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Home Staging 101

Traci Jennings

Broker/Owner RE/MAX Real Estate CenterTeam Leader of The Jennings Real Estate TeamBuyer and Listing Specialist Traci Jennings attributes her teamwork ...

Broker/Owner RE/MAX Real Estate CenterTeam Leader of The Jennings Real Estate TeamBuyer and Listing Specialist Traci Jennings attributes her teamwork ...

Jan 7 7 minutes read

Have you ever watched HGTV and wondered how every home always looks perfectly put together? The answer to this is staging. 

Home staging goes beyond just cleaning and decorating your home. Staging is adding decor, arranging furniture, and prepping your home to look perfect for listing photos, listing appointments, and open houses. When a home is staged, potential buyers see exactly where furniture should go and how each room is laid out. When a home is not staged, potential buyers are only focusing on the visible issues the home may have.

Not only does staging make your home look like an HGTV dream or like it belongs on Pottery Barn's homepage, but it can actually speed up the sale of your property.

83%

of buyers’ agents said a staged home helped buyers visualize the property as a future home, according to NAR

25%

of buyers’ agents said potential buyers increased their offer between 1 and 5% on a staged home, according to NAR

85%

of homes surveyed were sold for 6-25% more than homes that were not staged, according to HSR Certified Professional Home Stagers

So now that you know how important staging is, what’s next? Do you hire a stager? Do you do it yourself? Will your real estate agent help? Do you stage virtually? 

It depends. Every option has its benefits, and some require more time or more money.

DIY Staging

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, it may be best to stage your home yourself. 

First, you’ll want to start with cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing. This is a great excuse to finally get around to that annual cleaning from earlier in the year that you’ve put off. Each room should only have what is absolutely necessary. Throw out anything you don’t need or keep things tucked away in a bin during open houses and showings. The less personal your home is, the more a potential buyer will imagine themselves living in your space.

Once everything is clean, you’ll want to start staging the important rooms first. The kitchen, living room, and master bedroom are what sell your home. Focus on these rooms and then you can work your way through the additional living spaces. 

There are plenty of inspiration photos for current trends online but we've put together an idea book full of photos and tips on staging your home that are practical, affordable and realistic examples of what you can do yourself or with our guidance. The photos are actual Central Iowa homes we sold this past year and how they were staged.

Download Your Free Idea Book

If you’re getting ready to list and think staging will help your home sell, you aren’t wrong!

But achieving those Pinterest inspired looks throughout your home can be expensive and daunting...that’s why our team has created this DIY/affordable staging guide to give realistic inspiration!

All the photos and ideas in this guide were created by our team and can be easily recreated by YOU! Steal our go-to ideas and tricks to get YOUR home ready to SELL!!

Virtual Staging

Virtual staging allows you to rearrange furniture, add decor, and still make your home look attractive to buyers but everything is online — and cheaper. Because virtual staging is done on the web or with staging software, you don’t have to spend funds on new furniture, decor or expend time rearranging everything. This method saves you time and money while still getting the same results as traditional staging. The only required cost is the digital software and most services charge a flat fee per room staged. 

Hire a Professional Stager

If you do have more money to spend or don't know anything when it comes to home decor, it’s probably best to hire a professional. Selling your home is an emotional process so viewing your home objectively when staging can be a difficult task. 

As you already know, staging your home can help speed up the sale and potentially get you higher offers. If you outweigh the costs with the benefits, you’ll find hiring a professional won’t be as expensive as you think. The average cost for the initial design consultation with a stager can be between $300 and $600. The average cost per month per staged room can be between $500 and $600. It’s important to know that some professionals require a contract of 3 months minimum even if you sell your home within a few days. Most times you can work with the decor and artwork you already have, but if your home is completely empty, this can start to add up quickly.  

To save some money when working with a professional stager you can opt to hire them for just the important rooms - the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. If your walls need fresh paint, you can save money here by painting them yourself. You can also gather tips and advice during an initial consultation but still decide to conquer some of these tasks yourself. 

What do real estate agents do?

All agents are different. Some offer staging services, some offer advice, some refer you to a trusted professional or company, and some don’t offer any resources for staging. If an experienced real estate agent has your success in mind, they will offer honest feedback when it comes to home staging advisement.  

The Jennings Real Estate Team loves helping our clients maximize their space and we love giving staging advice. Very seldom do we have to call in a professional stager, unless we feel it is necessary. We like to think our agents and marketing team are experienced with staging and offer great advice. We love being hands-on with our listings and personally working with our clients. Home staging and decor is another one of our passions!

If you’re selling your home soon, staging is something you need to consider.

Depending on the current state of your home, some of these options may be better suited for you. Ask a trusted friend for their thoughts on which path you should take. And just remember, we’re here to help too.

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