Selling your house? Stage it first.

Selling Your House Rochester Minnesota

Selling your house? Stage it first.

So, it’s time to sell your house! What an exciting yet daunting prospect, right?

With so many things to consider when getting your home ready for sale, where do you start?

I’m going to make it really easy for you with one word: STAGING. It’s where we begin AND end to make sure you get the best price for your home, in a shorter period of time. Staging will very likely get it sold quickly and without having to resort to a price adjustment. The return on your investment will far outweigh the cost to stage.

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Let’s break this down. First a reality check.

According to, staged homes will generally sell for 15%-20% more than a non-staged home. So, let’s take a $500K home for example. That’s an increase of $75K – $100K! In my humble, yet experienced opinion, that seems a little high… but has stats prove it. Of course, a lot of it depends on market conditions, location, etc.

If we take a more modest evaluation and assume staging will increase the value by 10% – that’s still $50k back in your pocket. If you compare that to the cost of professionally staging the same home, typically around $5K – $10K, it’s clear the benefit far outweighs the cost! 

Let’s pretend you’re not convinced (because how could you not be?!). Think of your first potential price reduction. Again, assuming the $500k price range, Realtors® will strongly suggest a reduction anywhere between $5K to $10K (and most likely the latter) within 45 to 60 days depending on your motivation. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend the money up front, get your home sold and more return on your investment?

A house that sits on the market for more than 45 days and has had a price reduction is called a “tired” listing. It’s just like it sounds. Buyers and their agents get A LOT more aggressive with low ball offers after 60 days, especially in this market.

If you just don’t have a penny to spare on staging, there are a few simple changes you can make that will make a big difference. According to Mortgage Daily News, a few DIY staging changes can increase the price of your home by 1%-5%, which is a lot better than nothing!

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Here are my top 5 DIY staging tips: 

1. DEEP clean.

Interior and exterior. And I mean REALLY dig in. Think of every surface of your home being touched with cleaner and shampoo for carpets. Clean, dust and polish exterior and interior (closets, floors, drawers, pantry, etc.). Remember  to look up too! “Invisible” cobwebs lurk in every home.

And don’t forget about odors! Get those tried and true friends over there for an honest sniff test.

The 3 major odor offenders:

  • Pets (especially cats) 
  • Smoke 
  • Cooking spices

2. Declutter

I’m not just talking about loose papers on the desk and countertops, but everything! Closets, shelves, walls, even furniture. Pay close attention to books, magazines, clothes, shoes and accessories in your closets. Buyers don’t want to see a ton of stuff crammed everywhere creating the impression there isn’t enough room/space.  

3. Organize what’s left

While organizing be sure to “edit”. Meaning, how many white tee shirts does a girl really need? Thin out closets, drawers, cabinets, pantry, even furniture and accessories (This process could also be accomplished while decluttering, but a second edit is ALWAYS a good idea!). Color code your closet, line up your shoes, rearrange what decor you have left to create simple yet elegant spaces throughout the house. 

4. Make a few repairs

In order to get the most for your home, consider fixing up a few of the following items: 

  • Torn screens and window pains 
  • Loose handles and knobs & pulls 
  • Cracked switch plates
  • Running toilet and leaky sink
  • Exterior concrete steps, wood fence and patio/deck, missing brick, down spouts.

 5. Invite friends/family over to “play” with your furniture

Try different arrangements to see what creates the most living/relaxing spaces.

Whether you’re ready to take on these simple steps or hire an expert to assist with your staging – it’s clear that the additional attention to your home is sure to increase its value and impress buyers. Happy selling! 

Robin Wolfram Real Estate Agent