Whether your home is occupied or vacant, listed with a Realtor or is For Sale by Owner, the benefits of staging it can be tremendous in helping you get your property sold. I was able to do a Q & A with Kate Blount, owner and operator of Kate’s Designs about the benefits of staging a home. Here are the top 10 things we covered:

  1. What are a few of the benefits for a seller to stage their home?

Staged homes sell on average 67% faster than vacant homes and for an avg. of 6% more, according to the National Association of Realtors. Staging a home is much less expensive and much more effective than your first price reduction. To put that into perspective… on a 200k home a price reduction is usually 8% = 16k, staging cost usually 1.5 % = 3k or less, saving you 13k! Over 81% of buyers find it easier visualize the property as their future home when it is staged. A third of buyers are more likely to “overlook property faults” when a home is staged.

I have been trained and am certified as a professional home stager. I have learned how to increase the perceived size of a home, raise the perceives value, reduce perceived negatives, highlight perceives positives, enhance perceived condition, and promote perceived lifestyle’s all through staging.

  1. During the staging process how do you advise the homeowner to minimize their personal belonging so there doesn’t appear to be extra clutter, for example if they have a smaller sized house and storage space is limited.

Pre-pack! If you choose to stage your home most likely it will not be on the market long so go ahead and pack things up and de-clutter! When it comes to furniture I will make sure there is enough space to allow the eye to rest and for the buyer to move easily and without distraction. This is done by a little rearranging, it opens up a lot of visual space.

  1. Does a homeowner with pets affect how you stage a home?

On occupied home stages the only items I will bring in is art and accessories in case they have children and or dogs. I do not want them to worry about my things getting ruined and I also will use what the homeowner has.

  1. How does the process work when a seller or their agent reach out to you about staging a listing? Do you set up a time for a consultation to view the home and then suggest key areas to stage?

When someone contacts me to stage an occupied home it is very simple. I have three package options they can choose from. Once they decide on which package I will go to their home and get to work. I spend most of my time in the areas that I think or that the seller and or agent thinks needs the most attention. On a vacant home I can send the pricing based off of what they tell me on the home or if there are online pictures. There are definitely times that I go to the home and then send pricing. Again, I have three package options that they can choose from. If it is a home that has been on the market a while I will ask what feedback they have gotten and we will definitely focus on that part and then some.

  1. Is there a limit to how much you can stage? For example, if it’s new construction do you suggest that all rooms are staged or just the main living areas? If it’s an owner occupied home do you look for the areas that need the most “help”?

Yes, I have a limit on home much we will or will not stage. I will not only stage one or two rooms, that is not effective and they will be wasting their time. What is normal is entry, living, dining, master, kitchen and breakfast. After that if there is an outdoor area or a secondary living, office space, second bedroom, game room etc, that can be added. This is all broke down in the packages I offer.

  1. With the summer months coming do you think it is important to stage any outside living areas?

I do think it is important to stage outdoor areas. Many people are willing to pay more for outdoor living so to show that a space can be used like that is beneficial.

  1. If you are staging a vacant home and the buyers love the items you have in the home and want to purchase them, how do you handle that?

Yes, I will sell my items if the buyer is interested. They will just go through me for what they like.

  1. What would you say are your top 5 staging tips?

So, I am giving you six and they are; Repair, Clean, De-clutter, Pre-pack, Light (open blinds turn lights on), Curb appeal (landscape some, pull weeds, fresh mulch, touch up paint etc.)

  1. Some people might think that staging is out of their budget, can staging be cost effective for any size budget?

To stage a vacant home usually cost less than 1 mortgage payment but can save you more than 3 payments. A Homegain survey found that the sellers who spent money on staging recouped 100% of their investments. The goal of staging is to always net the greatest profit in the shortest amount of time. On even the most affordable homes, the minimum initial price reduction is about 5k. I said this earlier and I’ll say it again, staging is much less expensive and more effective than your first price reduction.

  1. Do you have a set price on staging or is it determined by what the home owner is wanting staged/and for a length of time?

There is not a set price, it depends on the size and price of the home, just how much I will need to put into it and which package they choose. Occupied staging is a onetime cost. Vacant staging is set on a month to month basis.

We hope you have a better idea of how staging can grab the attention of potential buyers, reduce days on the market and help net the greatest profit for you. If you would like to set up a consultation with a member of Kate’s Designs you can reach her at (210)355-0828 or email her at kate.blount@kates-designs.com. To see some beautiful transformations of some of the spaces Kate’s Designs has staged visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kates-Designs-2280850035526696/