In a hot home sellers’ market, is home staging really necessary?
Some people are probably of the opinion that homes sell themselves, especially in a strong market like Denver. In February, the average close price of all homes (attached and detached) was $553,774 up 19.44 percent from February 2020. The average close price of single-family detached homes alone jumped an even higher 23.15 percent to a record-setting $632,581.
So why bother staging a home? Because it’s likely you’ll get an even higher offer!
Trish Sidebotham is the founder of Sagewood Interiors. Her company focuses on designed-focused home staging in the Denver area. And she believes that a staging investment pays off by clients’ getting not only top dollar but often a bidding war.
“We have found that 95 percent of home buyers are viewing homes for the very first time time online,” she said. “First impressions are so important and proper home staging and quality photography equates to more offers and higher-than-asking price. By staging, your home spends less time on the market, and you get more offers.”
“First impressions are so important and proper home staging and quality photography equates to more offers and higher-than-asking price. By staging, your home spends less time on the market, and you get more offers.”
Sidebotham estimates that 85 percent of staged homes sell for anywhere from 5-23 percent over the list price and generate many more offers. Furthermore, by staging a home, you run less risk of having to instigate a price drop.
“Our statistics show that home sellers who employ our home staging average $10,000-$15,000 over list price, and the average number of days on the market after staging is just 10. We try to avoid stuffy staging and focus on blending style with the latest trends. Staging can sometimes look commercialized and cold. I want the staging to allow the buyer to envision living in it, and feel warm and comfortable within the environs.”
Home Listing Tips
Keep in mind that home staging doesn’t require a complete retooling of your home. Sidebotham likes to focus on the elements that create the most impact, and you might be surprised at some of her areas of focus.
“First off, curb appeal is huge,” she said. “You want the buyer to be impressed with your home before they even set foot inside. Things like the paint color of your front door, a new welcome mat, greenery that frames the entry and even furniture (if the entry can accommodate it) all provide excellent ways of making your home stand out.”
Another feature that gets immediate notice is the flooring. Not everyone can replace existing flooring but updating carpet and refinishing the hardwood floors will get noticed.
“The purple or green carpet has got to go,” she said. “You can select inexpensive carpet that will accomplish the goal of selling for top dollar. A dated or tired-looking carpet negatively affects the purchase price.”
Another key aspect of the home is lighting. A bright, well-lit home with new light fixtures can instantly transform the living space without breaking the bank.
“This is such an easy addition,” said Sidebotham. “You can get inexpensive products online that will provide a huge impact.
“Fresh paint is another critical piece of the equation. If rooms aren’t freshly painted or, at the very least, have a light, airy feel, buyers will be turned off. Here in Colorado, it’s critical to bring the outdoors inside and light-colored walls create that kind of impact.”
In summary, the most important things to do before you list are:
- Spend some time on curb appeal
- Update the flooring - get rid of old carpet and/or refinish your hardwoods
- Invest in some updated light fixtures and brighten up the place
- Fresh paint! Add a fresh coat of a neutral color to bring in an airy and clean feel
Staging and Design Trends
Home staging and design has taken on a whole new appeal with the advent of HGTV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Fixer Upper and a myriad of other TV shows. People who thought interior design wasn’t within their reach as a result of a small budget or having an older home are now discovering they have access to an array of design ideas, whether by DIY or tackling jobs one at a time.
“Buyers are looking for well-designed, multifunctional layouts with as much natural light as possible,” explained Sidebotham. “And if you have outdoor space or at least a garden area, that’s a huge plus. Particularly during COVID-19, people want to be able to enjoy outdoor space in their homes.
“Buyers are looking for well-designed, multifunctional layouts with as much natural light as possible,” explained Sidebotham. “And if you have outdoor space or at least a garden area, that’s a huge plus. Particularly during COVID-19, people want to be able to enjoy outdoor space in their homes."
“Neutral, earth toned color and textures are always going to work best for home staging. Once people move into a new home, they are more receptive to ‘less bright white’ and darker colors are making a comeback -- just not in the home staging realm."
What Furniture Attracts Buyers?
With furniture, Sidebotham says that textured sofas that feature shearling, slipcovered linen, mohair or sheepskin are popular. Bulky furniture doesn’t work unless it’s in a very large space. And don’t forget the accessories! Stools, vintage pieces, original artwork and greenery in the house will all get noticed and make the home attractive.
“We work with Studio McGee x Target, Leann Ford x CB and Amber Lewis x Anthropologie which provides affordable designer products,” she added. “In addition to emphasizing the home environment that is serene and provides a “sanctuary” to homeowners, people are very interested in products from companies they trust. We will be seeing more collaborations being launched with larger companies, designers and influencers.
“I love styling. The little details make a huge difference. Make sure you have enough pillows in the space, style the open shelving appropriately, remember big rugs work better than small rugs, focus on scale and don’t miss the small details.”
(If you are interested in home staging, please contact Trish at 617.820.8823 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trish and her staff’s mission is to bring beautiful, timeless spaces to any home by staying on top of the ever-changing landscape of interior design trends. By emphasizing a cohesive aesthetic direction that stays true to the unique character of each home, Trish is able to highlight the unique selling points that ensure a quick offer. Check out their Instagram here).
Posted by Pat O'Connor
Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys hanging out with her three kids and assortment of family pets, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. As a mother to two (at one time three) competitive swimmers, her favorite fragrance is eau de chlorine. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs on Saturdays and screaming when the Packers score on Sundays. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.Facebook LinkedIn Twitter