There’s a lot to consider when selling your home. Which real estate agent to use, whether to sell at market value or for what the county assessor says it’s worth, and, of course, whether you should stage your home or not. For many, the idea of staging a home that they’ll be selling and moving out of anyway just seems like extra work that doesn’t have much in the way of value. So when you’re ready to sell your home in Columbia, you’ll have to determine whether staging your home is worth it. 

As experienced real estate agents in central Missouri, we can tell you that staging your home can result in better sales and getting a higher price for your home. Let’s explore just why that is.

What is Home Staging?

Before we get too far, it’s a good idea to dive into just what we’re talking about. 

We’ve all seen a staged home whether we’ve realized it or not. Any time you’ve walked through a model home, or even seen a newly remodeled home on a TV show, each room is laid out and organized just so as to look its absolute best. In some cases, the decorations in the room might pass the “10-foot rule,” where they look great from a distance or at a quick glance, but under scrutiny, don’t hold up. For instance, it could be a beautiful painting that’s actually just a print with varnish lathered on it, or books that are devoid of any words printed on the page. 

Basically, a staged home is one that’s been decorated and set up to appeal to buyers and visitors. There is an entire subfield within the real estate industry of people who make their living staging homes. In some cases, they’ll use the furniture that’s already in your home. In other cases, they might actually move your furniture out and replace it with pieces of furniture that they own. They may even go as far as to replace your appliances, like washing machines and refrigerators. They do this to achieve a particular look.

Why Stage a Home

So we know what staging is, but why would you ever do it? Wouldn’t an empty home be more appealing to buyers? After all, an empty home is like a blank canvas, allowing potential buyers to project their own home goods onto the space. That makes sense when you first think about it, but the reality is that not everyone can visualize how a room is supposed to look. Some home buyers would rather that work be done for them, and in fact, having a room staged allows them to think about how they might use each room. 

How to Stage Your Home

If you have the time and budget to work with a professional home stager, it might be beneficial to do so. However, we recognize that that’s not an option for everyone, or some might just have a DIY spirit and want to do it themselves. We work with clients who want to stage their home all the time, so we’ve learned a few tips and tricks in that time. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re staging your home for sale in Columbia.

Assume Buyers Will Look Everywhere

Yes, we really do mean it. Potential buyers will take any opportunity to peek their noses into every nook and cranny of your home during a tour or an open house. That means it’s always a good idea to clean up every corner of every space in your home. 

As you start thinking about staging your home, think about all of the places in your home that you’ve forgotten about, or choose to ignore. That’s where you’ll want to start your efforts.

Use This as a Chance to do Some Deep Cleaning

If you’ve grown accustomed to that particular stain on the living room carpet, simply hiding it with a rug won’t do. Staging your home is a great excuse to finally get caught up on all of that spring cleaning. Scrub down your tubs, clean behind your appliances, and shampoo the carpets. Leave no stone unturned since you already know that potential buyers certainly won’t!

Everything In Its Place

Every home has its share of clutter. It’s just a part of living in a space. But a staged home is one that’s free of clutter. Take some time to organize your home and your storage spaces. Be mindful that storage space is important to most home buyers, so don’t pack each storage space to capacity. For instance, leave a third of each closet empty so they can see how much space there really is. If you’re struggling to find a place for everything, consider boxing it up and asking a friend to hold onto it for a while. You can also use a temporary storage unit.

Stage Important Rooms First

There are a few rooms that every home buyer is most interested in — the master bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen. If you don’t have the resources or time to stage any other spaces, make sure these rooms are given a thorough treatment. You can reorganize these spaces using your nicest pieces of furniture and your favorite decorations. 

Potential homebuyers will naturally spend more time in these spaces because they’re the places they spend most of their time in their current homes. After you’ve staged these spaces, you can work your way through the rest of your home. We suggest starting with your bedrooms, then moving to other social spaces.

As you arrange each space, try to “float” your furniture by moving them away from the walls. It’s common for most homeowners to place their furniture against the walls, which can leave the space feeling cluttered. Floating furniture, like coaches, chairs, and tables, makes the space feel more cozy and welcoming. If you find that a piece of furniture or decoration doesn’t quite fit in one room, you can move it to another, or just remove it from your home entirely. Don’t feel compelled to use every piece of furniture you own.

What’s the Return on Staging Your Home?

So we know what you’re thinking. “Is all the effort worth it?”

Yes!

The National Association of Realtors suggests that for every $100 you invest in staging your home, you get $400 back. That’s a pretty great ROI. For those who are looking to maximize the final sale price of their home, staging is a great way to do just that!

Selling a home in Columbia? Reach out to the agents at Iron Gate Real estate today. We can help you sell your home quickly and efficiently, helping you get the best price possible.