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Selling Your Home: Setting the Stage

One question we get on virtually every listing we do is, “Do I have to stage the place? I have some pretty nice furniture, don’t I?”

Of course you can use your own furniture, if you don’t mind getting less money for your listing.

In a hyper-competitive market like the Pacific Northwest, professional staging is a must if you want to get top dollar and limit the amount of time you’re on the market.

There are multiple studies done by the National Association of Realtors on the impact of staging, and here’s a great summary article from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/052815/professional-home-staging-worth-cost.asp

The bottom line is overwhelmingly, experts agree that you sell a home more quickly and for more money when it is professional staged. Depending on the area of the country, the average increase is 3-20% more. Our experience in the PNW is a properly staged home garners 15-17% more than an unstaged home.

There are other benefits to having your place professionally staged.

First is scale. The designers at good staging companies can put the right sized things in the correct places. That huge comfy sectional is great for binge watching Netflix, not so much for getting offers. Large furniture can dominate a room and make it look small. 

Second is designing for photos. Staging your house is not about making it livable. It’s about making it photogenic. Professional stagers have many tricks of the trade that will make your listing pop in the photographs. They know how to make rooms look big and inviting. They know which colors to use that translate well online. 

Third is telegraphing. Talented stagers are experts at hinting at what buyers could do with the room while leaving enough space for their imagination to run wild. For instance, they might put an adorable tee-pee style fort in a room. Buyers with small children will immediately place their kids in this fun play zone. Likewise, a smartly appointed desk sends the message that working from home buyers will have a dedicated space.

Of course it is possible to blend in some pieces or artwork that you already have. It’s a case by case decision.

The last benefit I always think about with professional staging is that it really helps the seller to emphatically begin the separation process. When you take your possessions out and begin moving toward your next landing spot, it really starts to free up that mental space in your brain. It signals to the market that this is happening and it will be a painless transition from you to the new owner.

It also allows you to say goodbye to this home and the memories on your own terms prior to thinking about the terms of an incoming offer.

Letting go of the family home can be an emotional experience. Seeing it without your own furniture and belongings really helps to turn the page.

Up next: Photography.

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