Preparing your home for the real estate market requires you to make choices that can either help to increase your profit or leave you barely breaking even in the end. Some options include hiring a skilled agent, making repairs and upgrades, and staging your home.
Choosing when to stage your home can be tricky because you have to take into consideration the location of the home and the current market. The two types of markets that Realtors refer to are called “a buyer’s market” and “a seller’s market. According to Redfin.com, a buyer’s market is “when the supply (available properties for sale) exceeds demand (the number of buyers seeking to purchase properties)” and a seller’s market is “when demand exceeds supply, or there are more buyers seeking to purchase properties than there are available homes on the market”. In a buyer’s market, having your home staged and taking professional photos can mean the difference between someone clicking past your listing online and clicking the “request showing” button.
But what about staging in our current market?
We are currently in a seller’s market which means houses can fly off the market without much effort, simply because they are in demand. This is where the tough decisions come in. Do you spend the money to stage your home with the knowledge that it could sell as-is?
When asked to share her opinion on staging its value, Polly Cockrill, Gray Fox Real Estate’s Designated Broker and Owner had some valuable insight.
“In my opinion, staging a home to set it apart from others is always valuable. When the home is visually plain and lighting is poor, staging a home is ideal. It is best to try to stage your home yourself and save the money if your home is not in the luxury market. A Realtor can develop a plan with you, but that can be emotionally-trying as well. It can be hard to have your personal effects be subjected to criticism.
Another time that staging can be effective and sensible is in a market or micromarket where the majority of homes are in excellent condition, for example, Cape Elizabeth or Falmouth Foreside. Historically, it has been more popular among luxury homeowners to hire a stager. Luxury homes can have a larger profit margin to absorb the expense of staging and furniture rentals. Not surprisingly, it seems to me that staging luxury homes has become an expectation and standard. This means that staging a luxury home may no longer add the same amount of value that it added in the past. Will staging add any value to luxury homes now? Absolutely, but it is my opinion that it would do so only in relation to the absence of staging. We must always meet or exceed the standard expectations in luxury markets.” ”
Like most real estate transactions, increasing value and monetary return depends on multiple variables like location, current physical state of the home, and the competition in the area. If you are unsure if staging will be an effective tactic in selling your home, ask your agent! They are there to give your their honest opinion and help you get the most out of your transaction.