Staging a home increases the sale price by up to 20%, according to a survey from the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.
“Staging is marketing. It presents an aspirational picture to potential buyers,” says Madeline Dobbs of Compass in Greenville and author of How to Sell Your House in 30 Days.
Dobbs also teaches classes on staging. Here are her answers to frequently asked questions about how to show a home to its best advantage.
Absolutely. Many homeowners purchased their furnishings years ago when styles were larger in scale. Staging furniture is more sleek and trendy. My goal is to create a seamless guest experience for buyers. This allows them to tour effortlessly, which is critical in choosing a home. Every house I represent is staged.
Start with what the homeowners have, then edit. Staging literally upstages most imperfections, like outdated bathrooms and kitchens. There are many inexpensive options to achieve this, including decluttering, adding lights, a deep clean and a fresh coat of paint. Stagers make the best use of floor plans by placing furniture at angles that improve the quality of photography. Every stager has a signature style. I enjoy refreshing spaces like bathrooms with new shower curtains, new white towels and a few accessories.
All closets must be a maximum of 50% full and you must be able to see the floor. The most important closet is the first one a buyer sees—typically the coat closet, then the pantry and the closet in the primary bedroom. Most buyers do not open many cabinets, but we do edit cabinets if they are overstuffed. Buyers want to see room to store their things when touring.
Start with your agent, who likely has connections with tradespeople who repair and update homes. At Compass, we offer Compass Concierge, which fronts the money to make improvements, staging, repairs and anything else a homeowner needs to do to present their house in the best light. The money is paid back a closing at zero interest.