Welcome to the latest episode of “What’s Working Now!” Today I’d like to answer a question just about everyone asks: Is staging your home worth it?

“Staging” means a lot of things when it comes to selling your home. Primarily, though, it means making the house look appealing to the people coming in. This means taking you, your tastes, your family, and your stuff out of the house. To know how to identify what needs to go, put yourself in the mind of the photographer coming in to take pictures. What do you want in those pictures? You definitely don’t want any family photos festooned everywhere or dirty dishes languishing in the sink.

In the pictures, you want to show off the house, not the furniture. After you’ve cleaned out all of your surfaces and removed all of your personal belongings, you then want to hire someone who has “staging” furniture. By this I mean items that are neutral in color and not too big in any direction. You should use only enough furniture to show off the rooms.

Personally, I don’t go for any of the fake stuff, like napkin rings or glasses set about when nobody is there drinking. You know your staging is working when someone walks in your door and asks, “Is this staged or does someone live here?”

“Staging should show off the house, not the furniture.”

As an example of the impact of proper staging, let me tell you about a house I sold at 35th & Porter in Cleveland Park. This house had lots of antique furniture, books, and knick-knacks, but staging for top dollar meant more than just rearranging those items. We moved out all the owner’s furniture, and my stager refurnished the entire house. We spruced up the countertops and the front of the kitchen cabinets, reglazed over some tile, touched up the paint, installed some new carpeting and fixed a few lighting fixtures. The owners invested $20,000 to $25,000 in getting their home market-ready.

We then listed the home at a lower price of $1.295 million instead of $1.45 to get more people in the door. The very first day it was on the market, we got an offer for $1.5 million.

So, does staging work? Definitely.

Stay tuned for my next video where you’ll discover the most challenging recent trend in contract negotiations. If you have any questions about staging your home or anything else related to Cleveland Park real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help!