First, find out what comparable homes look like and whether they’re staged. Then interview potential stagers with these questions…
Why Staging Matters…Big Time!
Selling a home these days can be tough. Buyers have become more particular. Few people care that a seller spent decades collecting snow globes, colorful Fiestaware, or mugs from around the world. Instead, they’re looking for fresh, thoughtfully furnished rooms where they can create their dream setting rather than buy into the seller’s life.
This is why staging has become so important.
Fiona Deegan is a diehard staging advocate who recommends the strategy to all her sellers. “You can’t list a house without staging it, unless it’s going to be a teardown,” she says.
The prime reasons staging has become commonplace is due to consumer demand and the proliferation of online home shopping, says Amanda Ross, a professional organizer, who added staging to her skill set.
“Most buyers first see a home online, so photographs matter,” she says. “If it’s too cluttered, they might not go look at it in person.”
While staging may have attained its popularity in higher-priced and vacant listings, it now appears in all segments of the market. As a result, more savvy real estate pros like Deegan recommend sellers have their homes staged before they list, no matter the price, size, condition, or location.
The goal is the same for all listings: to help the seller achieve the highest sales price in the quickest time, says Adelaide Mulry, an agent with Sotheby’s, who is also a professional stager and designer. The good news is that the number of people available to stage a home has increased dramatically in recent years, with 28% of listing agents staging sellers’ homes before listing, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Profile of Home Staging report.
Sellers can take their pick of whom to hire. There are full-time professional stagers, real estate professionals who have jumped in to learn, and professional organizers. Some home owners like to do staging themselves, motivated by reality TV shows and Marie Kondo–style decluttering books.