Selling Your House? How Home Staging Can Make Your Listing Sizzle

So by now you’ve undoubtedly seen the miracles performed on channels such as HGTV, where a “home staging expert” is called in and with the right tweaks, interest in the home magically catches fire and up to thousands of dollars are added to the home’s value.
It sure makes for compelling television, but what’s the real story with home staging? Can a little elbow grease, ingenuity, and furniture shuffling really help you achieve your home selling goals?
According to research by MyMove, smart home staging can cut your home’s time on market in half and generate up to 10 times your return on investment. We’ll discuss the highlights, and be sure to check out the full infographic below.
What Makes Home Staging Effective?
When you boil it down to the essentials, home staging is all about what salespersons call “mental ownership.” You want the prospective buyer to take mental ownership, or to imagine themselves as already owning the home (or any other item or product you’re selling).
For example, consider the tactics at many car dealerships. The reason salespersons are so insistent on the test drive is that they know as soon as a person gets behind the wheel, sets the seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to their personal preferences and gets out on the open road, an emotional bond begins to form.
Many successful salespersons will also inquire about your favorite radio station and turn the radio to that station, and if you have a spouse, partner, or friend with you, the salesperson will often sit in the back and let the two of you ride up front together to make the experience that more personal. Some dealers even offer the option to “take it home overnight,” because they know the psychological impact of seeing that car in your driveway or garage and how it makes it that much more “yours.”
Home Staging Benefits and Highlights
As we discussed above, the key to sales is to present the home in such a way that facilitates mental ownership. It’s a good idea to remove personal items (family photos, or perhaps something overtly unique like a mounted deer head), as these can make the buyer feel like they’re just walking through someone else’s home.
Also be mindful of furniture and storage; the key here is balance. In empty homes, it’s hard to visualize the space and how items should be laid out, but with too much furniture and clutter, it begins to raise doubts about if the size of the home is sufficient.
So what’s all this time and effort worth? Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. found that staged homes sold twice as quickly as unstaged homes and that they sold for over 6% more than the asking price. Also, when you consider the mortgage payments saved (assuming you owe on the home, as most do), home staging is truly a winning proposition.
Staged and Sold: Sell Your Home Like a Pro
Chris Johnson is a freelance writer for Mingle School of Real Estate, the official school of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association.