“Only 10 percent of people shopping for a new home have the vision to imagine their own belongings in another house,” says Maureen Bray, owner of Portland, Ore.-based Room Solutions Staging. Bray is one of two highly rated professional home stagers we consulted, who both agree that staging helps prospective buyers make that imaginative leap. “Homes that have been staged sell faster than those that haven’t,” Bray says, citing her company’s own success rate. “Twenty-eight days versus 125 days.”
Expect to pay $150 to $500 for a home-staging consultation, and an additional $1,500-$2,500 to provide the furnishings and accessories necessary to stage four main rooms if the home is vacant.
1 “Note the clutter,” Bray says. “It sucks all the energy out of a room and prevents buyers from noticing a home’s features.”
2 “Setting the table allows buyers to imagine entertaining family and friends in this space, creating that important emotional connection,” Bray says.
3 “Potential buyers are often skeptical that their large bed and two nightstands would fit in a bedroom,” Bray says. “A bed already in place proves the point.”
4 “Use minimalist window treatments to highlight your view,” Bray adds.
5 “Don’t over-furnish rooms,” Bray warns. “Staging isn’t about decorating; it is about highlighting a home’s best features.” Also, be sure to banish evidence of pets (feeding dishes, beds, toys) when your home is on the market.
6 “Use a lot of greenery,” says Pam Fox, president of highly rated Artistic Staging & Design in Tampa, Fla. “In today’s market, selling a house is a price war and a beauty contest.”
7 This older home was considered a tough sale, but Fox helped the real estate agent succeed. “We had the woodwork painted and cracks in the drywall repaired,” Fox says.
This article originally appeared on Angie’s List.