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User Topic: Does "staging" pay off?
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 8:16 AM, January 18th (Friday)

I have a home that is currently vacant and we are planning to put it on the market. Is having it *staged* worth the cost?

Anyone done this and what was your experience?


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8038 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
JustDone
Member
Member # 9742
Default  Posted: 8:29 AM, January 18th (Friday)

I'm newly in the business, and the answer probably is "it depends". It depends on the area, the price, your realtor, the condition, the neighborhood, the cost of the staging, etc.

PM me if you ever want to chat about specifics.


Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.

Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.


Posts: 2791 | Registered: Feb 2006
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, January 18th (Friday)

According to the 'flipping' shows I watch it is - particularly if there is an undefined oroddly shaped/placed space.


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6462 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, January 18th (Friday)

Duplicate Post

[This message edited by Lucky2HaveMe at 10:14 AM, January 18th (Friday)]


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6462 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
LoveActually
Member
Member # 31030
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

I have been in the real estate business for over 20 years and honestly if your home is in the $650,000+ price range then staging can be worth it. However, the real key to selling your home is pricing it right to begin with. I find that most people that have to stage their home have way over priced themselves in the market and it's a suggestion or ploy by the realtor to get to keep the lisiting a little longer or to "freshen up" a listing that's been sitting on the market too long--it can be a huge waste of money for the seller so be careful. The most activity is going to be generated in the first 30 to 60 days your home is listed so pricing is crucial.

[This message edited by LoveActually at 12:04 PM, January 19th (Saturday)]


BS (Me)
WS (Him)
D-Day 5/29/09
Married 11 yrs, together 16 yrs

Posts: 775 | Registered: Jan 2011
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 12:11 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

Thanks.
it's a suggestion or ploy by the realtor

^^this^^ is what I fear....along with a couple of other things. I figure that if someone likes the home, they are going to like it regardless. At the same time, there are a lot of homes available in my neighborhood and so the buyers can afford to be choosy. However, my gut is telling me to watch out for ulterior motives......


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8038 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
meaniemouse
Member
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 12:17 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

I didn't so much stage my house but just emptied it out. I had to rent three storage units but it was worth every penny. I only left the best pieces of furniture, took everything extra out of the closets, garage and basement--kept enough to make it look like a home. Also removed everything personal like family pictures, etc. Then I cleaned it within an inch of its life and it sold in two weeks. In a bad market.

Oooh . . .I just got the shivers remembering it and how stressful it was.


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2119 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 12:19 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

The house is actually vacant....so this staging would involve bringing stuff in. Furniture, rugs, pictures....


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8038 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
mom of 2
Member
Member # 11214
Default  Posted: 5:22 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

I'm in the process of prepping my mother's townhome to put on the market. It will also be vacant. And I mean nothing. No furniture, curtains, pictures, NOTHING. I'll let you know how it goes.

Personally, I would not spend the money for someone to professionally stage it. If I felt the house would show better with staging, I would drag my own stuff over there before hiring someone.


Me: BW
Divorced after 23 years of M thanks to XH's truth trickle.
Status: Recovering and healing. It's going to be a long hard road.

Update November 2013: It only took seven years but I finally turned a corner. :)


Posts: 13320 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: The suburbs of hell
WarehouseGuy
Member
Member # 6037
Default  Posted: 6:29 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

It seems like a waste of time and money to me. If I'm looking to buy a house I'm more interested in the mechanicals of the house. The plumbing,electrical and structural etc.--than a picture on the wall or a nice couch.

WHG

[This message edited by WarehouseGuy at 6:39 PM, January 19th (Saturday)]


If you see your ex with someone else--don't be jealous. Our parents taught us to give our old,used toys to the less fortunate.

Posts: 5323 | Registered: Dec 2004 | From: Michigan
Heavy Sigh
Member
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, January 19th (Saturday)

Love Actually and others gave excellent advice. I did exactly what Meanie did - emptied out except for a few things, bought pretty hand towels from the dollar store, and we also sold in a down market.

I think empty is fine. But what won't be fine in a competitive market will be stained carpets and scuffed up walls, that sort of thing.

Know who your likely buyers will be - don't assume millionaires want a starter house to renovate so you can leave it "as is" and get top dollar. I knew my likely buyers would be looking for an above-average starter home, so we refinished the floors again, painted everything in neutrals, including inside closets. A back door was weathered a bit, so we replaced it.

Young couples with little kids and people transferring to a new city prefer to have the basics done, especially the floors, before they move furniture onto those floors. And singles and young couples with a little kid were the market for our home.

