Should You Stage Your Flip?
There is something to be said about a neat and tidy house when you are sorting through house after house looking for the perfect home for you and your family. This is something investors should keep in mind when selling their flips. Even though they’ve just put tons of money into making a property beautiful, the final touch-the cherry on top-is the staging.
Staging means adding furnishings and decor in just the right way to make the home feel like a designer home. It means creating an atmosphere or warmth and comfort by adding prints on the walls, mirrors, plants, and pillows in addition to quality furnishings. Most people don’t live in designer homes, so the staging invites them to believe their home will feel this way once they’re in it. Everyone wants to live in a classy, warm home!
So even though your fixed ready-to-flip home is painted impeccably and meets every possible standard a family could have, it could still feel anything but homey. It could simply feel hollow and empty, cold and sterile. Many homebuyers are unimaginative and can’t see what it will look like with lovely furnishings. Staging will invite people in and make them feel welcome.
Staging sells homes that otherwise might not sell. Stagers and real estate agents cite examples of homes that sat on the market empty and unsold for weeks, but got offers almost immediately when staging was added. They also cite examples where competitive bidding wars broke out on properties that couldn’t even get a smile a before they were staged. Staging definitely helps sell homes faster, which can also mean more money.
How Much Staging?
The primary rooms that you will want to appear ‘lived in’ are the living room, dining room, master bedroom, and all bathrooms. These are the rooms that essentially sell homes and it is important to make them appear neat and decorated.
In the dining room, use a table with a flower arrangement at a minimum, but add a full dining set if possible. In the living room, add a couch and coffee table with magazines spread across it and perhaps a throw across the couch. In the master bedroom, add a bed, or at least a lovely large plant in the corner with some throw pillows around to help set the mood of relaxation. In the bathrooms, add a set of attractive bath accessories and an arrangement, plus matching towels.
Who Does the Staging?
If you have a creative side and feel you have a knack for it, you can do the staging. But if you doubt you have that decorator’s gene, then you might want to hire a staging company. The upside to doing it yourself is that you can save significantly on the costs. The downside is that you need to purchase or rent all that furniture and haul it to the house, then haul it back to storage when you’re done. You can use your own furnishings if they’re of good enough quality.
The upside to hiring a staging company is that they do it all for you-and probably better than you could do it yourself. They bring it in and take it out. All you need to do is write a check. If you calculate that cost up front into your selling costs, you won’t be surprised at the end when you’re ready to sell.
Stagers charge by room. If you have the funds for every room in the home then by all means do so. It is a huge selling point, particularly for those who are trying to sell homes quickly. If the home doesn’t sell after the first two weeks or month (you decide the time limit) then you may want to remove the ‘staging’ furniture in order to eliminate the expense.
After doing all that work to fix and flip your rehab property, don’t short yourself at the finish line! Make sure you stage your home for sale, too. Staging a home can absolutely lead to a higher offer and a quicker sale.