Should You Stage Your Home for Sale?

In this market, when properties — even those in a sorry state — sell for well over asking with multiple offers, Droubi Team clients wonder why we so enthusiastically recommend staging.

After all, staging costs money. It can be a hassle to move your furniture and belongings into storage. It can also, on the other hand, help your home sell for far more than it would otherwise.

Think of it this way: staging your house is like getting dressed for a first date, or an important business interview. The first impression you (or your house) makes, often controls whether or not you get a second date, or a job offer, or a sale. Not only that, but this first impression directly contributes to the enthusiasm of prospective buyers.

Let’s face it. Not everyone has a grand imagination. If, by staging, you show people how excellent your home can look, then no one will leave an open house struggling to picture the property when it’s perfect. They won’t be tallying up the fixes and repairs needed before they move in.

They’ll be bidding on a home that’s worth fighting for.

A Case Study in Staging:

Before.... and after!
Before…. and after!

Not convinced? Take, for example, this Noe Valley property which, un-staged, received lower offers. What would you bid on a house that looked like the one on the left?

Now, take a look at the photo on the right. This is the same property after Droubi Team got involved and hired stagers on behalf of the sellers. What would you bid on this house now? A lot more, right?

You’re not the only one to significantly raise your estimation of this home’s value based on the stagers’ efforts. This property, with the staging work done, sold for 30% higher than when it was not staged. Even if we deduct the costs associated with staging, that still represents a vast increase in profit for the sellers.

Staging Steps

The same property: the kitchen before staging above and after staging below.
The same property: the kitchen before staging above and after staging below.

Staging entails much more than plopping a fancy sofa down in the living room.

When Droubi Team talks about staging, we’re including painting, repairs, reconditioning, and the attentions of a design team. That sounds expensive, but it’s a wise investment that pays ample returns. Most Droubi Team properties that have been fully staged sell within 10 days, frequently to all-cash buyers looking to move in as soon as escrow closes. That’s another reason to pack up early and make way for the stagers in the first place. Most likely you’ll need to move out as part of the staging process.

We’ll explore the details of successful staging in a later blog post, but here are some general tips to ready your home for sale prior to meeting with the stagers:

  • Ensure everything works: All of those little things you meant to take care of a decade ago? Take care of them now: repair the disposal, fix that dripping sink, replace rusted gutters.
  • Give the house a polish: Bring a glazier in to repair cracked or fogged windows. Have a handyman replace caulking around the tub. Of course, a thorough (professional) cleaning will be essential.
  • Preemptively upgrade: Anything required for sale that you can take care of in advance is one less obstacle between a buyer and his or her offer. For example, in San Francisco, before a sale can close, all toilets in the property needs to flush with 1.6 gallons of water or less  — why not replace your old john with something more scintillating before you put your house on the market?
  • Dress for success: When people typically think of staging, they think about this last piece — the involvement of a designer and the placement of rental furniture and objects. As nice as your possessions are, they likely display personality that will limit your home’s broadest possible appeal. Let a professional dress your home for success.

But hold on! Don’t paint, refinish floors, replace lighting, or get deep into staging until you involve the Droubi Team. Let our expertise guide you on the most effective improvements you can make to help your property sell for top price.