and the real estate agent they work with (from CBS News).