Why Do We Stage Homes?

As I mentioned in the previous section, we stage homes so that we can attract buyers and get the highest price.

It does take some effort to properly stage a home and some sellers may be resistant to the idea. They might think it won’t make that much of a difference so it isn’t worth the trouble. They may be concerned about changing their personal style and having to put away their wedding photos. We’ll get more into that later.

Lucky for us, staging is a lot easier to sell than it was a decade ago, since more of the public has become hip to the idea.

Some buyers can visualize a home’s potential and see through any existing distractions like screaming paint colors, strange décor, clutter, pet odors, 1970s linoleum, unhealthy plants, etc. But the majority of buyers simply can’t, and a bad first impression can be very hard to overcome.

These days, you might not even get buyers to come view the home unless the online photos look appealing. That’s why staging is more important than ever.

(Speaking of online photos, a quick note to Realtors: PLEASE, no more open toilets! Close the lid before you shoot the photos. It looks a lot better.)

Once we have potential buyers looking at the home, we need to make sure the home looks as desirable as possible. We can’t hide the flaws, but we can downplay them.

We can accentuate the home’s best features. We can engage buyers with a compelling picture of what life would be like in this particular home.

Home staging that’s done properly helps give buyers that emotional response that tells them, “This is the one!”

Homes should be staged no matter what kind of market you’re experiencing. Sometimes a market can be so hot that sellers may come to the conclusion that staging isn’t necessary since everything is getting multiple offers and selling for asking price or higher. But the more interest you have, the more you can walk away with at closing.

So why not stage? Your sale price could be $15,000 over asking instead of $3,000 over. Here’s a quick note about my neighborhood here in Portland — not long ago, a house up the street sold for more than $50,000 over asking. I believe smart home staging played a major role, as the house conveyed the highly sought after “urban farmhouse” vibe to a T.

Right now, the market here is transitioning from a “multiple offers over asking” climate and heading toward longer listing times and even some price reductions. Up until now it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen price reductions around here. And it’s been a change that started taking hold pretty quickly.

As a rule, staged homes will sell faster and higher in any type of market, so it can help make homes less susceptible to weakening conditions.

The point is, no matter what the market is doing, you should always stage! Let’s get into some home staging psychology, one of my favorite topics.

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