Staging is a Proven Real Estate Strategy When Selling Your Home
Our hands-on experience tells us that staging your Marin home is more important than ever to assist us in efficiently selling your home. Here are some of the reasons:
- The Internet provides the first showing of your property. Online viewers want to see an immediate WOW. If a property is empty or unattractive, buyers are inclined to skip over it quickly. Staged and attractive rooms make a much better impression for these buyers, and more often they visit in person.
- In a buyers’ market, potential buyers are more particular than ever about the appearance of properties.
- In a sellers’ market, a staged home attracts more buyers, increasing the potential sales price.
- Staging defines spaces in a home and shows buyers how they might use these spaces.
- Staging neutralizes a home so buyers can see themselves in the home. For example, removing personal photos or your favorite wall covering neutralizes a home.
- Buyers stay longer in a staged home. They have somewhere to sit and relax, look around rooms, chat with their families, and imagine themselves living in the the house.
- Staged homes focus the buyer’s attention on the positive aspects of the home, with possible flaws fading into the background.
- Since it is staged and well presented, buyers perceive that the sellers have carefully attended to the care and maintenance of the home.
- Staged homes net a higher sold price, with fewer days on the market. Typically, the longer properties are on the market, the lower the sold price.
What is Staging?
Staging involves different tasks–from remodeling to organizing. Madeline Schaider Real Estate can advise you on which level of preparation you need:
- Cosmetic remodel. Painting and flooring (carpeting or refinishing wood) are important and of relatively low cost. Painting may be required inside and out. These two improvements are the two most inexpensive items that a seller can do with the highest visual impact and return.
- Extensive remodel. In some cases, we supervise a massive clean out, painting, carpeting, created better living spaces, replace appliances and light fixtures, repair plumbing, and install new kitchen counter tops and custom flooring.
We have found that a remodeled home returns 2- to 5-fold on your investment! And, your house will sell faster, with more offers. We advise sellers improvements that bring them the greatest profit.
- Landscape maintenance. Street appeal is important for selling a house, as this provides the buyers’ first impression of a house. In most listings, we recommend and oversee yard cleanup, lawn renovation or replacement, planting flowers and shrubs, repairing and refinishing decks, and more.
- Repair of water and pest damage. We always recommend a pre-sale inspection for pests (termites, etc.) and rotted wood. As buyers often require repair or compensation for “section 1” pest damage, getting this done up front can reassure buyers that the house has been well cared for. This inspection, which costs a few hundred dollars, along with any related repairs, if finances permit, often guarantees less negotiating later on in the sales process and a greater profit for the seller.
- Furnishing an empty house. We engage a professional stager to bring furniture, artwork, and accessories into a vacant home. It is most important to have the entry level furnished as this gives buyers their first impression. In most houses, it is also important to stage bedrooms, and more. When it is time to stage your home for sale, Madeline Schaider Real Estate can introduce you to the appropriate stagers and supervise the process.
- Re-organizing a very presentable house. Buyers respond best to a simple and uncluttered house. We often help sellers simplify their home by packing up or reorganizing their possession. Even valuable artwork or collections of fine artifacts can overwhelm buyers and prevent them form seeing the possibilities of living in a house. A “neutral” house is more appealing to buyers.
Most Important Improvements
We have found that these improvements bring the best results to sellers:
- Upgraded flooring.
- Painting interior surfaces.
- Upgraded modern lighting.
- Upgraded kitchen and bathrooms.
- Painting the exterior.
What happens if you pass up staging?
A Marin home that is not staged will attract fewer buyers and offers.
Example: A few years ago we sold a house that was well-maintained and upgraded over the years. The sellers agreed to paint the interior and install professional staging. However, they insisted on keeping brown tile floors though the entry level and golden oak trim in the living room. These finishes were not appealing to most buyers. The result was only one offer, when the market activity predicted more. The offer was at asking price, when it could have easily sold for $100,000 more with the appropriate finishes.
The longer a home is on the market unsold (DOM or days on market), the lower the final sale price. Sale prices typically decrease 8-9% for houses that take 3-4 months to sell (data from the Marin MLS). For a $1M house, this loss may be $80,000 to $90,000. This is a great deal more than the price of staging! Investing $10,000 to $50,000 to prepare a house for sale can more than pay for itself.
When it is time to prepare your Marin home for sale, Madeline Schaider Real Estate can develop a plan for you. Please contact Madeline for more information.