Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.
Should you stage your home in this aggressive seller’s market? In this BLOG, I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of staging.
Over the years, I’ve sold several homes for my clients. Many were staged, some were vacant, and others had the homeowners furnishings because they were still living on the property while it was on the market. A question that often comes up from the homeowner is should we stage our home? And the answer is it depends. Studies show that a staged home has a much better chance of selling faster and for more money. The majority of my listings are staged.
To determine if staging’s right for your home, I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of staging. And a better way to put it is the advantages versus the disadvantages. I’m also going to discuss how to prepare your home for the stager and when you should absolutely avoid staging.
THE PROS (the advantages) FOR STAGING
Number One: Pictures and Videos
When a home is staged, the pictures and videos look amazing, that the property looks inviting, then the buyer may want a tour to immediately and hopefully consider putting an offer on it. This is especially important if there’s several new listings competing with your home. Now, when I say pictures and videos, I mean professionally taken, not somebody with their camera phone.
Number Two: Advantage for Staging, Layout & Function
A staged home allows someone to see the function and layout.
When a home is properly staged, it allows the buyer to understand and appreciate the home’s floor plan and how it can be best utilized. So, when I discuss function and layout, there are two different situations I want to go over.
The first is an empty house
When a house is completely empty, it can often be puzzling and misleading to a buyer. The reason being is an empty house can appear smaller than it actually is. Keep in mind, a vacant property forces the buyer to have to use their imagination on how would they fill this property, as opposed to a staged home which shows the buyer the potential the home has.
The cluttered or overfilled room
Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a property you would see on those hoarder shows, just something that has too much stuff. I’m just referring to properties that have too much furniture, knickknacks, personal pictures, etc.
In the event the seller chooses to remain on the property while it’s on the market, I may bring in a stager to give guidance on what items the seller should remove and what should stay. I will usually have the stager bring in some accessory items that will compliment the homeowner’s personal items. This way, it will enhance the overall look of the home.
THE CONS (disadvantages) FOR STAGING
Number One: Timeline
There can be some challenges coordinating the removal of the staging with the timeline of the contract.
Number Two: Costs
Most stagers have a minimum charge for coming out and setting up the property. In my area, it’s usually between 1,500 and $2,000, and this would be for a small one or two-bedroom condo. A large three to 4,000 square foot home usually will range from 4,500 to $8,000.
What adds to the expense is the amount of furniture and effects the stager will bring in and set up, and also how long the staging will remain in the property. You’re usually charged month by month and the standard contracts start within six to eight week period.
Number Three: Liability
Make sure you read the stager contract thoroughly. In the event the stager’s property is either damaged or stolen, you may be liable for it. Now, please note, this may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy, and most stagers have some kind of insurance as well, but just make sure you’re aware of everything.
Number Four: Vacate The Property
Most stagers want the property completely empty and no longer occupied before they bring in their furniture and effects. This means unless you’re already in your new home, you may have to find some temporary housing.
Preparing Your Home For The Stager
This is an important step that is often overlooked or important details are missed.
Here’s an order I recommend you do before the stager shows up. Vacate, paint, and clean.
To give the stager the best opportunity when staging your home, once your home is empty, take pictures and send that to the stager. If you choose to paint, you may invite them over so they can give you some guidance on what colors would work best.
Regarding cleaning, I would have it cleaned right before the stager comes over. If you have carpets, I would make sure that they do have time to dry before the staging’s brought in.
When Not stage
Number One: A Preemptive Offer
Going back to this crazy seller’s market we’re having, if you’ve received a preemptive offer before the home goes on the market and your seller has decided to accept it, then there’d be no reason for staging to come in.
Number Two: When A Property Is Listed Way Below Market Value
If a home is priced way below the current market, then there is no reason to bring in staging. The price alone will bring in the buyers. These are situations that are either the home has a major issue or it’s a contractor special or a teardown.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren
Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!
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