You know what they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression. This couldn’t be more true when selling your home. A potential buyer is quick to make judgements on the appearance of a home, deciding within minutes if it fits their criteria. Staging your home before putting it on the market is one of the best ways to captivate your audience and draw buyers in. Although the Austin market is hot right now for sellers, staging your home still gives you the competitive edge.
For one, many homes in the current market are being sold sight unseen. With a huge influx of people moving to Austin and the market moving rapidly, buyers are needing to make decisions about putting in offers without ever seeing the home in person. Staging really ramps up your home’s presentation in photos, which can be the key difference in a buyer choosing yours over an empty home. Staging essentially lets buyers visualize themselves in the home, picturing what it would be like to live there. A photo of an empty room is not likely to elicit any feelings of “welcome home”. In contrast, a well-staged home can invite a buyer to envision building a new life in the home, drawing at their emotions and ultimately leading them to make an offer. Given that some buyers are never seeing the home in person and only able to view it in virtual tours, the furniture and accents of the home can make all the difference in presentation and securing an offer. Even if a buyer is able to view the home in person, their search almost always starts online. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers are online first looking at photos of homes they are interested in, before going to see them or contacting an agent. Staging does wonders to enhance a home’s online presence.
Staged homes are also likely to receive higher offers. Think about it this way…If you were browsing an art gallery, would you perceive a blank canvas or a highly detailed painting to have higher value? Which one would you be willing to pay more for? An un-staged home is like a blank canvas: there isn’t a wow-factor that incentivizes the buyer to pay a higher price. A well-staged home, on the other hand, has a higher perceived value and is more likely to elicit a top-dollar offer. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, an investment in staging of 1% of a home’s listed price leads to a 5 to 15 percent higher sales price on average. So, if you list your home for $500,000 and invest $5,000 in staging, it’s possible that your home will sell for $25,000 to $75,000 more than it was listed for. The wow-factor of a staged house often leads to a significant return on investment.
Traditional staging has many benefits, but can end up being costly if you have a lot of home to stage. The cost of live staging can run anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands. It all depends on the type of home and extent to which you want to deck it out. Recent innovation in digital technology offers sellers an easier and more budget friendly method of sprucing up their home. Digital staging is a trend we are starting to see. There are graphic design companies who will render photos of your home with “digital furniture”. All you have to do is send high-quality photos of your empty home and choose the design aesthetic you’re going for. From there, the design gurus will take care of the rest, creating beautiful, detailed photos of your home with the imaginary furnishings. Keep in mind though, if you do go with virtual staging, anyone who shows up to the home will be expecting furniture and may be disappointed and underwhelmed at the bare appearance.
Whether you choose to virtually stage your home or have it staged in person, the benefits are far-reaching! If you need a recommendation for a staging professional, we can connect you to some of our favorites in town!