10 Reasons Why You Should Stage Your Listing

(...and why you should hire Larimar to stage it)


It Will Get You More Money At the Closing Table

According to a recent survey of over 3,500 homes that were professionally staged, when the total average of investment for minor improvements and professional staging was between 1-3% of the asking price, sellers received a return of 8-10% in the sale price. This means when a seller with a $300,000 listing invests $3,000 in updates and staging, they will typically see a $24,000 return on their investment! 


Staging Costs Less Than a Price Reduction

If your house sits on the market for more than 30 days, your listing agent is likely to suggest a price reduction. Agents use different methods for calculating how much the reduction should be, but we've noticed the average reduction for a median priced home in Southern California is $10,000. For homes listed over a million dollars, the average price reduction is $100,000... and some homes take multiple reductions before selling!

To compound the problem, the longer your house sits on the market and the more price reductions you take, the less interest buyers have in the home. Buyers assume two things when a house has been sitting on the market: 1) that there must be something wrong with the house; and 2) that the seller is getting desperate (which very well may be true) and willing to take a lower offer... even lower than the already reduced price.


You'll Save Money in Carrying Cost

Staging will get your listing sold faster, saving you money in more ways than one. As we explained above, buyers will usually offer a lot less for a house that has been languishing on the market, costing you money. But days on market also costs you in carrying cost. If you're selling because of a divorce, it's likely one of you is renting or paying another mortgage for a separate home elsewhere. Or perhaps you've had to relocate for work. That's two sets of housing expenses you're paying simultaneously: two mortgages (or one mortgage, one rent payment), double the utility bills, maybe double in landscaping and/or pool maintenance fees, etc. If you're an investor who flipped the house, you understand that those carrying costs eat into your ROI. Fifty three of sellers' agents say staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. According the latest statistics collected by the National Association of Realtors, 53% of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount number of days a home sits on the market.


Staging Will Give You an Edge Over the Competition

There will be many homes for your targeted buyers to choose from that meet all their basic criteria: their desired square footage, in the neighborhood they prefer, in their budget.... So, how do you get your listing to stand out? Do you even know who your ideal buyer is? What appeals to them?

Larimar knows.


Staging is a Proven Marketing Strategy

Contrary to popular belief, home staging is not just about making the home more aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetic is subjective, so what appeals to one demographic isn’t going to appeal to another. It's also not about aesthetics alone. It's about making the home marketable by addressing the targeted demographics' needs as it pertains to their lifestyle: How the live and entertain. 

As home stagers, it’s not our job to create spaces that appeal to your mother-in-law, your neighbors, or even to you (sorry, but it’s true). Our job is to stage your listing so that it appeals to the majority of those in your targeted buying demographic. They will be the buyers most willing to place the highest offer.


Staging Results in Better MLS Photos

Home buying is a process of elimination, and the first elimination round occurs online.

Read that again.

The quality of the online MLS photos is imperative. In the age of the internet, a buyer’s first impression of a home is now formed when they preview the photos on sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and Trulia. The best home stagers understand that what looks good in person, such as certain colors, doesn’t always look good in a photo. Larimar’s first priority is how the home is going to translate in the photographs. For this reason, Larimar includes professional listing photos with all of our staging packages, and we will be on the property when it’s being photographed, so that we are able to collaborate with the photographer by previewing the proofs and making any adjustments needed

If the buyers were impressed enough with the photos to view the home in person, our next challenge is to meet or exceed the expectations they formed of the home online, and it is for this reason that we strongly advise against virtual staging. Virtual staging doesn't work.

Larimar makes the targeted buyer’s first (and second, and third...) impression a priority, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure their impressions online and when they arrive at the home are both positive.


Larimar Understands the Psychology of Home Buying

Larimar understands how color influences buyers, both negatively and positively. For example, did you know red is scientifically proven to raise blood pressure? So, naturally, we’re going to avoid using red when we’re staging a home.

If your house has a distinctive architectural style, the buyer that will be the most excited about it (and the one who will offer the most for it) will be the one who most appreciates this architectural style. Therefore, Larimar will select furnishings, artwork and accessories that best enhances the home’s architecture. For example, if your house is mid-century, we are going to incorporate some mid-century furnishings into the staging plan, because the buyer who loves mid-century is going to offer more than the buyer who reluctantly agrees to “settle” for a mid-century home.

Larimar knows how to draw the buyers’ eyes to the selling features of the property. These features could be a fireplace, mill work, or a great view. We do this through the placement of color and furnishings.

We also know how to downplay the home’s less desirable features, which the buyer will be actively seeking out if their first impression was a negative one. Picture the married couple who is at odds with each other: One loves the house, the other hates it. Their each going using confirmation bias to be seek out reasons to validate how they feel. Let's hope it's the wife that loves it, because studies have revealed that women have the strongest influence over home purchasing decisions.

Larimar will define spaces to fit how the targeted demographic lives. For example, the number of people we predict will be living in the home will determine how much seating we put in the living spaces and the size of the dining set we use. If our targeted buyer is a family with young children, we might stage one of the rooms as a playroom to create an emotional touch point that will facilitate the buyer's emotional investment in the property.

We will choose the proper scale for furniture to avoid the buyers perceiving any room as being too small or too big.

Since most buyers are seeking to elevate their lifestyle with the purchase of a new home, we set the stage for them so they can more easily envision themselves living the life of their dreams.  Therefore, we carefully curate our furniture, art and accessories to ensure everything is on trend and fits into a consistent color story, has proper scale, balance, and flow.


Not convinced about that psychology stuff yet?

We refer again to the research conducted by the National Association of Realtors:  83% of buyers' agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 44% of buyers’ agents and 46% of sellers' agents say that staging a home increases the buyers' offers anywhere from 1% to 20%. Imagine getting as much as 20% more for your home! When staging has been proven to dramatically improve the odds of getting those kind of results, why wouldn't you make the investment in staging? 


Staging Increases the perceived Value of the Home

Aside from the actual value of the home increasing through any home improvements you implement before listing, having it professionally staged will also increase the perceived value. Only 6% of buyer's agents said that staging had no effect on the buyers' perception of the home. And it's not just buyers whose perceptions are improved with staging. We've seen appraisers come back with higher appraisals even when there were no changes made to the structure of the home. Staging often gives both buyers and appraisers the perception that the structure of the home has been well cared for and maintained.


Professional Staging Fees are tax deductible

According to IRS Publication #523, professional home staging services are tax deductible as an advertising expense when selling a home. Since a home stager prepares your house for potential buyers, the IRS considers the service an advertising expense, as long as the home stager has been hired for the sole purpose of selling your home. The staging fee is subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the home and decrease the total realized profit.