• Kelly Fountain

Does staging a home increase sales price?

Home staging and interior design in Portland Oregon by Black Sheep Design Team

What is staging? Home staging is when a home is prepared to be listed on the real estate marketplace and ready to be sold. The goal of home staging is to make the private residence as appealing as possible to the highest number of buyers, ultimately selling at the highest possible price in a timely manner. Before a professional photographer arrives to take photos of the house, a team of Interior Stylists will attend the property in order to optimize the appearance through a rearrangement of furniture, artwork, mirrors and appropriate lighting. It is very often difficult for home-owners to detach themselves from their homely clutter and children’s proud fridge paintings and other emotional pieces in the house. However, these are often the first things which are noticed by the prospective buyers. Additionally, lived-in clutter such as shoes in the hallway, magazines and books on tables and Tupperware out on the kitchen work surfaces can often be enough to reduce the sale price or even reduce the number of offers. This is why it is essential that professionals with fresh eyes and an eye for detail are able to decorate and highlight the property’s most impressive assets. “The smell of freshly baked bread sells home” is a further extension of this staging, with freshly baked bread bringing to mind images of cozy homes. The addition of plants and freshly cut flowers with a bowl of fruit also makes for great decoration. The smell from these is also one of the easiest ways to evoke pleasant feelings about space. If done correctly, it will be one of the first sensory experiences of the prospective buyer. One neutral, mild scent will provide the home with connectivity and a natural flow.

Home staging by Black Sheep Design Team in Oregon to help house sell faster and for greater value

How Staging Affects Time on Market The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) has a staging savings calculator that lets you figure out how much time and money (mortgage payments, carrying costs, and so on) to save if you stage your home before listing it. Its “Consumers Guide to Real Estate Staging” reports that homes that had not been staged before listing sat on the market an average 143 days. Once these homes were staged, however, they sold in an average of 40 days! Homes that were staged prelisting averaged 23 days on the market. These times vary from state to state; in California homes sold five times faster, in Oregon seven times faster but regardless of where the home was put on the market, averages show that staging always significantly speeds up the process.

Master bedroom staged in Uplands Oregon by Aubrey McCormick and Walker Templeton

Does home staging increase value? Home staging has become a "must do" for sellers. Some 82% of buyer's agents said home staging makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualize the property as a future home. Staged homes sell faster and for more money than those that have not been staged, according to industry analysis. Bare properties often struggle to sell quickly and research shows that staged homes sell for a lot more (up to 10% in certain locations). It has been documented that vendors are essentially buying into a lifestyle and it’s therefore imperative that they can envisage themselves within the property. As a result of this, often Interior Stylists remove family photographs and replace them with neutral pieces, appealing to the maximum number of buyers through impersonal yet stylish modifications. According to the NAR report, 58% of sellers’ realtors believe that buyers offer more money for staged homes (29% think they offer 1% to 5% more; 21% put the increase at 6% to 10%; 3% put it as high as 20%). Home Staging Resource, an organization that offers training and resources to stagers, is even more bullish on staging (as you’d expect): Its website states that in a survey of 4,200 staged homes, 85% sold for 6-25% more than those homes which were not staged.

Modern rustic living room in Lake Oswego Oregon staged and interior design by Black Sheep Design Team

Should I hire a professional home stager before putting my house on the market? Yes! The cost of staging by a professional can mean money in the bank for you. If staging helps you sell your home sooner, it saves money on carrying expenses and creates the kind of buzz that brings in offers above your asking price then your money is well spent. As properties are sold much quicker after being staged, it also vastly reduces the chances of being left on the market for such a long time that prospective buyers start to wonder what is wrong with the property. With higher bidding prices and quicker sale times, it costs more not to stage your home than to stage it!

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