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Kristen Heyen Noble's Blog

By Kristen Heyen Noble | Agent in Brockport, NY

Will Home Staging Help Sell My House

What is home staging?  Will it help sell my house?  These are both great questions.  They are both easy to answer.

Home staging has four basic steps; repair, de-clutter, stage, and decorate.  My personal philosophy is that using professional photography is a very necessary fifth step in this process.   Although the initial steps may seem to be common sense, don’t count on it. When I met with my pediatrician for the first time he told me to make sure I picked up the baby if he cried.  Common sense, wouldn’t you think?   

According to the 2010 National Association of Realtors ® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 74% of buyers used the internet for their home search in 2010.  If homes on the market don’t have great on-line pictures, they won’t get shown as frequently.  The less a house is shown decreases its chances to sell.  Online presence is the best tool any agent can use to market your house.  Only 9% of buyers found their homes through newspaper ads.  All of these statistics point to the importance of home staging.  Home staging shows space, warmth, and makes a house look warm and inviting.

Have a pre-sale home inspection done.  It will show you if there are any repairs necessary for an easier selling process.  If there are any major items, such as needing mold remediation in an attic space, it can be costly.  Don’t let unforeseen repairs that come up in a buyer’s home inspection scare a buyer away.  Take care of repairs before your house is listed.

Sellers need to take additional time to prepare their home so it can sell at a maximum price.  This is where a home staging professional comes in.  A consultation can guide you through what needs to be completed for your house to sell quickly for the most money.  According to RESA, Real Estate Staging Association’s, Home Gain Survey of 2010, homes that are staged sell 78% quicker for 6% more money.  A home staging consultation will include a “honey do” list from removing items, painting, and repairing your home so it maximizes its showing potential. You need to be 100% prepared to sell your house when the sign goes in your yard.   For most people, their home is their biggest commodity.  Again quoting RESA’s Home Gains Survey of 2010, spending between one and two hundred dollars on cleaning and de-cluttering increased the selling price of the houses between $1500-$2000.  Spending three to four hundred on home staging profited their surveyed sellers an additional $1500-$2000.  The old saying holds true, you have to spend money to make money. The additional convenience of de-cluttering will make an easier and more economical move. Selling a house isn’t fun.  Take selling your house seriously by preparing it properly. Be certain your house has beautiful pictures on the internet and is marketed well on line.

Pull out all the stops.  Rent a storage unit, set up a packing plan for your kids, donate items, and have a garage sale.  Your house needs to be cleaned at the same level Martha Stewart demands of her house cleaners.  There are many inexpensive ways to remove stains; toothpaste for crayon marks, rye bread for pencil marks, and mayonnaise for water stains on wooden furniture.  If you think your kids enjoyed coloring the walls, they will enjoy squirting toothpaste on the walls just as much. All of these things prepare you to both sell and move. I had a former client remove wallpaper and carpeting as well as refinish hardwood flooring in his living room.  When I called him to check up on the progress, he told me that he had a voodoo doll of me with a lot of pins on it.  He quickly recanted that comment when his house sold in 5 days for almost the full asking price. 

The first two steps of staging can and should be done by every seller.  True down to the bones home staging is for the professional to make use of what is in a house and re-arrange it to show and photograph its best. Home staging in Rochester needs to take the decorating step in staging up a level.   Upgraded furnishings and accessories makes a home stand out in any price range compared to its competition.  Furniture placement, distribution of colors and accessories, and accentuating the natural architecture of a room is priceless. Home staging professionals can bring in all sorts of accessories that could include pictures, curtains, furnishings, and complete accessories.  Remember that anyone can claim to be a home stager.  You need to be certain to get references and insist on a portfolio of who you consider using.

Sharon Kunkel, Team Leader for Keller Williams has a website, www.rocrealestateagents.com.  Her goal is to bring agents from all offices to come share their experiences, network, and hear speakers on “today’s hot topics” in real estate.  Her first seminar was on the statistics of home staging and the influence of HGTV on today’s real estate market.  She considers home staging essential. Kunkel states most buyers make a decision about the property they see within the first fifteen seconds entering the home.

 Forty-five states in the country give continuing education credit to agents that take structured curriculum based home staging classes; unfortunately, New York is not one of them.  Will home staging help see your house?  Yes.


By Allan Erps,  Wed May 25 2011, 13:48
The answer is "it certainly cannot hurt". The right stager can make a dull home shine better and a vacant home Pop!
By Jennifer Ratcliff,  Wed May 25 2011, 17:07
Before I was an agent I had a difficult time looking past the "total package" of a home. There could be two identical homes and I would choose the one that was neat, organized, and decorated well over the other anyday.
By Scott Hulen,  Wed May 25 2011, 18:30
We looked at 7 homes today only 1 of them was staged. The impression the buyer took away from the well-staged home is I can imagine myself living here. Staging is now a must to create an emotional response in the buyer to make an offer.
By Leah Harris,  Thu May 26 2011, 08:07
I always work with my seller to stage their home. I think of it like a job interview, would you wait to get a haircut after you got the job or before the interview. Everybody gets it!

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