In the Buyers' market we are in, staging a home for sale is critical. Staging is not interior decorating - far from it. You need to put your home in a condition that makes it appeal to a wide range of Buyers. Staging turns your home into a "product" for sale.
Staging does not have to be expensive. Often what is needed is the purchase of staging supplies, some "sweat equity," decluttering each room, and "de-personalizing" a home (such as putting away personal photos and other personal items). There are times when some additional expenses are needed, such as: renting storage (a POD is an example) for excess furniture and clutter that is useful for the next home; the purchase of some new furniture that can be used at the next home, some of which can be assembled after purchase to save money; new, inexpensive cabinet handles, bathroom fixtures, or light fixtures; etc. But, sometimes staging can be as simple as rearranging furniture, moving furniture to different rooms, or removing excess furniture from the home (to storage for the next home or to donate to a charity).
The most important part of staging a home for sale is to hire a Staging Professional to assess, direct and help with the staging of your home. If you do not hire an Accredited Staging Professional, you may make changes to your home that make your home appear worse or spend money on improvements that do not add to the value of your home. These are mistakes that you cannot risk!
When you look for a Staging Professional, you will find a number of businesses that specialize in staging and have appropriate staging designations. They normally charge on a sliding scale depending upon the extent of services you select. However, you may not have the money to hire an independent Staging Professional.
There is a fantastic alternative to an independent Staging Professional. Some Realtors are also Accredited Staging Professionals ("ASP"). If you hire a Realtor who is also an ASP, that ASP Realtor can act as your selling consultant and your Staging Professional. If such a Realtor agrees, the commission you pay may cover both services. (However, if there is significant staging to be done, the ASP Realtor may require reimbursement for expenses and time incurred.) If your Realtor is not an ASP, you may want to ask your Realtor to engage a Staging Professional to help you, at your expense or your Realtor may agree to pay for the Staging Professional from the Realtor's commission.
It is important for Sellers to understand that the listing price for their homes needs to match the condition of their homes. The new "mantra" for selling a home is "condition, condition, condition." Staging a home is a major factor in selling a home in the shortest time and for the highest price possible. Because we are in a Buyers' market, Buyers are looking for homes that are "move-in ready." Sellers who stage their homes for sale have an advantage over the competing homes that have not. Staging gives Sellers an "edge." In the current market, every Seller needs that "edge."