According to lots of Australian real estate brokers, home staging has become something of a “must-do” for home sellers. Home staging, according to 82 percent of buyer’s agents, makes it easier for potential buyers to envision the house as a future home. According to industry research, staged homes generally sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes. Is any of this, however, true? Does staging a house make a difference?

What is Good Home Staging Anyway?

Home staging is a type of visual merchandising that incorporates some of the most basic principles of interior design. The goal of home staging and home styling is to enhance the property while remaining unobtrusive, similar to how you might dress yourself well without bringing particular attention to what you’re wearing. Is it something of an art? Yes, which is why working with a professional home stager or home staging service is usually recommended.

But good home staging can offer even more than that. Good home staging allows buyers to imagine themselves in the home; it highlights the home’s positive features while concealing its flaws; it transforms odd spaces into usable spaces; it sets the mood (professional stagers refer to this as “emotional” staging), and it improves the home’s photo appearances.

Home Stager List, AustraliaThe Many Benefits of Home Staging According to the Experts

When listing your home for sale, the chances are very good that your chosen local real estate agent will recommend scheduling an initial consultation to have your home staged with a professional home stager before they order any real estate photography or begin showing the home to prospective buyers.

Twenty years ago, they probably would not have offered this advice. Home staging has only recently gained popularity. In years past, before putting out the ‘For Sale’ sign, a good cleaning and maybe a lick of paint was thought to be sufficient. Property stagers are now being hired by an increasing number of home sellers around Australia. As a result, it’s extremely probable that your home will go up against properties that have been skillfully staged. Furthermore, the massive popularity of TV home design shows – as well as Instagram – has raised buyer expectations to new heights.

In addition, a skilled home stager can assist you with your internet listing. During their house search, a startling amount of people use the Internet; over 90%. That means your house needs to look great on the web. Professional home staging and photography can help you in this endeavor and ensure your home stands out from all those other listings.

Professional Home Staging and ROI

You should also consider the return on investment. Some homeowners do balk at the cost of staging a house. They are hoping to leave the place behind soon, so why would they want to spend money on it? However, when considering the ROI of the services of a professional home stager, think of it this way: Wouldn’t you believe a financial planner who could provide you with a return on investment (ROI) of 5%, 10%, or even 20% was a genius? That is exactly what a professional home stager can achieve.

How Home Staging Can Affect Time on Market

In addition to getting the best possible price for their home, every home seller wants the unavoidably stressful process of getting their property sold to be as fast as possible too.

Figures are hard to come by in Australia, but if you look to the US, where home staging is even more popular, their National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers statistics that say that homes that were not staged prior to listing sat on the market for an average of 143 days (about 4 and a half months). These homes sold in 40 days (about 1 and a half months) after they were staged. Properties that were staged prior to listing stayed on the market for an average of 23 days (about 3 and a half weeks).

It may be a little different here, but anecdotal evidence from local real estate agent experience all over the country backs up the main point here: staged homes sell faster. A faster sale means that home sellers can get a great deal done on their property and move onto the next stage of their life faster. And who doesn’t want that?

Home Staging in Ringwood, AustraliaThe Cost of Staging a House

What it will cost to stage a house for sale is one of those situations where the answer is “it depends.” Because there are so many variables, it’s impossible to put a price tag on home staging: where the property is located; whether it’s an empty property or one that’s being occupied and whether you want a stager to stage the whole home or just focus on certain rooms.

Some home staging services bill hourly, while others charge a flat rate. Make sure you understand all the conditions, including the initial consultation fee, the home staging timeline, and any possible additional costs, such as furniture rentals.

You can also opt for something called partial staging if you want to save money and have some spaces in your home that are in good shape. This will involve only staging ‘key room’ like the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. During an initial consultation with a home staging company, they will fill you in on what your options are and how they might change the final home staging cost.

The Bottom Line on Home Staging Value

So, does staging a house make a difference? The expense of home staging by a professional—someone with a proven track record in the industry, a good sense of sound design, and a solid reputation may very well mean more money in the bank for you. If staging helps you sell your property faster (by not having it sit on the market for too long and make buyers wonder what is wrong with it), if it saves you weeks – or months – in carrying costs, and if it generates the kind of buzz that results in offers over your asking price, then it is money well spent. And the truth is that not staging costs more—the typical cost of a full home staging is usually significantly less than your initial price decrease.

Australian Property Stylist Directory

If you would like to get a Property Stylist to chat with you about how they can style a house for sale, then take a look at the comprehensive Directory of the Property Stylists nearest you.

Photography by Top Snap