What if you could turn $209 into $1,990 just by cleaning your house? A recent homegain.com study shows that a little over $200 spent cleaning and de-cluttering your home before putting it on the market will net you almost 10 times that much money in increased value. News like that kind of makes you want to break out the dust mop and furniture polish, doesn’t it?
Cleaning and removing clutter is the foundation of successfully staging a house to sell. No matter how much pretty stuff you move into the home, it won’t look attractive unless it’s sitting on a clean stage. Plus, homebuyers want a house they can immediately move into, not one that requires a cleaning crew to get it into shape.
What is Home Staging?
Staging a house to sell involves creating the very best first impression possible. As you know, curb appeal represents your home’s first impression from the street. Staging does the same for the interior of the home – it’s the sizzle when the buyer opens the front door and takes a step inside.
The aim of staging a house is to make it appear larger, brighter and more inviting. If done right, staging provides an atmosphere that appeals to many people and makes folks able to visualize living there. Home stagers are experts at showcasing the positive while camouflaging the negative aspects of a home’s interior.
The Costs and Benefits of Staging a House
How much does it cost to stage a house? Professional home staging services can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The good news is that $550 spent on staging can net another almost $2,000 in value.
Furthermore, staged houses sell quicker. According to Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, a home staged by an IAHSP member is on the market for an average of 29 days or less, compared to 145 days for non-staged homes.
Finally, staged homes typically sell for more money than those that aren’t staged. 63 percent of people polled by Maritz, a sales and marketing research company, claimed they will pay up to 63 percent more for a home they perceive to be turn-key.
The cost of having your house staged professionally depends on the size of the house and how extensive the staging, but plan on paying anywhere from $500 to $6,000. Before you scoff at the price, remember that an investment in staging your house may net you thousands more at the close of escrow and fewer days spent marketing the home.
How to Find a Home Stager
If you are interested in locating qualified home stagers for your home, first check with your real estate agent. She may deal with a preferred home stager who has proven her mettle. You can also consult the IAHSP for a list of affiliated home staging experts in your area. Be sure to ask the stager to supply you with a portfolio of past work and statistics on how much money her work netted for past clients.
While you set the stage for the home stager – cleaning and decluttering – keep in mind the results from a Duke University staging study that found that, according to professional stagers, the most important thing a seller can do is remove razors, used bars of soap, toothbrushes and other personal items from bathrooms. So, if you were wondering where to start, there you go.