Some sellers won't do the repainting and won't replace worn things, because they do not want to spend the money for someone else. Their homes sit on the market and they lose more money in the long run.

Make sure it looks as if upkeep has been done (no broken lights fixtures, that sort of thing). You do not wish them to assume that the heating, air and serious upkeep wasn't done, and base this on only one loose doorknob.

[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 6:41 PM, January 19th (Saturday)]


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 5:56 AM, January 20th (Sunday)

When we sold our first house we did almost exactly what Heavy Sigh did. We replaced a cracked basement window and a skylight screen, refinished the living room hardwood floor, replaced a few light fixtures, things like that. Then we painted absolutely every wall neutral and made sure it was spanking clean. We hired a cleaning service to do that part because they did inside of the oven and refrigerator and the unfinished basement and garage floor as well. That was worth every penny.

Our realtor's advice based on the buyers we were likely to attract was just to make it move-in ready. Our home was open plan and on TV shows they always seem to stage open plan homes, but ours showed fine without staging.

One thing we did that our realtor said wouldn't matter, but we felt strongly about, was doing the front landscaping. We didn't do much but we had a crew haul out an old and spindly huge ornamental bush that took up a big stretch in front of the house, and replace it with several really nice smaller ornamentals, and we personally installed window boxes. We felt strongly about this because when we were house hunting we tried very hard to be open minded, but you know when you're tired and stressed and you've been looking at too many homes, when you pull up in front of the next one you kind of just want it to look pretty and friendly and welcoming from the start, and sometimes that dictates your entire willingness to like the home once you walk inside. So while we didn't stage, we did put some extra effort to give it curb appeal.


Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2005
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 6:07 AM, January 20th (Sunday)

I agree that clean and not run down will make the difference. We did a semi-stage. We got rid of a lot of personal photos on shelves and the walls (I hated living that way while it was on the market!). We replaced the rugs in the bedrooms with neutral tones and painted. I painted the front door because it was bleached out from the sun and that made a huge difference for little $ and maybe two hours work.

People were saying to have the cats stay somewhere else because if people see a litterbox they automatically get turned off. I wasn't doing that but I did make sure it was squeaky clean every day.

I think if your house is empty you should just polish it up and make sure nothing is run down or raggedy looking.

I do think this applies to the outside as well. Even a new welcome mat and definitely no dead bushes or worn out landscaping.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37760 | Registered: Sep 2007
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 11:32 AM, January 20th (Sunday)

You guys are all great. I really like the collective experience and wisdom of SI.

Gotta admit that I'm a bit stunned that a realtor would tell you to not bother with freshening up the front landscaping. Huh. I agree with you that it seems pretty important.

So, the interior is going to be painted and I think a few odds & ends type of things will be fixed/freshened. The *staging* that my stbx was talking about doing was a *whole hog* staging....furniture, rugs, pictures, etc. And it just sounded like an expensive pain in the butt to me....for not all that much of a difference in selling price. Not to mention, he's going to be living there for a while.....so I can't help but feel as if he's being disingenuous with me.

Anyway. Thanks for all of your replies. You guys are better than HGTV!!


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8038 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, January 20th (Sunday)

Gotta admit that I'm a bit stunned that a realtor would tell you to not bother with freshening up the front landscaping. Huh. I agree with you that it seems pretty important.

She said the front looked neat and fine, and it did look just about at the "fine" level compared to a lot of the comparable homes, and she said that the time it would take would equate to a mortgage payment plus the cost of landscaping and we wouldn't get that much back. I have no idea if we did or didn't recapture that expense in the sale, but it sold fairly easily and I'd do the same thing again. And the landscaping took like 4 days total from scheduling to finish, so it wasn't a huge undertaking.

Oh, we had already moved out at this point so there was no furniture at all in the house, and only kitchen appliances. We took the nice washer and drier and we didn't replace them, so there was an empty laundry room. We thought we'd buy used ones on craigslist to fill in that room, but it sold before we did that. I guess we had anti-staging.


Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2005
Heavy Sigh
Member
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 1:41 PM, January 20th (Sunday)

I would be concerned that the realtor will be living there.


He/she will have no incentive to sell it, unless realtor has a set date to be out, such as he's already purchased a home and has a closing date.

I remember searching for a home and the renter in one home told us all of these horrible things about it. Another friend later bought that home, and I asked her if she had a lot of work to do to fix x,y and z. She said none of that stuff was true. She had purchased it after the renter had moved on and wasn't there to spread disinformation and stress the faults.


