MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Email: [email protected]

What to Consider When Staging

by Lori Madden 04/07/2019

As recently as 20-25 years ago, most people thought “staging” was for the theater and model homes. The idea of professionally temporarily decorating a home to sell it was not on the average homeowner’s radar. All that changed with the advent of TLC, HGTV, and other networks dedicated to home buying/selling and renovating shows.

If you’re selling a home after years out of the housing market, you may balk at the idea of the added expense of hiring a stager, but last year’s National Association of Realtor’s report ‘Profile of Home Staging’ indicated that a massive 77 percent of buyers’ agents believe staging contributed to their client’s ultimate purchase.

Visualization is key
Living in a visual world means most people make snap judgments by what they can see. If buyers cannot “see” themselves living in the home, they’ll keep looking. First-time buyers, especially, may need that extra nudge to make the plunge. Staging for the online photos is even more important. Potential buyers indicated they were more likely to walk through a home that had staged online images.

Faster is better
While some studies completed in the past few years indicate that staging does not change a buyer’s perception of a home’s value, it does help the home sell more quickly. In the world of real estate, where the seller is balancing the mortgage on the current home with the new mortgage on the home they want, selling the home more quickly for a fair price pays for itself. After all, who wants to be carrying two mortgages?

More is also better
Ultimately, it comes down to the outcome. Yes, the house may sell more quickly when staged, but does it sell for a higher price? Is the cost of staging recouped? The evidence is less clear here, but in the same NAR study, 49 percent of agents believed staging got the seller a higher offer. And while most of those indicated the increase was in the one to five percent range of the sale price, that was more than enough to cover the cost of staging.

Is this a time for DIY?
Binge-watching renovation and real estate shows may give a seller a false sense of their own ability to effectively stage their home. Professional stagers and design professionals can cast that critical eye that allows them to minimize a home’s flaws while accentuating its features. They also have a plethora of furnishings to utilize. To do it yourself might not be worth it on balance for what you get with a professional.

The most important key is to be on the same page as your local agent. They know your local market and are aware of the comparable homes for sale in your area. They know the potential buyers and what they expect to see in your home’s price range. Put their knowledge to work for you.

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!