What is home staging?
Simply put, home staging is a real estate marketing tool that helps you sell your home quicker and for a better price. There are dozens of home staging companies in the greater St. Louis area that employ a variety of techniques to accomplish this goal.
You may decide that you need to use a home staging company to sell your home or your realtor may suggest using one. Some realtors even offer home staging as part of their services.
The level of service a home staging company can offer will range from a simple consultation of one or two hours with several DIY suggestions to improve the appearance of your home, to a full blown top-to-bottom service that will transform your home in a number of ways.
Initially, home stagers will make sure your home is immaculate, inside and out. This will include all nooks and crannies, baseboards and windows, bath and shower enclosures, carpets and floors, and more. Stagers will work to reduce or eliminate odors from things such as pets, cooking or smoking. If minor repairs are needed, that will be part of the initial effort as well. Think of it much like going to a car wash and having your car detailed.
Decluttering will be an important step to reduce the amount of knickknacks, family photos, personal collections and so forth so that the home can breathe and appear more expansive. Removing many personal touches also makes it easier for potential buyers to envision their own life inside the home.
In some cases, if you have dramatic colors that are highly individualized to your personal preferences (think dark blues, purples, bright reds, etc.) then a home stager will suggest painting those areas, toning them down to more neutral colors such as beiges or whites.
The same thought process applies to furniture. If yours is bright or odd looking, or if is old and worn, pieces may also be swapped out and rearranged as needed.
The overall goal is to create several pleasing and soothing mini-environments in your home that are memorable for the right reasons instead of creating negative impressions that can create barriers to a sale or getting the best price.
Benefits of Home Staging
The biggest benefits you hope to achieve through home staging are selling your home more quickly and for a higher price.
But is home staging worth the effort?
Consider the following:
- According to U.S. Housing and Urban Development, research indicates that staged homes spend 73% less time on the market than non-staged homes and they sell for up to 17% more than a non-staged home.
- Various studies have shown that buyers will take as little as 15 seconds to make a decision regarding your home after they first enter.
- In one study from a few years ago, the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) studied 174 non-staged homes that were previously on the market for an average of 156 days before a home stager was called in. When those homes were staged and relisted, they sold in an average of 42 days on the market.
- A 2013 RESA study analyzed 170 staged properties valued at $300,000 to $499,000, and found that staged homes sold in 22 days, compared to an average of 125 days for un-staged homes.
Do I need to stage my home to sell it?
Deciding whether or not to stage your home is a personal choice and may not work for everyone, but there are several additional advantages to consider if you haven’t made your mind up yet.
#1 A staged home is a move-in ready home.
Buying a home and moving is an intense experience with a long list of things to do. When a home buyer can move in and instantly start enjoying a home with many move-in items already knocked off a list, they are willing to pay more for that home.
#2 Your home will stand out vs. non-staged homes.
In a competitive market, this is a clear advantage and one that gets noticed immediately.
#3 A positive selling process can begin even before a buyer enters your home.
So much of home marketing is done online and with printed materials to help pre-qualify interest from buyers. A staged home will photograph better and start the attraction process early on.
#4 Pricing for staging services is flexible.
There are many creative ways to get the benefits that can come from staging your home with minimal costs attached if budgeting is a concern.
How Much Does home staging cost?
There are many options when it comes to the cost of staging a home.
The cheapest of all of these is for free which can be accomplished if your realtor includes paying for staging costs as part of their services. If you’re considering staging, this can be one of the questions you ask as you interview potential realtors you may want to sell your home. In some instances, they may not pick up the full tab, but could possibly pay for some of the costs.
The other “free” option is to attempt to stage a home on your own. If you already have a home that’s in good shape and have a knack for decorating, you may want to take a shot at doing it yourself. There are lots of free articles and websites you can access if you’re feeling up to the task.
If you retain a home staging company, you have several options regarding costs. In some cases, you can retain a professional for a one- or two-hour consultation that may run as little as $200 to $300.
You can spend less than $1,000 working with a home stager if you do some of the repair or cleaning work on your own. If you’re good at fixing leaky toilets, dripping shower heads, and can spruce up your landscaping by laying down mulch or planting flowers, you’ll get many of the benefits without paying the associated labor costs.
If your home is in need of major staging work, or if it is already empty and you need a stager to supply furniture, then fees will escalate, although in this case you probably don’t have to stage every room to save a few dollars. Some stagers use a 1% fee as a guide for a full staging effort, but costs will definitely vary by the market where your home is located. Fees can range up to $5,000 or more depending on how much work needs to be done. Also, expect to pay a monthly fee if you require staged furniture for each month your home remains on the market.
Why is home staging important?
Aside from all of the practical reasons why home staging is important, there is also an emotional component to home staging worth noting for both the seller and the buyer.
Home staging is critical in helping a seller realize that a home soon will not be their home anymore. By starting to remove many of the personal touches in a home as part of the staging process, a family can use it as a step to help them move on to the next chapter in their lives. A stager is also an unemotional third party who can make difficult decisions about what to keep and what to put in storage for the best results.
Selling a home is an emotional process, but buying a home is just as much of an emotional process, if not more. When a home is staged, it helps a new family to more easily start to imagine what their lives could be like in a home. Remember, decisions (and bonds) form quickly and first impressions can be lasting impressions when it comes to a home purchase.
Home staging companies near me
There are dozens of choices when it comes to choosing a home staging company in the greater St. Louis area, including the suburbs of Kirkwood, Town and County, Frontenac, Webster Groves and other nearby communities.
Here are some ways to find home staging companies near you.
You can start by talking to your realtor who will probably have a good track record with one or more home stagers. Also talk to other people you know who have sold their homes and used home staging services. Referrals are an excellent way to start your search.
The Real Estate Staging Association is he trade industry association for home stagers and offers the public a locator tool to help find member home stagers.
Houzz is a comprehensive site that provides several resource directories for design, construction, interior design and home staging companies, among others. You can access the Houzz home staging search tool for St. Louis here.
Another well-known resource is Angie’s List. You can find top-rated St. Louis home stagers by zip code using the search tool located here.
If you trust the reviews on Yelp, you can also access The Best 10 Home Staging companies in St. Louis on the Yelp website.
As part of your vetting process, you may want to ask several questions of potential home staging companies before making a final decision, including:
- Are you a member of the Real Estate Staging Association?
- What type of training do you have?
- How long have you done home staging?
- Are you insured?
- Can I see your portfolio?
- What is the typical price range of homes you stage?
- On average, how long were your staged homes on the market within the past year?
- What are your rates/pricing structure?
- How long will it take to stage my home and how soon can you do it?
As you can see, staging your home can have a significant impact on how quickly your house will sell.
If you have additional questions, please reach out and let us know what we can do to help you along the home selling process.