Get the Picture?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is this one trying to say exactly?
I'VE NEVER HAD A DAY OF FUN IN MY LIFE!?!
Whatever it is, this photo ISN'T saying: "Come live out your dreams here . . . "
There's no color, no art, no rugs, no mirrors, no light, nothing on the shelves, no personality, and absolutely NO life in this room which sits at the end of a long, dark hallway with an ugly front door. It's tidy, I'll give it that, but there's nothing here that compels a Buyer to visit. In short, it's lacking an interesting story, and I'm a gal who loves a good story. (Check out our Before & Afters here.)
When Sellers ask (and they almost always ask), "Is staging really necessary?," the answer is an emphatic "YES" (see above).
Unless your home is camera-ready and "Insta-worthy," (and very few are) it WILL benefit greatly from a professional makeover. In rare cases, that makeover may involve little more than editing, but most houses (even the good ones) are either frozen in time (aka: dated) or the homeowners have stopped seeing things long ago that others are likely to object to at first glance.
"We never minded/noticed/cared about (fill in the blank.)"
With all due respect, that's exactly my point.
What you see as mere oversights, OR small imperfections, OR learned to live with, OR forgotten about altogether . . . can make or break a sale: failed windows, broken appliances, rotting decks, tired furniture, worn-out carpet, dim lighting, cracked ceilings, moldy showers, broken faucets, outdated kitchens and bathrooms, overgrown yards, peeling paint, water stains, leaking roofs, etc., etc., etc. All of these untended items are red flags that often give the impression that the house has been long neglected or worse yet, in poor condition.
Staging creates a narrative that reflects a fresh, appealing, and well-lived life. Granted, staging won't fix your roof or your foundation, but it will make for an emotionally compelling invitation. It also clears the way for others to envision their lives within, which is a necessary component to successfully selling any home, no matter how beautiful. Keep in mind that nearly every prospective Buyer begins their search for their replacement property on the INTERNET. Consequently, how the house presents in photographs is EVERYTHING!
Which is why staging provides the greatest return on investment (ROI). Additionally, staged homes sell faster than their non-staged counterparts and for MORE money. Here are just a few statistics I mined from the Internet (in case I haven't convinced you yet):
Think of staging as the final exclamation mark to the painstaking preparation we've encouraged, plodded, and pleaded for you to undertake. It's all well and good to pack and purge, but staging is where the "transformation" really happens, and in our area at least, non-staged properties tend to pale by comparison. It's as if an unstaged house showed up to the party in hand-me-downs when everyone else dressed up for the prom.
Finally, your repairs, painting, refinishing, and staging are an investment in your net profit. Our suggestions are not only designed to attract more Buyers, but to provide you with a greater end result overall. BTW, if we didn't think it mattered, we wouldn't press as hard as we do (but it does).
(One caveat: the best staging in the world will NOT overcome OVERpricing. Pricing your home correctly remains the single-most important aspect of quickly selling a home for top dollar.)
And because COMPASS offers "COMPASS CONCIERGE" to help offset the expenses of properly preparing your home for market (paid back in escrow), there's no viable justification not to give yourself the best shot at selling your property for more.
Listen, there's a good reason Sarah, Kate, Jill, and I have had great success in this market, and it's due in no small part to the many talented professionals we align with, all of whom bring years of experience and creativity to the process, as do we. In short, staging isn't just a good idea, it's in YOUR BEST INTEREST!
Get the picture?
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Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.