Is It Worth It to ‘Stage’ Your Home When You Put It on the Market?

When it comes to improving your looks (outside of diet and exercise) you can use plastic surgery or makeup. And when it comes to your selling your house, home staging is definitely in the makeup category.

What is home staging? Just like makeup, it looks good while it’s on. Home staging can help your home look its best during the sales period. For about $3,500 to $4,500 a month, you can have the home you’re about to put on the market filled with great-looking, expensive furniture, accessories, wall coverings, that can enhance otherwise empty rooms with bare floors and nothing on the walls or windows.

Don’t expect home-staging to conceal your house’s flaws, says Shell Brodnax, chief executive of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) in Valley Springs, Calif., southeast of Sacramento. “Staging doesn’t conceal anything, but it accentuates what’s already there,” she said.

While home staging is in part about showing a home in its best possible light, it can also help potential buyers imagine themselves in the space. Buyers like it to see what a room really looks like. “Buyers have a hard time envisioning themselves if it’s empty,” said Scott Leverette of McGuire Real Estate in Berkeley, Calif. “I think also a home looks smaller if it’s empty.”

Theresa Janaitis, a 42-year-old writer, used a home stager to sell her house in New Jersey when moving to Los Angeles.

Janaitis spent about $7,000 to use a stager, who recommended changing several light fixtures and removing wallpaper and several pieces of furniture before moving rental furniture in and adding wall art.

The results were impressive Janaitis said. “The house sold the same day and for $30,000 over the list price,” she said, which she thought was a result of using the stager. Later, when she began looking at homes in California, she also appreciated homes that were staged over those that weren’t. “It really helps you visualize how to use the room,” she said.

Prices for staging typically vary by state, but typically start with a $250 to $750 initial consultation by a stager (you’ll pay less for a casual “walk-and-talk” consultation, and more for a written plan) for an average single-family home (2,500 to 3,000 square feet). If the home already has some furniture, you’re looking between $700 (Iowa) and $4,800 (California) a month for a two-month staging effort.

If the home is completely vacant, and you want the entire house staged, prices can range from as little as $975 a month (Indiana) to $5,500 a month (California) according to RESA.

If your space is smaller, like a condo, with under 1,000 square feet, you’ll be looking at monthly staging costs for a vacant unit for $2,000 to $3,200, according to RESA. A larger house of 4,000 square feet or more would cost $9,000 a month.

So does staging really help with higher sales prices, multiple bidders and selling the home quicker? In a 2013 study looking at nearly 170 properties valued at $300,000 to $499,000 that were staged, RESA — which obviously has a vested interest in the staging — said that those homes were sold in 22 days on market compared to the un-staged homes that sold on average in 125 days on market.

Leverette, who works in the red-hot Bay Area market, said the extra money spent on staging works to his selling client’s advantage. “The marketing photos are better, which in turn makes the marketing materials, like my websites and all the feeder sites (like Trulia and Redfin) and fliers better,” he said. Leverette also said he’s never needed to extend a home staging agreement beyond 60 days. “The home almost always sells before the staging period ends,” he said.

Original Content By Daniel Goldstein (

~Geena "the Butler"

Why do you want to live simpler life? What do you crave about it? Why are you passionate about creating a slower home? A simpler life?

You need to know the answers before you can make headway.

Check your mindset:

Write down your goals. What do you want from this change? Where do you feel the greatest need to slow down and simplify? What do you stand to gain?
Write down your strengths. What are you already good at? Gardening? Organising? Planning? Cooking healthy, cheap meals?
Write down your weaknesses. What challenges will you face? What circumstances will make change harder for you?
Check your answers. You need to be in this for the right reasons. You need to understand that you come to simple living from a unique place. Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s. And that’s fine. Great, even. Perfect.
Get to it. Committing goals to paper helps you achieve them.

Experienced Realtors know the minute they pull up to a house what will be required to sell that home, it starts with curb appeal. Perspective buyers know what to expect on the inside from the appearance of the outside. It starts from here...

Smart sellers invest prior to listing for the quick end result. Wasting time "testing the market" is a gamble. Can you afford that? Knowledgeable realtors that understand today's market know home staging works. Sellers should listen and put in the time and effort to stage prior to having to drop the price in increments of 10k-20k and loosing perspective buyers.

"I am fortunate to work with smart realtors that understand the need for staging! " Geena~Estate Services by the Butler

According to the National Association of Realtors, when staging a home, 29 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of 1 percent to 5 percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, in comparison to similar homes. Twenty-one percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between 6 and 10 percent.

Check Your Mindset

High Five to "Smart Realtors"

"Every home I stage is an adventure. I learn something new everytime."


Preparing your house to be listed for sale  can be an extremely stressful time. Before you get to the point of staging your home, you’ll likely have quick-fix projects to complete, decluttering to accomplish, and a million other chores. And then you’re finally staged, photographed, and listed. Now it’s time to learn the art of living in a staged home.

Storage, Storage, Storage

Most of the clutter of daily living comes from not having a place to put all of your stuff — that stuff that you really need, have to get your hands on quickly when necessary, but does nothing to add to the milieu of your home. That’s why the first step to living in a staged home is ensuring that you have storage solutions for every room.

Begin with your bathrooms and kitchen. Countertops in both rooms can so easily become overrun with the tools of everyday life. Rework your cabinets to ensure that everything that normally lives on top of your counters can now be stored below. The very act of uncluttering your counters will leave your home in great shape when potential buyers walk through.

Next, work on storage solutions for your kids and your clothes. Trying repurposing laundry baskets for both situations. Kiddo toys can easily be swept into a basket and hidden in a closet when buyers are on their way for a showing. The same is true for the clothes on your dining table awaiting folding, or heaped in piles in your bedroom. It’s much easier for buyers to picture themselves living in your home if your clutter is in your closets instead of strewn through various rooms.

Keep It Natural

Ignore all of the idealistic magazine photos of perfectly staged homes that feature high-end furniture and arrangements based on feng shui instead of family friendly. Buyers aren’t expecting to walk into an issue of House Beautiful and leading your everyday life in such a setting is totally unnecessary.

The second important step to staging your home while living in it is to keep it natural. Stripping all personality from your home will leave buyers feeling like they’re stepping into a sterile hotel instead of a welcoming home. Use your own furniture and a tasteful selection of your decor to set up your home for both photography and walk-throughs.

A good rule of thumb would be to imagine that your super picky in-laws are on their way for a visit and you’re working to get your home in tip-top shape for their arrival. When you approach it like that, you’ll be able to keep your home livable while also presenting it in the most flattering light.

Hold a Buyer Drill

Sometimes, you’ll need to get your home ready for a walk-through in a big hurry — and practicing for that eventuality is the third and final step to staging your home for sale without making it unlivable. After you initially prepare your staged home, do a walk-through to remember how it looks while staged. Then, once you’ve lived in that setting for a few days, it’s time to hold your first buyer drill.

Like a fire drill, your buyer drill will be your super fast test to go from “broken-in family home” to “staged for a fast sale property.” Get everyone in the household involved — when each person is responsible for promptly and adequately stashing their own belongings, you’ll have the fastest and most successful buyer drill.

By providing storage galore, keeping decor natural, and hosting buyer drills, your staged home will be best positioned to sell quickly. your paragraph here.

Original Article Coldwell Banker Blue Matters Blog.