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Staging Your House Can Ensure Better Price, Quicker Sale

If you haven’t sold a home in a few years, you may not be familiar with a term called “staging.”  Staging your home can mean all the difference in gaining a better sale price and may even cut weeks off selling time.

“Staging a home is like setting the scene of a play,” says Lee Ann Embrey, Coldwell Banker Preferred agent from Exton, “where you establish a feeling of expectation.”

“A seller may think they can be objective about their own home, but they really can’t,” Embrey maintains.  “On the other hand, a stager can come in and get the optimal effect.”  Embrey says she, like most agents, refrains from offering staging advice herself to leave this to those with the expertise.

“Staging is creating an environment or feeling that makes a buyer believe that your home could be their home,” adds Audrey Cover a real estate agent affiliated with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Wayne, PA.

The first step a stager often takes is getting rid of clutter and making the home less of a statement of the seller’s personal esthetic.  But this should not be a severe exercise, Cover points out.  “You don’t want to strip the house of everything in it or make it look as impersonal as a hotel room,” she warns.

The way a stager works is simple.  Usually the real estate agent has one or more stagers they’ve worked with and will suggest one to a seller.  The stager makes an evaluation of the house being sold and creates a staging plan.  This may involve renting furniture, using pieces and accessories owned by the stager or using some existing furniture owned by the seller.  Everything else is removed to storage or to the new residence if it has already been purchased. Additionally, a stager will probably want to ensure that all windows and surfaces sparkle.

Costs can vary greatly and include the stager’s fees plus furniture rental charges for however long it is needed.

“The stager has to understand the subconscious of the buyer,” Cover explains, “as well as how to ‘expand’ the house.”  Embrey agrees.  “You don’t want a home to seem abandoned or vacant of furniture,” she says.  “You need pieces to give each room some scale, so the buyer can say, ‘Yes, I can fit my piece of furniture in here.’”

Embrey has no doubt that using a stager quickens the sale and ups the value of a property, so she always recommends one.  Cover feels equally strongly.  “I specialize in expired listings,” she says, or homes that didn’t sell first time around.  “In most cases, I can sell it within a week or two when using a stager.  I suggest it to all my listings,” she says, adding, “although sometimes I may have to twist their arms to bit!”

To see how a stager may help you sell your house, talk to a Coldwell Banker Preferred agent in your neighborhood by logging on at cbpref.com.