Is Home Staging Right For Your Project?By Paul Esajian on March 22, 2019
No two real estate transactions are the same. There is always a minor tweak or something a little different on every property and deal you are a part of. Some properties can almost sell themselves if market demand is strong. On other properties you need to go the extra mile to generate interest. One of the best ways of doing this is by staging the property. Staging doesn’t work in every situation, but under the right circumstances it can instantly add appeal and make your property stand out from the back. There can be some downside, but if you find a buyer and have a quick closing, it is all worth it. Before you go through the time and expense of staging your next property there are a few things you should consider. Here are some pros and cons with staging a property.
- Showcases Property: One of the keys to selling a home is to get in touch with buyers’ emotions. You can do high quality work rehabbing the property, but if it doesn’t connect with buyers, it won’t make a difference. Staging a home often puts the property in the best possible light. Instead of imagining what it would be to live in the property, staging shows them. Having open space and a blank canvas works for some markets and properties, but it can also be a detriment. Walking into an unfurnished home can feel empty and lonely. On the flip side, a furnished property feels warm, lived in and inviting. You will remember a furnished home long after you leave, and it will help separate the property from the pack. There is no question that in most cases quality staging showcases the property in the best possible light.
- Instant Attachment: The most common feedback with staged properties is the instant attachment with prospective buyers. Whether they get the property or not, there is almost always an instant attachment. Buyers with attachment are more inclined to go above and beyond to secure the transaction. The reverse is often true with properties that aren’t staged. Buyers will walk through the home and walk away without any connection. This is especially true in areas with excess inventory. Buyers often look at multiple homes in a period of a few hours. Unless your property stands out from the crowd, it is quickly discarded.
- Finishing Touch: It makes sense to do everything in your power to get your property sold. As is the case with any business, there are times where you need to spend money to make money. You can do everything right on the rehab, but it may not be enough. Why not go the extra mile to have the property staged to give yourself the best chance of finding a buyer? This is something that should be factored into your budget before you start any work. This way, you leave no doubt and put the finishing touch on the transaction. For anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars it can be the best money you spend. This should include the exterior of the property as well. First impressions are important with buyers and is an area of the home that should not be ignored. A good staging of the interior and exterior puts a bow on the home and greatly improves your chances of a quick sale.
- Price: The only reason why you would not stage your property is because of the price. If there was a choice to stage or not, in almost every circumstance staging makes the most sense. As we stated, staging can run anywhere from just a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the size of the property and scope of what you want done. If you are maxed out on capital and over budget this can be a tough pill to swallow. The problem with staging is that it can be difficult to quantify the impact of it. You may never really know if the staging influenced a buyer to make an offer. The staging may be great, but if the property is priced too high, it won’t make a difference. Finding the money to stage at the end of a rehab project can be a real challenge.
- Where Do You Stop: One of the issues of staging, and rehabbing in general, is knowing where to draw the line. There is only so much you can do to the property before your budget runs out. As important as interior staging is, you can’t ignore the exterior. However, the problem with this is that the price tag can quickly add up. To do everything you want to have done you can easily be looking at thousands more than you anticipated. On higher priced homes, this is a smart return on your investment. On moderately priced properties it doesn’t make as much sense. You need to be able to weigh the cost vs. the return and see just how comfortable you are.
Your decision to stage should really be made before you start any work on the property. At a minimum, you should leave some room in your budget if you decide to change your mind at the end of the project. On some properties staging has an immediate, and significant, impact. On others, your expense doesn’t justify the decision. As long as you know what you are getting for your money, you should be able to make the best decision for you and the property.