The largest investment most of us have, is our home. When it comes time to sell we need to get the most we can out of it. It could be the difference between being able to make the move to a bigger home or being able to move at all. Regardless, no one wants to just give their home away; we want and need to make a profit! So how do we protect the equity in our home? By staging and updating a home prior to putting it on the market. The answer may have surprised you as many people don’t understand what Staging involves or that it increases the value of a home, both perceived (what a buyer thinks it is worth) and actual.

When a buyer makes an offer to purchase a home, they have the home inspected to make sure the home is in good shape and that they are making a good financial decision, the home inspection protects their investment. Like a home inspection for buyers, staging protects the seller’s investment by making sure the home will sell quickly and for its proper value. When getting ready to list a home the first step should be to get a Professional Staging Consultation. This will let a seller know what they need to do to get their home sold in the shortest amount of time at the best price. They may need to do updates, like remove wallpaper and paint or they may need to pre pack and deep clean to make the home feel great and show buyers how great this home will work for them, even if they have outgrown it. Sometimes it is a matter of renting furniture, art and décor to Stage and make a vacant home (or home with dated furniture) look great on line and feel great in person. And sometimes it is all of the above.

Here is one example; we had a home a while back that needed some basic updates and staging as it was basically empty (a few left behind items that did not help the home show well) with worn floors and wallpaper. The total investment in this case would have been $12,000 to update and stage this home. Now, I know what you are thinking, wow that is a lot of money, right? Well, here is the rest of the story… the house was in a great desirable neighborhood and went on the market for $480,000. Now this home sat on the market as the homeowners, like many of you reading this, did not want to put money into a home they were selling. After spending 15 months on the market and taking numerous price reductions (not to mention the carrying cost of owning 2 homes) the house sold for $360,000. The difference was $120,000 that this family lost due to NOT staging their home. Had they invested the $12,000 upfront they would have sold in a matter of a month or so and for close to the $480,000. This means that if they had invested $12,000 they would have likely made an additional $108,000 on the sale of their home. So does that $12,000 seem like a lot of money now?

We have many examples of cases where the list price would have been very low but with the updates and staging ends up listing well above the invested price, making money for our client! There is a whole industry that makes its profits from buying homes cheap that need to be fixed, fixing them and then selling them for a profit…Staging lets you be the one making the profit.

We completed a home this summer that would have listed for $120,000 in as is condition, but after we did updates and staged the home it listed for $185,000 and sold the day it hit the market! The homeowner’s investment was $20,000 and the homeowner made an additional $45,000 ($65,000 difference minus the investment of $20,000) on the sale of their home! Staging protects your equity and makes you money!

Now all Staging projects do not have that high of an investment attached. Many homes need minor tweaks to make them standout in the market. Many times a home only needs a Staging Consultation to find out what needs to be done and the homeowners take care of the list and their investment can be as little as a couple hundred dollars or they may only need to rent furniture to stage their home and be looking at a low investment of about $1500 to $2000 range.

Regardless of what your home needs, Staging will protect the equity in your home. You will spend fewer days on market, see fewer, if any price reductions and have a stress free experience selling your home. They say one of the most stressful things you can do is move, why not take as much stress as possible out of the equation and let a Professional Stager help you get it done right.

Tracy Molendi, owner of Simply Organized & Staged and The Home Staging Warehouse has been in business for 12 years servicing the greater Peoria, IL area. We have a proven track record of helping our clients prepare, update and Stage their homes and get them sold quickly for a large profit. Check us out at www.stagingpeoria.com .