83 percent of buyers’ agents say a staged home helps the buyer visualize the residence as their future home.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

In a recent survey by National Association of Realtors (NAR), home sellers report that home staging increases selling price and shortens time on market. In the Boulder area, which is experiencing a market shift, home staging can benefit sellers.

Today’s home buyers have high expectations of how a home “shows.” Gone are the days of looking past the home’s current décor; home staging is now an expected part of the selling process, and for good reason.

Home staging is a form of visual merchandising. Staging experts use furnishings to accentuate a home’s positive features and hide flaws. Perhaps most importantly, well done staging creates a mood while encouraging prospects to imagine themselves in the home.

One of the “musts” in home staging is to make the home look better in photos.

Most home buyers – 95 percent according to a recent National Association of Realtors report – use the Internet in their home search. In fact, 38 percent of buyers were more willing to walk through a home they saw online, so your home needs to show really well online. Great photos that pique the buyer’s interest and gets them to see the home in person are essential to marketing your house.

But is home staging really necessary, especially in the Boulder area where housing demand is still high?

Statistics suggest it makes a difference. 83 percent of buyers’ agents say a staged home helps the buyer visualize the residence as their future home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Staged homes sell faster and for more money. 22 percent of sellers’ agents report a one to five percent increase in the offer price and 17 percent report a six to 10 percent increase. Twenty-eight percent say time on market decreased slightly, while 25 percent report it greatly decreased.

And with more and more homes being staged, many of the other homes your prospective buyers are viewing are likely to have been professionally staged.

Realtors vary in their approach to staging. Almost 30 percent stage all homes prior to listing, while 13 percent only stage homes that are difficult to sell. A far greater number – 45 percent – did not stage homes before listing them for sale but suggested that the seller declutter or fix property faults.

Agents say they most often recommend the following home improvements:

• Decluttering – 95%
• Entire home cleaning – 89%
• Removing pets during showings – 83%
• Carpet cleaning – 78%

Most commonly staged are the living room, kitchen, master bedroom and dining room, reports NAR.

Today, it’s possible to virtually stage your home. Virtual staging means adding furniture and accessories in rooms using photo manipulation and photo editing. Not as expensive as actual staging, virtual staging enhances the all-important online photos. Experts recommend showing both the before and after staged photos to convince buyers the property is worth a visit, while not setting false expectations of how the home is currently furnished.

Read the full report on home staging at nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-profile-of-home-staging-03-14-2019.pdf

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.