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, January 20th (Sunday)

Stbx will be living there, not realtor.


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8038 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
stillstrong
Member
Member # 36144
Default  Posted: 12:27 AM, January 23rd (Wednesday)

It's funny gonnabe. Our house was on the market for 5 months. Our realtor suggested staging. My STBX lives there alone in a 5 bdrm 2700 sq ft house so most rooms are empty. However, there is a billiard table in the living room/dining room. Our realtor suggested we move it out and stage the rooms as they were meant to be. STBX was away so I couldn't have the billiard table removed but I did remove a pine wood kitchen table out of our dark wood kitchen which also has dark hardwood floors. I also removed the privacy curtain from out master bathroom doorway. (I found it incredibly weird that there is no door on the bathroom) We got 4 offers within 5 days!
They do say that a vacant house takes twice as long to sell as a furnished one, but the staging in your case seems a little elaborate.
You never know...


Me BS 47
Him WS 51
DDay LTA Feb 21, 2006
R until DDay 2EA's 1/31/12 ONS 2/5/12 Broken NC 7/12/12
Moved out 9/12
Legally Separated 3/13


Posts: 848 | Registered: Jul 2012
somanyyears
Member
Member # 26970
Default  Posted: 9:16 AM, January 24th (Thursday)


..my 2 cents..

..staging means $$$$ ,time, energy(if you are slinging couches and hanging pictures)

..but, will it increase the selling price?? or make the sale go quicker..??

you want maximum bang for your buck obviously..

..do the potential clients want 'the decorated, model home' look, or is the property in a 'rat infested basement ghetto apartment/ crack house neighbourhood??

..does the realtor just happen to know a 'staging' aquaintance??

..

..lots of people like to walk in to a clean, bare to the walls home.. they can visualize their own stuff in an empty space.. and ..it looks as spacious as possible with it totally empty!

good luck and i hope you bargained with the realtor's commission rate ??

smy


trust no other human- love only your pets
She isn't and never was who I thought..I can't believe who I married and what she did to us.
Me 67
Her 63
Married 42 yrs (together 47)
18 yr LTA with bf


Posts: 4125 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: the sad state of affairs
mom of 2
Member
Member # 11214
Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

Update: I posted a reply earlier on this thread about not staging my mother's home.

It's been on the market for 2 months and I've had 2 offers. The first offer was too low and I rejected. The second offer came in yesterday and I accepted. In *my* case, I don't think staging made a bit of difference. It had interest w/o a piece of furniture in the house.

edited for clarity

[This message edited by mom of 2 at 9:05 PM, June 16th (Sunday)]


Me: BW
Divorced after 23 years of M thanks to XH's truth trickle.
Status: Recovering and healing. It's going to be a long hard road.

Update November 2013: It only took seven years but I finally turned a corner. :)


Posts: 13320 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: The suburbs of hell
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 4:55 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Our home was open plan and on TV shows they always seem to stage open plan homes...

This is probably just so buyers can see where in the home various parts of their life take place. My first house had a very minimal archway connecting the living room and dining room. Any less of an arch and it would have been one large room. Without staging it may be natural for a buyer to walk in and think it was an eat in kitchen, or that there was in fact nowhere to eat.

If I went into a home that was loaded with brand new furniture and pictures, my first reaction would be to want to move everything to see what flaws were being hidden.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 7:39 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Personally, I would not spend the money for someone to professionally stage it. If I felt the house would show better with staging, I would drag my own stuff over there before hiring someone.
AMEN.


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams


Posts: 25532 | Registered: Aug 2011
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, June 17th (Monday)

The best RE agent I know ($12M in closings last year, most in the $200K-$500K range) believes staging makes a gigantic difference in cutting time on the market and increasing the price, when done cost-effectively.

She acts as the consultant and thinks most people can do the staging without spending a lot of money. She thinks an empty house won't sell as easily or for as much as a house that looks lived in but super-clean.

She prefers used furniture to allay the suspicions of folks like aesir. (She told me that when I said essentially what aesir wrote....)


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10167 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, June 17th (Monday)

She prefers used furniture to allay the suspicions of folks like aesir. (She told me that when I said essentially what aesir wrote....)

That's a good call. Count me among those suspicious of model home furniture in an old build.

My biggest concern would be concealing that it will be occupied. I always feel like I am intruding and never feel comfortable looking in a presently occupied home.


Posts: 3399 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Topic Posts: 24