Is home staging really necessary?

Home staging presents a house for sale in its ideal state — decluttered, clean, and expertly furnished. So YES.

Staging and the reality of living in a house have very little in common…unless you’re a modern minimalist.

For most of us, especially if we’ve been in the same house for years with many family members, a staged house is a fantasy.

That fantasy is what makes staged houses sell for much more than houses that are vacant with no furnishings or that have the owners’ belongings and furniture in the house.

Curious what staging and updates to your home might cost as part of our home selling marketing budget? Please get in touch for a no-obligation consultation.

Statistics on the benefits of staging a house for sale

Nurture Source Berkeley staging and renovation companyAccording to a 2023 survey of buyer agents and listing agents by the National Association of Realtors (NAR®):

  • 81% buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • 58% percent of buyers’ agents reported in the survey that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home most of the time, while 31% said that home staging has an effect, but not always. (I wonder: Did those agents ask their clients if the staging had an effect, and did the buyers know consciously whether it did?)
  • Staging the living room was found to be most important for buyers (39%) (very likely because it’s the first room you see when you walk in and the room where you imagine entertaining guests). Next was ,staging the primary bedroom (36%) and staging the kitchen (30%). Buyers’ agents said staging the guest bedroom was the least important room, with just 9% percent saying that it was very important to stage (however the guest bedroom staged as an office with a day bed is always a good look!)

Unless you’re selling a fixer upper or rental property, it is never a good idea to try to save money by only staging a couple of rooms, especially if you are hoping to attract online buyers who may be out of the area.

Why? Minimizing the staging implies that you have put minimal effort into keeping the house in good condition. Doing partial staging raises questions about overall quality.

How much does staging cost?

Staging can be a several thousand dollar expense, usually $2,000 minimum in the Bay Area for a very small space. What?

Yes. Imagine what it takes to stage a house.

  • An interior design expert visualizes and designs what goes where.
  • The staging company has to select and move in and later move out all of the furniture, decor, hang paintings, add outdoor furnishings potentially, and more.
  • You are essentially renting all of the staged decor for the time it is at the house. The staging is usually at the house for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the property and market conditions.

That furniture and decor has wear and tear as buyers — of which there should be many when you work with an agent (like me!) who makes it easy for buyers’ agents to show the house along with many open houses — sit on the furniture to envision the house being their home.

Are there different levels of staging companies in terms of price and quality?

Definitely! In the Rockridge / Berkeley area alone there are a handful of stagers that reliably help local real estate agents decorate homes for sale to perfection. (Ask me for a list!)

Some stagers employ professional interior designers who will help choose paint colors to add color accent walls and wallpaper along with multi-thousand dollar furnishings. Using live plants for staging adds an extra premium to your staging investment. With a luxury home, live plants may be that extra touch to get an offer that is wildly higher than the asking price.

Some East Bay staging companies choose to stage with furnishings that are lower priced and are more turnkey in terms of setting up a house to sell for a great price but without the extra luxe touches.

Can’t my agent stage my house for sale for me?

Some agents have a staging arm to their business. There have been houses where it was clear the agents took it upon themselves to use their own taste and belongings to stage a house. That can be the samae or worse than the home owner leaving their stuff at the house.

It is important that a staging professional look at, and ideally decorate, your home. The goal is to net you the most in your home sale. In markets like Rockridge, Berkeley, Alameda, etc. staging is done by default. (In other areas and states staging is less common so it may be optional…but why not stage and stand out and set the standard in the market for excellent home marketing?)

In short: Staging is an essential element of selling your home for top dollar. Ask me for example staging companies, a netsheet of how much your house needs to sell for so you can pocket your ideal bottomline, and other tips for getting your house ready to sell.

benefits of staging a home for sale

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