All the World’s a Stage: Is Staging Your Home Worth It?

A prospective home buyer walks into an open house, and something clicks. A patch of sunlight illuminates a breakfast nook featuring a cobalt-blue pottery vase brimming with fresh-cut sunflowers. The mild scent of lavender wafts through the living area. Spacious, sophisticated rooms beckon her further in. The buyer can already see herself on the geranium-studded patio, curled up with the natural-fiber blanket draped across the divan, taking in the city views. Within a few hours, she’s made an offer on the home.

What is staging? According to Tucson decorator/designer Pat Jones of Pat Jones Designs, to stage means to “set temporary platforms arranged as support for performers.” Savvy home sellers increasingly choose to stage their homes, placing furniture and other items so as to present the house in its best light. Home staging ranges from basic decluttering to extensive remodeling, and the average costs are between $1,800 to $5,000. These upgrades and changes often create increase viewings of the home, a higher selling price, and a quick sale.

“You want buyers to be able to visualize themselves in your home,” advises Pat.

With this concept in mind, here are our Six Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell:

1. Trust your realtor. According to Jones, this is the key in staging your home. “Think of staging as a production with your realtor as the director,” says Pat. If you are working with an experienced professional, like an Andy Courtney Properties realtor, he or she will be able to assess how best to maximize the value of your home. Don’t take suggestions personally. When you list your house, you need to disconnect emotionally. You may be quite attached to your sponge-painted purple walls, but you can take that look with you to your new home.

2. Boost curb appeal. Remember, says Pat, “First impressions are everything.”
Welcome visitors to your home with an inviting porch or courtyard. Plant fresh flowers, and get rid of dead or scraggly plants. Paint or replace a chipped or dated front door. Hose down your driveway and entrance – and spruce things up outside.

3. Declutter. You may be sentimentally attached to Grandma’s Hummel collection, but your personal stuff can be a turn-off to buyers. Pack up extra clothing and shoes to make closets look more spacious. Leave about 20 – 30% of each closet empty. Remove photos, papers, toys, and knick-knacks. Invest in hiring a decorator or staging professional for a few hours to create a minimalistic, clean look. You are planning to move anyway – rent a storage unit or use a relative’s garage. Pack up toys and clutter. Clean off your kitchen countertops, and put out only a new tea towel, a bowl of lemons, and a candle.

4. Repaint and refresh. Bright colors and gender-specific décor tend to thwart buyers. A pink flowery bedroom won’t appeal to a family with boys, and a dark, animal-print-swathed master bedroom may prevent a young couple from emotionally connecting with your home. Consider crisp, neutral bed linens and large mirrors to open up spaces. Paint your home in updated colors – like greige-tones (grey and beige) and oyster-shell white. Remember, in the end, it’s about that intangible connection with the buyer.

5. Furnish with a purpose. Buyers may not be able to figure out what to do with an oddly-shaped or strangely-configured room. Give them a vision. Create vignettes, like an alcove office with a desk, shelves, and a cork bulletin board. Or place a sofa at an appealing angle, adjacent to a pair of chairs to create a conversation nook. A new, white terrycloth robe hung on a peg in the bathroom or fresh-cut flowers in a simple vase can be enticing. A decorator can help you make the most of your space and see your home’s potential through fresh eyes. A professional home stager can temporarily install furniture, rugs, and minimalistic décor for an inviting and relatively inexpensive redo.

6. Clean everything. Hire a cleaning service to remove carpet stains; clean windows and baseboards, and scour tile and grout. Touch up scuffed walls and trim, fill and patch holes and nicks in the walls. Clean and polish lighting fixtures, and replace burned-out bulbs. Get rid of lingering pet smells. “When a prospective buyer sees clean closets and a well-maintained interior, this tells that buyer you’ve taken care of that home on other fronts – the roof, structure, and mechanics,” suggests Pat. Light a candle – use scents that are light and fresh, like linen and lavender, rather than heavy or sweet smells. Appoint your bathrooms with soaps and plush, white towels – so that the prospective buyer feels as if he’s walking into a spa.

7. Remodel. Staging your home can be surprisingly affordable and can make all the difference in connecting with potential buyers. When necessary, take the plunge and do some remodeling. We recently staged a former Tucson showcase home for a client; we modernized the slightly-dated paint colors, tile, and furnishings. With a modest investment, the home sold in one day.

Most buyers aren’t looking for a house; they’re looking for a home, a clean palette in which to express their unique personal style and make their own memories. Staging your home can help facilitate the buyer’s imagination. So invest a little upfront – and you’re likely to see faster results in selling your property. As for your buyer? She’s already visualizing herself sipping a macchiato on your patio in her robe. She’s already home.

At Andy Courtney Properties, we work with you to prepare the home before it is placed on the market. We create an extensive, professional marketing program designed to meet YOUR needs in order to get your home maximum exposure and maximum results. This includes:

  • Free professional photos, brochures, and flyers
  • Free staging consultation with a professional designer
  • Free Pre-Market advertising program

Call Andy Courtney Properties today at 520-290-5700 for a free market analysis and staging consultation of your home.

For additional reading and resources on staging your home click here:

Copyright 2017 Andy Courtney Properties, Ltd.

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