Renting used to be much less expensive than buying a home. Not any more.
With low mortgage rates, rising rents, and increasing demand, many find that buying is much more viable than renting. In fact, in the past few years, renting and home buying figures have flipped. Last year alone, the U.S. saw more than 5 million homes change hands. 2019 is on track to exceed that figure. As such, buyers are looking for ways to differentiate their home in a more saturated market.
Sellers differentiate their homes for buyers in a variety of ways.
With more and more people on the hunt for the perfect home, sellers strive to differentiate their home so they can command the highest possible profit. The following choices are common before a home goes on the market:
- Lowest price (quick sale but you’ll leave tens of thousands on the table)
- Modernization and remodels (new bathrooms and kitchens attract buyers but come with a high price tag that doesn’t always pay off)
- Home staging (minimal investment with the highest return on investment)
Of these three options, home staging is the obvious winner. It requires a minimal investment on the part of the seller but has the greatest return.
Home Staging Prepares the Home for the Most Profitable Sale
What is home staging, you ask? To “stage a home” is the process of preparing a home for sale. It’s the final act of a well thought out strategy by the home stager that culminates in the presentation of the home in a way that makes it the most attractive to the highest number of potential buyers. The result? The highest possible offer with the fewest contingencies. In other words, the seller happily walks away with more cash in his pocket than was possible had he sold his house as-is.
Home staging includes more than just furniture arrangement
Home staging is more than just the arrangement of furniture in a home. On an initial walkthrough, professional home stagers look at the bones of the house and see which areas need to be highlighted and which need to be minimized. They see light, shape, and flow in a way that most people can’t visualize. Home stagers recommend paint colors and furniture placement and recommend what to place into storage to remove clutter. They can easily identify potential buyer demographics based on both the neighborhood and the amenities of the home. And they combine all this knowledge together to create a warm, comfortable home that reflects the values and lifestyle of the potential buyer.
Statistics prove that home staging is cost-effective
Statistics tell us that home staging is extremely effective. Despite this fact, 99% of sellers don’t take advantage of home staging services. Return varies depending on the state of the real estate market, but it is always worth the expense. A staged home commonly returns a 6-25% higher offer than it would receive without staging. (Keep in mind that staging isn’t a sure guarantee for an asking price or higher offer. Much depends on an appropriate, realistically priced home.) Forbes breaks it down even more and states that there is at least a 400% return for every dollar your invest in home staging. Additionally, a staged home not only sells for more money, it typically sells more quickly. (In a 2018 study, 68% of staged homes sold for at least 9% more than their unstaged counterpart.)
The modern home buying process caters to a staged home
In a competitive market like Portland, home staging is essential. In the past few years, first impressions in home shopping has shifted from in-person walkthroughs to online initial looks. Due to this change, beautiful images of a well-staged home often convince a potential buyer to take a closer look. And 81% of potential buyers admit they more easily visualize themselves living in a potential home if it has been staged effectively.
As we move into the height of home selling season, home staging will not only differentiate your home in Portland’s fast-paced market, it will increase your profits and decrease your home’s time on the market. There’s no downside! If you’re looking for more money in your pocket when your home sale closes, let’s talk about your options. And if you’re a real estate agent looking for happier, more satisfied clients, check out our free pre-listing marketing tool!