Should your house be staged before you sell?

To Stage or Not to Stage – that is the question! by Sveta Melchuk

Updated from the Home Staging archives. Originally published on Jun 18th 2007.

Staging a Home for sale will cost you money. Is it worth spending time and effort on it? After all, once the decision to sell has been made, you just want to get it over with as fast as possible, right?

First, did you determine the «right» price for your house? It should be based on certain objective criteria, such as the location of the property, sale price of comparable homes in your neighbourhood and today’s market conditions. But don’t forget the desirability factor… While you can’t control some of the other criteria, you definitely have a say in the way your property looks, feels and is perceived by prospective buyers. Increase the visual/emotional value of your property and you will increase its desirability, therefore the price and the urgency to buy it from potential buyers. Why?

It’s the perception of the value that counts. The first impressions make a big difference in the way we perceive a person, an object or a service and, subconsciously, the decision is taken within the first 90 seconds on whether we’ll be «buying» and what value we assign to it.

Even before the prospective buyers set foot in your house, they are probably shopping on the Internet, checking the photos of the properties available in the selected neighbourhood and within their budget. They will make an opinion about your property based on what they see in the pictures and they will decide right there whether it’s worth their time to visit in person. If you have not managed to draw them in at this stage, you might have lost dozens, maybe hundreds of visitors to your house!

Your strategy should be to make the BEST first impression possible, in the Virtual world and for all the prospective buyers who will come to your door. Once they are visiting, make them focus on the property’s best features and show them the value of what they are getting. Choosing a particular house is a largely emotional decision, so make them choose yours. Statistics clearly demonstrate that a clean, spacious and well decorated home sells faster and for more money than other comparable properties.

Staging uses some simple but highly effective techniques to make your house look its best in preparation for sale. So, by spending a few hundred dollars on preparing your house properly, you will be gaining a lot more at the sale time. And staging services cost much less than a price «adjustment» on the house!

So should your house be staged before you sell?

This article was written by Sveta Melchuk from A Montreal firm specializing in Home Staging and Interior Re-design services.

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