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Why Staging is Important, Based on Selling Statistics

Staging your home is a crucial component of selling, especially in a luxury market. The first impression of your home is vital, especially when online listings depend on photography. You want to ensure your home is viewed in the best light possible so buyers can envision themselves living in that space. Staging your home will highlight specific features and details that make your house stand out, which creates more interest.
Consider Chicago luxury real estate for a moment. The listings you see for those homes are likely staged, and it’s easy to discern this because they’ll be memorable. Were they bright and clean? Did it remind you of homes in magazines? Was there exquisite artwork on the walls or a gourmet kitchen? Maybe the bathroom had a steam shower and rivaled local spas. Whatever made it memorable was likely done by a professional stager. Before we talk about the value of staging, it’s essential to know exactly what it is.

What is home staging?

Home staging, whether done on your own or by a professional, involves the removal of possessions and adding new furnishings and specific pieces to elevate your space. When selling your home, you don’t want it cluttered with knick-knacks and random items, but rather crucial pieces highlighting its features. This is especially important to pull attention away from any minor issues or flaws there may be. Essentially, you are minimizing negatives by accentuating positives, which will also raise the home's perceived value.
The goal is to appeal to a broad selection of buyers, which means using neutral tones with hints of warm color, natural lighting, and various textures. It’s not necessary to redo the entire home, especially if it’s not empty to begin with, and you shouldn’t make costly improvements for no reason. You simply want a cleaner and more detailed version of your home that appeals to a broader audience. It’s easy to think an empty house will be considered a “blank slate” to buyers, but it’s often harder to envision living there and will turn buyers away. Potential buyers will see the value in staged homes much easier, especially if you hired a professional.
Statistics favor homes that have been staged, and for a good reason. Let’s dive into how exactly staging can help you sell your home faster, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

How does staging help?

As mentioned, staging creates engagement and allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the space and generate an emotional connection. According to the NAR, nearly 82% of buyers’ agents agreed that staging was beneficial because it allowed them to picture themselves in the home. This is likely because staged homes are decluttered and specifically designed to create a luxurious feeling. This is especially important when taking photos for online listings, as that’s where the first impression begins. Roughly 96% of buyers and nearly all millennials — 99% — start their home-buying search online. A staged property can make all the difference in first impressions.
Of course, the benefits extend beyond simply bringing potential buyers to the property. Staging can showcase a home’s potential, especially with bonus spaces or outdoor spots. Staging a spare bedroom as a home office will appeal to more buyers. The same can be said of creating the illusion of more space in closets. Anything that creates a more luxurious appearance, especially in listings and marketing materials, attracts buyers. One study through NAR found that more than 47% of buyers’ agents believed the home’s staging was most effective in selling.
Further information from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) shows how much staging can increase the value of your home. Whether this means spending less time on the market or bringing in a more significant profit, staging increases the chance of a quicker and easier sales process. Studies from RESA show that 73% of professionally staged homes sold for over the asking price and nine days faster than the average. Other studies show an ROI of anywhere from 5-15% over the asking price for about 75% of sellers.
Another survey by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) shows staging can sell homes up to 30 times faster than those not staged. Furthermore, it can increase the sales price by up to 20% on average.
It’s easy to see why staging your home can quickly bring more attention and profit to the sales process. If sinking a small investment into staging your home can reap the rewards like this, would you do it?

How can you stage your home?

There are several ways you can go about staging your home. The ideal situation would be finding a professional staging company or hiring a realtor with expertise. If that doesn’t work for you, especially if you need to sell quickly, there are several things you can do to stage your home and make it more appealing to buyers.
The first step is decluttering your spaces and removing anything that’s not necessary. Remove photographs, knick-knacks, excessive blankets and pillows, and anything on counters that you can pack away. Then give everything a deep clean and ensure it sparkles, including a fresh, neutral coat of paint if necessary. From there, you can add specific touches to elevate your spaces to magazine staging standards.
Add layered accents to specific spaces to create depth and visual interest. This might mean adding patterns to rugs or throw pillows, unique artwork on the walls, or floor lamps and vases. Utilize a variety of textures across your home to enhance the aesthetic. Use wood, stone, natural fibers, or faux fur for a luxurious element. Play around with different heights to create movement. The use of floor lamps will draw the eye upward and create the illusion of taller ceilings. For a dynamic appeal, you can use a fireplace mantle or shelves to group items in varying heights. Don’t forget the lighting. Natural lighting is ideal in any space, but you can add additional lighting to eliminate shadows and highlight the areas. Aim to create something visually appealing and homey to attract buyers and increase profits.

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