A prospect asked me this week if staging before listing is better than the other way around — absolutely! There are at least 4 good reasons why:
1) Get your home looking its best before you invite the agents to tour your home and do their comparative market analysis (comps), and it is very likely they will come back with a higher listing price.
2)Agents will be more excited about listing and showing your home, because a well-presented home out-shines its competition and gets buyers excited about living there!
3) The photos your agent takes of your home will look much better once it is staged. For proof of this, take a look at random MLS photos of houses for sale in your area, and think about which houses YOU would want to see based on those photos. I’ve seen far too many terrible photos of rooms crowded with furniture, outdated wallpaper and paint colors, messy bathrooms and kitchen counters, rooms with the blinds and curtains closed, tons of family photos and toys scattered about, and unmade beds or tired-looking bedrooms that need that luxury “spa-like” touch to avoid turning off buyers. Between 80 and 90 percent of buyers look at MLS photos before contacting an agent, and if your home’s photos aren’t as beautiful as they could be, most buyers will move on to the next property without even asking to look at your home.
4) Stagers are the experts in knowing what to do; agents may know the bare-bone basics, but they aren’t going to spend hours “fixing” your home’s problems, and most don’t know just HOW to solve the problems anyway. Stagers have the design background or “eye” and a large inventory of accessories that will add the pizzazz most homes need — like jewelry adds the sparkle to an outfit — and we also can handle renting furniture for you when necessary.
5) Better late than never: If your home has already been on the market with no offers or only low-ball offers, it’s never too late to stage to renew interest and get those offers coming in! Remember, the cost of staging is always less than the cost of a price reduction!