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To Stage Or Not To Stage – That Is The Seller’s Dilemma

To Stage Or Not To Stage – That Is The Seller’s Dilemma

Yesterday morning, I met with a brother and sister who are planning to sell their family home in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. They have gone to a lot of trouble to renovate the home since it hasn’t been touched in many years. During our discussion, I brought up staging and strongly recommended that they stage their home.  They seemed a little surprised that it would even be necessary.  After all, it is a newly renovated home.  

Imagine walking into a home that is completely empty and think of how you feel.  Then, imagine walking into a home that has been staged with an elegant couch in front of a wood-burning fireplace that has a fire going.  Which home is more emotionally appealing?

I told them a story that I have told to many sellers.  Years ago, I listed a three bedroom, three bath contemporary home in Golden Gate Heights.  Before I had it painted and staged, I brought a number of realtors familiar with the area into the home to give me their opinion on price.  I told them that it would be painted and staged and asked them to give me their best estimate of what they thought it would sell for. They all agreed that it would sell for around $1,100,000.  I brought in the stager and painters, and when it was finished, it looked great – much better than it had before they did their job.  We received multiple offers and it sold for $1,280,000.  What does this prove?  While I wouldn’t say that all of the $180,000 was due to the painting and staging; I wouldn’t be surprised if at least $100,000 of the difference was due to that, which was 10 times what my clients had paid ($10,000) to have that work done. 

A review of some recent comparable home sales near the house this family would like to sell reveals that the homes that were professionally staged appeared to sell at a higher price point than those which left the owner’s furniture in the home. In the end, sellers don’t save money when they decide not to stage, they usually lose money since they are likely to get a much better price if their property is staged.

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